Weekly Science News

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Weekly handpicked news from 3-Aug-2020 to 9-Aug-2020


Note: None of the news bits given here are written by Newanced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

Early Mars was Covered in Ice Sheets, Not Flowing Rivers


Source: The University of British Columbia


A large number of the valley networks scarring Mars’s surface were carved by water melting beneath glacial ice, not by free-flowing rivers as previously thought, according to new UBC research published today in Nature Geoscience. The findings effectively throw cold water on the dominant “warm and wet ancient Mars” hypothesis, which postulates that rivers, rainfall and oceans once existed on the red planet.


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New Study: The Quiet Sun is Much More Active Than We Thought


Source: Aalto University


For a long time, researchers have believed that there is not much of interest going on in the Sun during the passive period, therefore not worth studying. Now this assumption is showed to be false by Juha Kallunki, Merja Tornikoski and Irene Björklund, researchers at Metsähovi Radio Observatory, in their peer-reviewed research article published in Solar Physics. This is the first time that astronomers are systematically studying the phenomena of the solar minimum.


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Disposed PPE Could be Turned into Biofuel, Shows New COVID-19 Study


Source: Taylor & Francis Group


Plastic from used personal protective equipment (PPE) can, and should, be transformed into renewable liquid fuels – according to a new study, published in the peer-reviewed Taylor & Francis journal Biofuels. Experts from The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies have suggested a strategy that could help to mitigate the problem of dumped PPE – currently being disposed of at unprecedented levels due to the current COVID-19 pandemic – becoming a significant threat to the environment.


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How Thoughts Could One Day Control Electronic Prostheses, Wirelessly


Source: Stanford School of Engineering


Stanford researchers have been working for years to advance a technology that could one day help people with paralysis regain use of their limbs, and enable amputees to use their thoughts to control prostheses and interact with computers. The team has been focusing on improving a brain-computer interface, a device implanted beneath the skull on the surface of a patient's brain.


Original written by: Tom Abate

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NASA’s MAVEN Observes Martian Night Sky Pulsing in Ultraviolet Light


Source: NASA


Vast areas of the Martian night sky pulse in ultraviolet light, according to images from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. The results are being used to illuminate complex circulation patterns in the Martian atmosphere. The MAVEN team was surprised to find that the atmosphere pulsed exactly three times per night, and only during Mars’ spring and fall. The new data also revealed unexpected waves and spirals over the winter poles, while also confirming the Mars Express spacecraft results that this nightglow was brightest over the winter polar regions.


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