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Science News Roundup: Abu Dhabi's Tawazun to build satellite centre with Airbus; 'Gnarly' tumor shows dinosaurs got cancer and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 06-08-2020 10:47 IST | Created: 06-08-2020 10:31 IST
Science News Roundup: Abu Dhabi's Tawazun to build satellite centre with Airbus; 'Gnarly' tumor shows dinosaurs got cancer and more
Representative image. Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Special Report: COVID opens new doors for China's gene giant

As countries scramble to test for the novel coronavirus, a Chinese company has become a go-to name around the world. BGI Group, described in one 2015 study as "Goliath" in the fast-growing field of genomics research, is using an opening created by the pandemic to expand its footprint globally. In the past six months, it says it has sold 35 million rapid COVID-19 testing kits to 180 countries and built 58 labs in 18 countries. Some of the equipment has been donated by BGI's philanthropic arm, promoted by China's embassies in an extension of China's virus diplomacy.

'Gnarly' tumor shows dinosaurs got cancer, too

When scientists first unearthed fossils of a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus in the badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada's Alberta province in 1989, they spotted a badly malformed leg bone they figured was a healed fracture. A fresh examination, researchers said on Monday, shows something different. The malformation was a manifestation of osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, making this Centrosaurus, which lived 76 million years ago, the first known example of a dinosaur afflicted by malignant cancer.

Scientists inspired by 'Star Wars' create artificial skin able to feel

Singapore researchers have developed "electronic skin" capable of recreating a sense of touch, an innovation they hope will allow people with prosthetic limbs to detect objects, as well as feel texture, or even temperature and pain. The device, dubbed ACES, or Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin, is made up of 100 small sensors and is about 1 sq cm (0.16 square inch) in size.

Convalescent plasma lowers COVID-19 death risk; exposure to common cold may limit disease severity

The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Convalescent plasma lowers COVID-19 death risk White House unveils partnership to boost quantum science education

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said on Wednesday the Trump administration is launching a national education partnership to expand access to K-12 quantum information science (QIS) education with major companies and research institutions. The public-private initiative with the National Science Foundation includes Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Web Services, Boeing Co, Alphabet Inc's Google, IBM Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp, Microsoft Corp, the University of Illinois and University of Chicago. The National Science Foundation is also awarding $1 million to QIS education.

'It came alive:' Astronauts recount wild ride home on SpaceX's Crew Dragon

U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, home two days from a landmark mission as NASA's first crew to fly a privately-built vehicle into orbit, recounted on Tuesday the loud, jarring ride they experienced through Earth's atmosphere before a safe landing at sea. Their splash-down on Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida - a mode of return for human spaceflight last used by NASA 45 years ago - capped the first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years.

Abu Dhabi's Tawazun to build satellite center with Airbus

Abu Dhabi state defense and security entity Tawazun is to build a satellite assembly, integration and testing center with Airbus in the United Arab Emirates' oasis city of Al Ain, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday. The center also intends to manufacture components for small to medium-sized communication, navigation, and hyperspectral satellites weighing between 50 and 250 kilograms, it reported.


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