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Science News Roundup: NASA mulls possible mission to Venus after recent discovery of possible life; China aims to operate regular space flights by 2045 and more

An international research team on Monday described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is produced by bacteria inhabiting oxygen-free environments.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 19-09-2020 10:38 IST | Created: 19-09-2020 10:30 IST
Science News Roundup: NASA mulls possible mission to Venus after recent discovery of possible life; China aims to operate regular space flights by 2045 and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Ig Nobel science award: An alligator on helium sounds like ...?

If humans sound like Minnie Mouse after inhaling helium, would an alligator squeak on the gas used to float balloons? This profound puzzle challenged a global research team to record an alligator bellowing with normal air, and then breathing heliox, a helium-oxygen mixture.

T cell shortage linked to severe COVID-19 in elderly; antiseptic spray may limit virus spread

The following is a 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.

Shortage of 'naive' T cells raises COVID-19 risk in elderly If you do not snooze you lose: sleep seen as essential for the brain

Scientists are providing a fuller understanding of the essential role that sleep plays in brain health, identifying an abrupt transition at about 2.4 years of age when its primary purpose shifts from brain building to maintenance and repair. Researchers on Friday said they conducted a statistical analysis on data from more than 60 sleep studies. They looked at sleep time, duration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, brain size and body size, and devised a mathematical model for how sleep changes during development.

NASA mulls possible mission to Venus after recent discovery of possible life

NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists involved in the project said could help determine whether or not that planet harbors life. An international research team on Monday described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is produced by bacteria inhabiting oxygen-free environments. It provided strong potential evidence of life beyond Earth.

The future is cyborg: Kaspersky study finds support for human augmentation

Nearly two thirds of people in leading Western European countries would consider augmenting the human body with technology to improve their lives, mostly to improve health, according to research commissioned by Kaspersky. As humanity journeys further into a technological revolution that its leaders say will change every aspect of our lives, opportunities abound to transform the ways our bodies operate from guarding against cancer to turbo-charging the brain.

China aims to operate regular space flights by 2045, official says

China aims to set up a space programme operating thousands of flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tons of cargo and passengers by 2045, state news agency Xinhua quoted an official as saying on Friday. China is trying to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030.


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