Science News Roundup: Scientists call for new probe into COVID-19 origins; Shrinking sea meadows store more carbon than forests and more

Scientists said on Wednesday they sequenced the genomes of these three individuals - all males - using DNA obtained from a molar and bone fragments discovered in Bacho Kiro Cave near the town of Dryanovo, as well as one female who lived roughly 35,000 years ago at the same site.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 08-04-2021 18:38 IST | Created: 08-04-2021 18:30 IST
Science News Roundup: Scientists call for new probe into COVID-19 origins; Shrinking sea meadows store more carbon than forests and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Scientists call for new probe into COVID-19 origins: with or without China

A joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) study into COVID-19 has provided no credible answers about how the pandemic began, and more rigorous investigations are required - with or without Beijing's involvement, a group of international scientists and researchers said on Wednesday. The joint study, released last week, said the likeliest transmission route for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, involved bats and other wildlife in China and southeast Asia. It all but ruled out the possibility it had leaked from a laboratory.

Shrinking sea meadows store more carbon than forests. Scientists are racing to track what's left

Hundreds of miles from the nearest shore, ribbon-like fronds flutter in the ocean currents sweeping across an underwater mountain plateau the size of Switzerland. A remote-powered camera glides through the sunlit, turquoise waters of this corner of the western Indian Ocean, capturing rare footage of what scientists believe is the world's largest seagrass meadow.

Climate change shrinks marine life richness near equator: study

During some summers, as the Caribbean water temperatures climb, the luminous coral colonies of gold, green and blue that ring the island nation of Cuba give way to patches of skeletal white. The technicolor streaks of darting tropical fish flash less frequently. The rasping sounds of lobsters go quiet.

China begins construction of its fifth rocket launch site

A port city in eastern China has launched an ambitious plan to build the country's fifth rocket launch site, under a longer-term goal to ramp up space infrastructure to meet the demands of an expected boom in commercial missions. An engineering company in eastern Zhejiang province won a tender on April 1 to construct the launch pad in Ningbo city, as well as a section of the command centre and an assembly and testing facility, according to a document posted on the website of the Ningbo Free Trade Zone.

Bulgarian cave remains reveal surprises about earliest Homo sapiens in Europe

DNA extracted from remains found in a Bulgarian cave of three people who lived roughly 45,000 years ago is revealing surprises about some of the first Homo sapiens populations to venture into Europe, including extensive interbreeding with Neanderthals and genetic links to present-day East Asians. Scientists said on Wednesday they sequenced the genomes of these three individuals - all males - using DNA obtained from a molar and bone fragments discovered in Bacho Kiro Cave near the town of Dryanovo, as well as one female who lived roughly 35,000 years ago at the same site.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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