Science News Roundup: Astronomers document a not-so-super supernova in the Milky Way; Ancient Egypt's mummification ingredients came from far-flung locales and more

Researchers on Wednesday unwrapped the results of biochemical examinations of 31 ceramic vessels that once held embalming substances at the archaeologically-rich Saqqara site near Cairo, deciphering the chemistry of the mummification practice used for millennia to prepare Egypt's dead for the afterlife. From ashes to fly larvae, new ideas aim to revive farm soil As extreme weather and human activity degrade the world's arable land, scientists and developers are looking at new and largely unproven methods to save soil for agriculture.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 02-02-2023 10:36 IST | Created: 02-02-2023 10:30 IST
Science News Roundup: Astronomers document a not-so-super supernova in the Milky Way; Ancient Egypt's mummification ingredients came from far-flung locales and more
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Astronomers document a not-so-super supernova in the Milky Way

Supernovas are not always so super. These explosions that mark the death of a star often are spectacularly energetic. But once in a while they are a complete dud. Scientists on Wednesday detailed one of the duds - a massive star that had so much of its material siphoned off by the gravitational tug of a companion star in a stellar marriage called a binary system that by the time it came to explode at the end of its life cycle it could barely manage a whimper.

Ancient Egypt's mummification ingredients came from far-flung locales

The ancient Egyptians employed a host of exotic ingredients - some apparently imported from as far away as Southeast Asia - to mummify their dead, as revealed by a new analysis of containers unearthed at an embalming workshop more than 2,500 years old. Researchers on Wednesday unwrapped the results of biochemical examinations of 31 ceramic vessels that once held embalming substances at the archaeologically-rich Saqqara site near Cairo, deciphering the chemistry of the mummification practice used for millennia to prepare Egypt's dead for the afterlife.

From ashes to fly larvae, new ideas aim to revive farm soil

As extreme weather and human activity degrade the world's arable land, scientists and developers are looking at new and largely unproven methods to save soil for agriculture. One company is injecting liquid clay into California desert to trap moisture and help fruit to grow, while another in Malaysia boosts soil with droppings from fly larvae. In a Nova Scotia greenhouse, Canadian scientist Vicky Levesque is adding biochar - the burnt residue of plants and wood waste - to soil to help apples grow better.

As ice recedes, Italian ship makes record journey into Antarctic

An Italian ice-breaker carrying scientists researching in the Antarctic has sailed further south than any ship has done before, the organisers of the voyage said on Tuesday, a further sign of how ice is retreating around the poles. The Laura Bassi vessel reached a point with the coordinates of 78° 44.280 S in the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea, according to Italy's National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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