Frozen Embryos, Joro Spiders, and Space: A Diverse Dive into Science

Recent science news highlights the role of freezing embryos in IVF, the spread of Joro spiders across the U.S., Maya child sacrifices at Chichen Itza, NASA's simulation mishap concerning distressed astronauts, health effects of space travel from the Inspiration4 mission, and the delayed return of Boeing's Starliner crew.

Reuters | Updated: 13-06-2024 18:29 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 18:29 IST
Frozen Embryos, Joro Spiders, and Space: A Diverse Dive into Science
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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Explainer-How freezing embryos plays a crucial role in IVF

The Southern Baptist Convention voted Wednesday to condemn the use of in vitro fertilization and commend congregants who use alternative fertility therapies or adopt frozen embryos. In February, the practice of freezing embryos was thrown into chaos in Alabama. The state supreme court ruled that such embryos should be considered children, exposing clinics to wrongful death claims in the event they are destroyed in the thawing process. The state later passed a law protecting IVF and allowing clinics to resume operations.

Scary but shy Joro spiders spread to US gardens, parking lots

Scary Joro spiders the size of a human hand are spreading across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and heading north. The East Asian species is named after the mythical Japanese creature Jorogumo, which can turn into a beautiful woman and trap men with silk. With blue-black and yellow stripes, long legs and sometimes a splash of red, Joros may look terrifying but are actually quite shy.

Maya sacrifice of twin boys revealed by DNA from Chichen Itza

In 1967, an underground cistern known as a chultun was discovered near a sacred body of water at Chichen Itza, an important ancient Maya city on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Skeletal remains of more than 100 children were found inside. Now, DNA obtained from 64 of them is offering insight into child sacrifice at Chichen Itza in the centuries before Europeans reached the New World. Those entombed were all boys - some of them brothers, including two sets of identical twins - killed during religious rituals, scientists said on Wednesday. Most were ages 3 to 6.

NASA accidentally broadcasts simulation of distressed astronauts on space station

NASA accidentally broadcast a simulation of astronauts being treated for decompression sickness on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, prompting speculation of an emergency in posts on social media. About 5:28 p.m. U.S. Central Time (2228 GMT), The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) live YouTube channel broadcast audio that indicated a crew member was experiencing the effects of decompression sickness (DCS), NASA said on its official ISS X account.

Data from all-civilian crew details health effects of space travel

When pediatric cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux and a trio of crewmates spent three days in space in 2021 as part of SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission, they made history not only as the first all-civilian team to orbit Earth. They also provided the most in-depth data on record regarding the effects of space travel on the human body. New research based on this data details changes in the brain, heart, muscles, kidneys and skin, immune regulation and stress levels and a breakdown in the activity of subcellular structures called mitochondria amid the microgravity environment, increased radiation and other factors in space.

NASA, Boeing push back Starliner's crewed return to June 18

NASA and Boeing said they expect to bring Starliner and its first astronaut crew back to Earth from the International Space Station as soon as June 18, later than previously scheduled as mission analysts examine issues that could affect its return. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft was originally expected to undock on Friday and return to Earth after launching its inaugural crew of two NASA astronauts from Florida on June 5. The mission is a crucial test before the U.S. space agency can certify Starliner for routine flights.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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