Science News Roundup: Armored dinosaur wielded a tail resembling an Aztec war club; NASA astronauts replace faulty space station antenna during spacewalk and more
A newly identified armored dinosaur that inhabited the Patagonian region of Chile did much the same thing to ward off predators about 74 million years ago with a tail resembling a macuahuitl, scientists said on Wednesday. NASA astronauts replace faulty space station antenna during spacewalk Two NASA astronauts completed a 6-1/2 hour spacewalk on Thursday to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station, a mission NASA said carried slightly higher risk posed by orbital debris left from a Russian missile test weeks ago.
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Armored dinosaur wielded a tail resembling an Aztec war club
More than half a millennium ago, Aztec warriors brandished a weapon called a macuahuitl, a wooden club with jagged obsidian blades embedded on its sides, to inflict gruesome wounds on enemies in close combat. A newly identified armored dinosaur that inhabited the Patagonian region of Chile did much the same thing to ward off predators about 74 million years ago with a tail resembling a macuahuitl, scientists said on Wednesday.
NASA astronauts replace faulty space station antenna during spacewalk
Two NASA astronauts completed a 6-1/2 hour spacewalk on Thursday to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station, a mission NASA said carried slightly higher risk posed by orbital debris left from a Russian missile test weeks ago. Astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron exited an airlock of the orbiting research lab some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth to begin their work at 6:15 a.m. Eastern time (1115 GMT), an hour ahead of schedule.
That radio DJ you hear might already be a robot
Andy Chanley, the afternoon drive host at Southern California's public radio station 88.5 KCSN, has been a radio DJ for over 32 years. And now, thanks to artificial intelligence technology, his voice will live on simultaneously in many places. "I may be a robot, but I still love to rock," says the robot DJ named ANDY, derived from Artificial Neural Disk-JockeY, in Chanley's voice, during a demonstration for Reuters where the voice was hard to distinguish from a human DJ.
Tanzania footprints offer clues on origin of human upright walking
Five fossil footprints left in volcanic ash 3.66 million years ago in Tanzania are giving scientists new insight on a landmark in human evolution - upright walking - while showing that its origins are more complicated than previously known. Researchers said on Wednesday a thorough new examination of the tracks, nearly half a century after their initial discovery, has shown that they were made not by a bear, as once believed, but by a hominin - in other words, a species in the human lineage - and possibly a previously unknown one.
UK study finds mRNA COVID-19 vaccines provide biggest booster impact
COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna that use mRNA technology provide the biggest boost to antibody levels when given 10-12 weeks after the second dose, a British study published on Thursday has found. The "COV-Boost" study was cited by British officials when they announced that Pfizer and Moderna were preferred for use in the country's booster campaign, but the data has only been made publicly available now.
Madagascar food crisis caused more by poverty, natural weather than climate change - study
Poverty, poor infrastructure and natural weather variability are bigger contributors to Madagascar's food crisis than climate change, according to a study released on Thursday by international research collective World Weather Attribution.
But the crisis still highlights vulnerabilities that will only worsen as global temperatures continue to rise, scientists for the organization said.
Work and play in space? NASA awards $415.6 million for new space hubs
NASA announced on Thursday it has awarded $415.6 million to billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, stalwart contractor Northrop Grumman Corp and venture-backed Nanoracks to develop privately-owned and operated commercial space stations. The trio of awards are emblematic of the U.S. space agency's efforts to tap private companies to enable an American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit (LEO) as the iconic International Space Station potentially retires at the end of the decade.
Brain problems found in 1% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients; real-world data shows Moderna vaccine highly effective
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Brain problems seen in 1% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients
Hot little planet as dense as iron zips around red dwarf star
Scientists have spotted one of the smallest planets ever discovered outside our solar system, a scorching-hot world a bit larger than Mars and just about as dense as pure iron zooming around its home star every eight hours. The researchers said on Thursday they managed to detect the planet, located a relatively close 31 light years from Earth, and discern some of its important traits, illustrating the improvements in recent years in the ability to characterize smaller-sized planets beyond our solar system.
U.S. seeks norms for outer space after 'irresponsible' Russia test
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday criticized an "irresponsible" Russian test that endangered the International Space Station with debris, and the Biden administration laid out a new strategy for responsible use of space. Harris convened the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council and asked members of the government body to promote responsible civil, commercial and national security-related behavior in space, where there are growing commercial interests and concerns about Chinese and Russian competition.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)