Science News Roundup: How many ants are crawling on Earth? Scientists say 20 quadrillion; Russia is likely to take part in International Space Station until 2028 -RIA and more
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
How many ants are crawling on Earth? Scientists say 20 quadrillion
The world's human population is forecast to surpass 8 billion in the coming months. Compared to ants, that is a mediocre milestone. Researchers have made the most thorough assessment to date of the global population of ants - insects that have colonized almost everywhere on the planet - and the estimated total is a mind-blowing 20 quadrillion of them, or approximately 2.5 million for every human.
Russia is likely to take part in International Space Station until 2028 -RIA
Yury Borisov, head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency, said on Wednesday that Russia is highly likely to participate in the International Space Station (ISS) project until 2028, the RIA news agency reported. Russia has said it would be ready to extend a deal with the United States to share flights to the ISS beyond 2024 if the first three flights are successful.
Meet Japan's cyborg cockroach, coming to a disaster area near you
If an earthquake strikes in the not-too-distant future and survivors are trapped under tonnes of rubble, the first responders to locate them could be swarms of cyborg cockroaches.
That's a potential application of a recent breakthrough by Japanese researchers who demonstrated the ability to mount "backpacks" of solar cells and electronics on the bugs and control their motion by remote control.
Saudi Arabia's mission to the International Space Station next year aboard a SpaceX capsule will include a woman who would become the world's first female Arab astronaut, according to Axiom Space, the U.S. company arranging the mission for the kingdom. Neither Axiom nor the Saudi government provided the name for the female astronaut, who will be accompanied by another Saudi and two Americans as part of Axiom's second private mission to the space station, slated for early 2023.
(With inputs from agencies.)