Science News Roundup: Fetus brains unharmed by non-severe COVID-19; cancer patients get benefit from mRNA vaccines; International Space Station swerves to dodge space junk and more
U.S. officials said last month that an anti-satellite missile test carried out by Russia had generated a debris field in low-Earth orbit that endangered the ISS and would pose a hazard to space activities for years.
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Fetus brains unharmed by non-severe COVID-19; cancer patients get benefit from mRNA vaccines
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. Fetus brain appears unharmed by mild-to-moderate COVID-19
International Space Station swerves to dodge space junk
The International Space Station (ISS) had to swerve away from a fragment of a U.S. launch vehicle on Friday, the head of Russia's space agency said, the latest in a series of incidents in which space debris have forced astronauts to respond. Calls to monitor and regulate space debris, or space junk, have grown since Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test last month. This generated a debris field in orbit that U.S. officials said would pose a hazard to space activities for years.
China publishes draft rules on herbicides for GM crops
China published draft rules on Friday outlining registration requirements for herbicides used on genetically modified crops, in another sign that Beijing is gearing up to allow greater use of GM technology in agriculture. The rules include guidelines on efficacy trials for herbicides used on herbicide-tolerant corn and soybeans, according to the statement on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs' website.
Omicron variant may have picked up a piece of common-cold virus
The Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 likely acquired at least one of its mutations by picking up a snippet of genetic material from another virus - possibly one that causes the common cold - present in the same infected cells, according to researchers. This genetic sequence does not appear in any earlier versions of the coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, but is ubiquitous in many other viruses including those that cause the common cold, and also in the human genome, researchers said.
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 new British study 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.
NASA chief to visit Russia in H1 2022 -Ifax cites Roscosmos
NASA chief Bill Nelson will visit Russia in the first half of 2022 to discuss further cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS), the Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing Russia's space agency Roscosmos. U.S. officials said last month that an anti-satellite missile test carried out by Russia had generated a debris field in low-Earth orbit that endangered the ISS and would pose a hazard to space activities for years.
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