There Are Few Good COVID Antivirals, but That Could Be Changing

COVID caseloads have plummeted in many areas with high vaccination rates. But as the number of people being infected daily worldwide still exceeds 400,000 and the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads rapidly, treatment options are limited. Two of the current best available treatments, monoclonal antibodies and the drug remdesivir, are given by…

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Thawing Permafrost Is Artificially Chilled to Stabilize Alaska Oil Pipeline

Thawing permafrost threatens to undermine the supports holding up an elevated section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, jeopardizing the structural integrity of one of the world’s largest oil pipelines and raising the potential of an oil spill in a delicate and remote landscape where it would be extremely difficult to clean up. The slope of permafrost…

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Western Heat Wave ‘Virtually Impossible’ without Climate Change

The blistering heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest last month would have been “virtually impossible” without the influence of climate change, scientists say. In fact, it was nearly impossible even with it. That’s according to a new study from World Weather Attribution, a climate research initiative that investigates the influence of climate change on…

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Black Holes Swallow Neutron Stars in a Single Bite, New Results Suggest

For the first time, scientists have without a doubt observed not one but two collisions between black holes and neutron stars. These two separate mergers occurred 10 days apart in January 2020 and were seen by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo facilities, which detect invisible gravitational waves. The achievement marks the long-awaited…

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Unprecedented Heat Wave in Pacific Northwest Driven by Climate Change

A blistering heat wave obliterated high temperature records in Oregon and Washington over the weekend, ratcheting up risks for deaths and fires, and underscoring the dangers of climate change. Portland, Oregon’s biggest city, hit a sweltering all-time high of 112 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday at its international airport, the National Weather Service said. That broke a…

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Deleted Coronavirus Genome Sequences Trigger Scientific Intrigue

Efforts to study the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic have received help from a surprising source. A biologist in the United States has ‘excavated’ partial SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from the beginnings of the pandemic’s probable epicentre in Wuhan, China, that were deposited — but later removed — from a US government database. The partial…

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Artificial Proteins Never Seen in the Natural World Are Becoming New COVID Vaccines and Medicines

Late on a Friday night in April 2020, Lexi Walls was alone in her laboratory at the University of Washington, waiting nervously for the results of the most important experiment of her life. Walls, a young structural biologist with expertise in coronaviruses, had spent the past three months working day and night to develop a…

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New Radioactivity Measurement Could Boost Precision of Dark Matter Experiments

A concentration of one part per billion is like a pinch of salt in 10 tons of potato chips—and scientists can now find radioactive particles at concentrations millions of times smaller. In the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, researchers describe successfully detecting radioactive uranium and thorium hiding among something like a million billion other atoms.…

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New Technique Grows Realistic Bone in a Dish

It’s one of the most challenging organs to re-create Credit: Thomas Fuchs Laboratory-grown organoids—tiny cellular structures that mimic an organ’s anatomy and functions—are becoming increasingly useful in medical research. Such micro-models of the brain, lungs and other organs have been around for years, but creating them for bone tissue has proved uniquely difficult. Bone stands…

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