Titan’s Lakes are Surprisingly Deep, Have Methane-Dominated Composition, Says Cassini Team

sci-news.com – Radar data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have revealed that small lakes in the northern hemisphere of Saturn’s hazy moon Titan are surprisingly deep (approximately 330 feet, or 100 m), perched atop hills and filled with methane.

Source: S.P.D. Birch, et al. Raised Rims around Titan's Sharp-Edged Depressions. Geophysical Research Letters, 2018.

The mummy speaks: Ancient Egyptian priest's voice recreated by scientists

cbc.ca – Researchers say they've mimicked the voice of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy by recreating much of its vocal tract using medical scanners, 3D printing and an electronic larynx.

Source: D. M. Howard, et al. Synthesis of a Vocal Sound from the 3,000 year old Mummy, Nesyamun ‘True of Voice’. Scientific Reports, 2020.

Damn, Look What Vesuvius Did to This Poor Guy's Brain

popularmechanics.com – Straight-up turned it into glass.

Source: Pierpaolo Petrone, et al. Heat-Induced Brain Vitrification from the Vesuvius Eruption in c.e. 79. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.

No, the Wuhan Virus Is Not a 'Snake Flu'

wired.com – One paper advanced a controversial theory about the disease's origin. Other scientists aren't biting.

Source: Wei Ji, Wei Wang, Xiaofang Zhao, Junjie Zai, Xingguang Li. Homologous recombination within the spike glycoprotein of the newly identified coronavirus may boost cross‐species transmission from snake to human. Journal of Medical Virology, 2020.

Earth’s Oldest Known Meteorite Impact Structure Identified

sci-news.com – The 70 km-diameter Yarrabubba impact structure in Western Australia is approximately 2.23 billion years old, according to new research led by Curtin University scientists.

Source: Timmons M. Erickson, Christopher L. Kirkland, Nicholas E. Timms, Aaron J. Cavosie, Thomas M. Davison. Precise radiometric age establishes Yarrabubba, Western Australia, as Earth’s oldest recognised meteorite impact structure. Nature Communications, 2020.

Astrophysicists One Step Closer to Unlocking Mystery of Superluminous Supernovae

sci-news.com – SN 2006gy, a superluminous supernova discovered in 2006, gained its exceptional brightness when a normal Type Ia explosion smashed into a dense shell of stellar material, according to new research led by Stockholm University astrophysicists.

Source: Anders Jerkstrand, Keiichi Maeda, Koji S. Kawabata. A type Ia supernova at the heart of superluminous transient SN 2006gy. Science, 2020.

Snake's venom glands grown in lab for first time

upi.com – Scientists have successfully grown organoids composed of snake venom gland cells in the lab. The mini glands successfully produced the active toxins that compose snake venom.

Source: Yorick Post, et al. Snake Venom Gland Organoids. Cell, 2020.

California needs to set more fires

popsci.com – From the 1930s to the 1970s, the Forest Service put out all fires on its lands, and state agencies followed suit in this fire suppression policy. But then, officials realized that extinguishing every ember had left mountains covered with leaf litter, twigs, and dense stands of trees—all of which enable fires to grow large and hot, clawing their way from the ground and into canopies. That’s why the officials in California and the West have been trying to return the forest to a more natural...

Source: Rebecca K. Miller, Christopher B. Field, Katharine J. Mach. Barriers and enablers for prescribed burns for wildfire management in California. Nature Sustainability, 2020.

New T-cell Has Potential for Universal’ Cancer Therapy

nextbigfuture.com – Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a new type of killer T-cell that offers hope of a “one-size-fits-all” cancer therapy. T-cells with the new TCR were shown, in the lab, to kill lung,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Source: Michael D. Crowther, et al. Genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9 screening reveals ubiquitous T cell cancer targeting via the monomorphic MHC class I-related protein MR1. Nature Immunology, 2020.

Severed nerves repaired in monkeys thanks to tubes of growth protein

newscientist.com – A synthetic tube filled with a growth protein can span the gap between severed nerves, helping them to regenerate and restore gripping abilities in macaques

Source: Neil B. Fadia, et al. Long-gap peripheral nerve repair through sustained release of a neurotrophic factor in nonhuman primates. Science Translational Medicine, 2020.