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Scents of Science

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Bat ‘super immunity’ may explain how bats carry coronaviruses, study finds

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick -- research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals.... Continue Reading →

Vitamin D levels appear to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates

After studying global data from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates. Led by Northwestern University, the research team conducted a statistical analysis of data from hospitals and... Continue Reading →

Asteroid grazes path of satellites in geostationary ring

A reasonably small 4-8 m asteroid recently flew by Earth, passing close to satellites orbiting in the geostationary ring at a distance of about 42 735 km from Earth’s center and only about 1200 km from the nearest satellite. After... Continue Reading →

Shining a Light on Dark Matter

Dark matter, although invisible, makes up most of the universe’s mass and creates its underlying structure. Dark matter’s gravity drives normal matter (gas and dust) to collect and build up into stars and galaxies. Although astronomers cannot see dark matter, they can... Continue Reading →

Scientists regenerate neurons in mice with spinal cord injury and optic nerve damage

Like power lines in an electrical grid, long wiry projections that grow outward from neurons -- structures known as axons -- form interconnected communication networks that run from the brain to all parts of the body. But unlike an outage... Continue Reading →

Eyes send an unexpected signal to the brain

For decades, biology textbooks have stated that eyes communicate with the brain exclusively through one type of signaling pathway. But a new discovery shows that some retinal neurons take a road less traveled. New research, led by Northwestern University, has... Continue Reading →

The Ion Tail of New Comet SWAN

Newly discovered Comet SWAN has already developed an impressive tail. The comet came in from the outer Solar System and has just passed inside the orbit of the Earth. Officially designated C/2020 F8 (SWAN), this outgassing interplanetary iceberg will pass its closest to the Earth on May... Continue Reading →

Syphilis eludes immune attack by altering a single gene

The bacterium that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum, likely uses a single gene to escape the immune system, research from UW Medicine in Seattle suggests. The finding may help explain how syphilis can hide in the body for decades, thereby frustrating the... Continue Reading →

The Kepler-90 Planetary System

Do other stars have planetary systems like our own? Yes -- one such system is Kepler-90. Cataloged by the Kepler satellite that operated from Earth orbit between 2009 and 2018, eight planets were discovered, giving Kepler-90 the same number of known planets as our Solar System. Similarities... Continue Reading →

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