After Year on Ice, the Biggest Arctic Research Mission Is Done

The Polarstern amidst Arctic sea ice.

The Polarstern amidst Arctic sea ice.
Photo: NOAA, University of Colorado, Boulder, and MOSAiC

The largest Arctic research campaign in history just came to a close. For more than a year, a rotating group of roughly 500 scientists and staffers have been traveling the region on a research vessel called the Polarstern as part of the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate expedition, or MOSAiC.

The expedition began last September, when a team packed the ship with 1 million pounds of equipment and set off from Norway toward the North Pole. They then attached the vessel to an ice floe north of Siberia and let it carry them westward for thousands of miles. This allowed the multidisciplinary group of researchers to closely observe the Arctic’s air, ice, and ecosystems to learn more about them and their bearing on our changing climate.

The team studied everything from

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Arctic Science Mission Wraps Up as Research Ship Docks in Germany

After a year spent drifting across the top of the world, frozen in sea ice, a German research ship returned home on Monday, ending the largest Arctic science expedition in history, one aimed at better understanding a region that is rapidly changing as the world warms.

The ship, the Polarstern, docked at its home port of Bremerhaven nearly 13 months after it left Norway. In October, it became deliberately frozen into the ice north of Siberia, about 350 miles from the North Pole, and drifted north and west for thousands of miles, leaving the little remaining ice for good late last month between Greenland and Norway.

The expedition, with a rotating contingent of about 100 scientists, technicians and crew, encountered nosy polar bears, fierce storms that damaged equipment, thin ice conditions and, most critically, the coronavirus pandemic that scrambled logistics. There were also accusations of sexual discrimination and harassment aboard

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Nearly Half of South America’s Mammals Came from North America, New Research May Explain Why | Smart News

North and South America haven’t always been connected. South America functioned as a continent-sized island for millions of years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, incubating its own strange assembly of animals such as giant ground sloths, massive armored mammals akin to armadillos and saber-toothed marsupial carnivores. Meanwhile, North America was exchanging animals with Asia, populating it with the ancestors of modern horses, camels and cats, writes Asher Elbein for the New York Times.

Finally, when tectonic activity formed the Isthmus of Panama roughly ten million years ago, a massive biological exchange took place. The many species that had been evolving in isolation from one another on both continents began migrating across the narrow new land bridge. Llamas, raccoons, wolves and bears trekked south, while armadillos, possums and porcupines went north.

It would be reasonable to expect this grand biological and geological event, known to paleontologists as the Great

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Research has helped underpin the formation of a nature reserve in Vietnam

Research has helped underpin the formation of a nature reserve in vietnam
An endangered red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) photographed in Khe Nuoc Trong. Credit: Bjornolesen.com/Viet Nature

Research by the University of Leeds and Utrecht University has helped secure the highest government protection for internationally-important Vietnamese forests. Over the past five years, conservation organization Viet Nature, and its partners World Land Trust, IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL), Birdlife International and researchers from the University of Leeds and Utrecht University have been working to protect the Khe Nuoc Trong forests—the last substantial area of lowland forest in Vietnam.


In August, the Vietnamese government agreed to formally protect Khe Nuoc Trong’s 22,132-hectare tract of Annamite lowland evergreen forests as a Nature Reserve, the country’s highest standard of protection.

The move delivers a safer home for 40 globally threatened species brought to brink of extinction by loggers and poachers. This includes singing gibbons, the spectacular peacock-like crested argus birds and the critically

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LVMH’s Arnault Gives $5.9 Million For Hometown Covid-19 Research

The Institut Pasteur laboratories in Lille, France.

Photographer: Adrienne Surprenant/Bloomberg

Luxury billionaire Bernard Arnault donated 5 million euros ($5.9 million) to researchers from his hometown of Lille, France, who are in the early stages of developing a treatment for Covid-19.

The researchers have identified a molecule that appears to be effective against the virus in laboratory experiments and are preparing to test it in people, according to a statement Friday from the Institut Pasteur in Lille. Arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of luxury giant LVMH, is originally from the Lille metropolitan area.

