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Science News Roundup: Oldest and largest ancient Maya structure; France nears 1-billion-euro crisis fund for aero suppliers and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 04-06-2020 02:39 IST | Created: 04-06-2020 02:26 IST
Science News Roundup: Oldest and largest ancient Maya structure; France nears 1-billion-euro crisis fund for aero suppliers and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Oldest and largest ancient Maya structure found in Mexico

Scientists using an aerial remote-sensing method have discovered the largest and oldest known structure built by the ancient Maya civilization - a colossal rectangular elevated platform built between 1,000 and 800 BC in Mexico's Tabasco state. The structure, unlike the soaring Maya pyramids at cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico erected some 1,500 years later, was not built of stone but rather of clay and earth, and likely was used for mass rituals, researchers said on Wednesday.

France nears 1-billion-euro crisis fund for aero suppliers: sources

French government and industry officials are negotiating a 1-billion-euro, privately led investment fund for small aerospace suppliers in which major manufacturers could invest 200 million euros, people familiar with the proposals said on Wednesday. The scheme mirrors government-backed plans in France to help the automobile sector and comes as the aerospace industry seeks funding to help suppliers to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

Hides that reveal: DNA helps scholars divine Dead Sea Scrolls

Genetic sampling of the Dead Sea Scrolls has tested understandings that the 2,000-year-old artefacts were the work of a fringe Jewish sect, and shed light on the drafting of scripture around the time of Christianity's birth. The research - which indicated some of the parchments' provenances by identifying animal hides used - may also help safeguard against forgeries of the prized biblical relics.

Fossilized stomach contents show armored dinosaur's leafy last meal

In a forest rebounding after a wildfire 110 million years ago, an armored dinosaur devoured a meal of tender ferns in western Canada before suffering a sudden death - perhaps drowning in a river or a flash flood - and being washed out to sea. That unfortunate Cretaceous Period beast is now providing unique insight into the dietary habits of plant-eating dinosaurs. Scientists said on Wednesday the fossilized stomach contents of the dinosaur, called Borealopelta mark Mitchell, were preserved in exquisite detail with its skeleton, revealing what was on the menu for its last meal.

U.S. opens national security probe into vanadium imports

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it was opening an investigation into whether imports of vanadium, a metal used in aerospace, defense, and energy applications, impair U.S. national security. The "Section 232" probe is similar to ones that resulted in broad tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018 and a probe underway into imports of titanium sponge.

Convalescent plasma not helpful in China study; hydroxychloroquine doesn't prevent infection

The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Convalescent plasma disappoints in Chinese trials.


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