Hundreds of laboratories around the world are searching for ways to fight the pandemic that has upended society and smothered economies. A few experimental vaccines have reached the final stages of human testing, and some therapies, such as Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir, have been authorized for emergency use against the virus.

“The scientific

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HIV and lung cancer in East Africa: CWRU and UH secure research funds

Cleveland–Researchers with the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UHCMC) have secured $4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI) to establish an HIV-associated Malignancy Research Center (HAMRC) focused on lung cancer in East Africa.

The team will collaborate with Ugandan and Tanzanian researchers at the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Kampala, Makerere University Lung Institute, Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago National Hospital, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Muhumbili National Hospital and the Ocean Road Cancer Institute. The HAMRC will investigate novel approaches to characterize lung cancer epidemiology, somatic mutation burden, HIV and accelerated aging, and radiological features of lung cancer and the relationship to HIV-1 infection.

The focus of this new research center includes establishing national lung cancer diagnostic referral networks in Uganda and Tanzania, teleradiology telepathology, technology transference and training of early career investigators and

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Programmable medicine is the goal for new bio-circuitry research

Programmable medicine is the goal for new bio-circuitry research
Researchers Holt and Kwong. Credit: Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology

In the world of synthetic biology, the development of foundational components like logic gates and genetic clocks has enabled the design of circuits with increasing complexity, including the ability to solve math problems, build autonomous robots, and play interactive games. A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology is now using what they’ve learned about bio-circuits to lay the groundwork for the future of programmable medicine.


Looking like any other small vial of clear liquid, these programmable drugs would communicate directly with our biological systems, dynamically responding to the information flowing through our bodies to automatically deliver proper doses where and when they are needed. These future medicines might even live inside us throughout our lives, fighting infection, detecting cancer and other diseases, essentially becoming a therapeutic biological extension of ourselves.

We are years away from

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Moon’s magnetic crust research sees scientists debunk long-held theory — ScienceDaily

New international research into the Moon provides scientists with insights as to how and why its crust is magnetised, essentially ‘debunking’ one of the previous longstanding theories.

Australian researcher and study co-author Dr Katarina Miljkovic, from the Curtin Space Science and Technology Centre, located within the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin University, explained how the new research, published by Science Advances, expands on decades of work by other scientists.

“There are two long term hypotheses associated with why the Moon’s crust might be magnetic: One is that the magnetisation is the result of an ancient dynamo in the lunar core, and the other is that it’s the result of an amplification of the interplanetary magnetic field, created by meteoroid impacts,” Dr Miljkovic said.

“Our research is a deep numerical study that challenges that second theory — the impact-related magnetisation — and it essentially ‘debunks’ it. We

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3 Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Black Hole Research | Science News

By DAVID KEYTON, SETH BORENSTEIN and FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for establishing the all-too-weird reality of black holes — the straight-out-of-science-fiction cosmic monsters that suck up light and time and will eventually swallow us, too.

Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States explained to the world these dead ends of the cosmos that are still not completely understood but are deeply connected, somehow, to the creation of galaxies.

Penrose, an 89-year-old at the University of Oxford, received half of the prize for proving with mathematics in 1964 that Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted the formation of black holes, even though Einstein himself didn’t think they existed.

Genzel, who is at both the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, of the University of

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Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University Utilizes AMD EPYC Processors for Scientific Research

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have reported the deployment of AMD EPYC 7702 processors for use in a new high performance computing system.  The EPYC processor will be utilized in a supercomputer to deliver 2.36 petaflops of computing power as the institute plans to use for scientific research.  The Scientific Computing & Data Analysis Section of the institute plans to implement its new supercomputer to support intensive research from bioinformatics, computational neurosciences and physics.

“2020 is a milestone year for OIST with new research units expanding the number of research areas. This growth is driving a significant increase in our computational needs,” said Eddy Taillefer, Ph.D., Section Leader, Scientific Computing & Data Analysis Section. “Under the common resource model for which the computing system is shared by all OIST users we needed a significant increase in core-count capacity to both absorb these

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