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Science & Technology


Compression garments don't help muscles recover

Compression Garment
© Tohoku Univeristy
Compression garments are an elastic cloth fitting that people wear on their arms, legs, or hips during or after physical exercise. Their use has gained popularity over the last few decades because they are thought to enhance muscle recovery following exercise.

An international research team, led by assistant professor János Négyesi from Tohoku University's Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, performed a systematic review with meta-analysis to assess whether compression garments assist with muscle recovery.

Systematic reviews identify and synthesize data from all relevant studies, and sit at the highest level on the evidence-based medicine pyramid. The researcher's review used a generic inverse variance model, which adjusts the weight of individual studies according to sample size, to more accurately assess the effects of compression garments than previous meta-analyses.

Contrary to results found in individual research, the meta-analytical evidence suggests that wearing a compression garment during or after training does not facilitate muscle recovery.


NASA's Voyager 1 is sending back mysterious data from beyond our solar system

NASA Voyager
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Voyager 1 is sending mysterious data from beyond our solar system. Scientists are unsure what it means. Paola Rosa-Aquino May 19, 2022, 8:39 PM An illustration depicting one of NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft. Both Voyagers have entered interstellar space.
NASA's Voyager 1 is continuing its journey beyond our solar system, 45 years after it was launched. But now the veteran spacecraft is sending back strange data, puzzling its engineers.

NASA said on Wednesday that while the probe is still operating properly, readouts from its attitude articulation and control system — AACS for short — don't seem to match the spacecraft's movements and orientation, suggesting the craft is confused about its location in space. The AACS is essential for Voyager to send NASA data about its surrounding interstellar environment as it keeps the craft's antenna pointing right at our planet.

"A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission," Suzanne Dodd, a project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. "The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated." NASA said Voyager 1's twin, the Voyager 2 probe, is behaving normally.


Moon volcanoes may have spewed 18 quadrillion pounds of volcanic water

Rocket M rover lunar ice moon
© Masten Space Systems
The Rocket M rover will drill below the lunar surface for ice.
And its ice form could be mined for drinking water and rocket propellant.

The Moon's violent volcanic past may provide a vital lifeline for astronauts on future missions.

Those characteristic dark splotches on the Moon, also known as lunar maria, originated billions of years ago when a series of volcanic eruptions took place on the lunar surface.

Now, a new paper from researchers at CU Boulder predicts that those volcanoes may have also left ice sheets behind that may measure up to hundreds of feet thick in parts.

Light Saber

Laser weapons used in Ukraine - Russia

laser system
© Sputnik/Russia's Defense Ministry
Peresvet Laser System
Russia has developed its own anti-drone laser capability and is already using it in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov claimed in an interview on Wednesday. It has a range of 5km and was nicknamed Zadira, or 'troublemaker' in Russian, he said. He didn't disclose any other details about the new device.

The revelation came as Borisov was discussing the advanced weapons being developed in Russia. He compared the new tool to Peresvet, a laser system first unveiled by President Vladimir Putin in 2018, the exact purpose of which was not explained at the time.

The official confirmed that the Peresvet was designed to disable optic sensors, including on spy satellites orbiting the earth as high as 1,500 km.
"While Peresvet blinds, the new generation of laser weapons causes physical damage to the target, burning it through."


Did a 5th giant planet mess up the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune?

Artist rendering of an early solar system.
© NASA / JPL-Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC)
Artist rendering of an early solar system.
The solar system's current planetary orbits seem stable, but that's only because the planets have settled into them over billions of years. The early solar system was a much different place than that seen today, and for almost 20 years, scientists thought they had a good handle on how it got that way. But more recently, data had started pointing to some flaws in that understanding - especially about how the giant planets in the outer solar system got where they are today. Now an international team of astrophysicists thinks they have a better understanding of that process, and they believe it could help solve a long-standing argument about the early solar system.

Currently, the best model scientists have for the formation of the solar system is known as the Nice model, after the town in France, where it was first developed in 2005. As part of this model, the gas giants that currently reside in the outer fringes of this solar system originally orbited what became the sun much more closely with more circular orbits. However, something caused instability in the system that kicked those planets out into the much more unevenly spaced and oblong orbits we see them in today.

What exactly caused that anomaly has thus far been a mystery. However, a team comprised of researchers from Michigan State University, Zhejiang University, and the University of Bordeaux think they have an answer. It's as simple as dust in the (solar) wind.


Scouring through old Hubble images turned up 1,000 new asteroids

hubble space
Researchers have found over 1,700 asteroid trails in archived Hubble data from the last 20 years. While many of the asteroids are previously known, more than 1,000 are not. What good are another 1,000 asteroids? Like all asteroids, they could hold valuable clues to the Solar System's history.

As time passes and more and more telescopes perform more and more observations, their combined archival data keeps growing. Sometimes discoveries lurk in that data that await new analytical tools or renewed efforts from scientists before they're revealed. That's what happened in an effort called the Hubble Asteroid Hunter.

In 2019 a group of astronomers launched the Hubble Asteroid Hunter. It's a citizen science project on the Zooniverse platform. Their goal was to comb through Hubble data to find new asteroids.

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NASA footage captures 'doorway,' inspires theories of life on Mars

doorway on mars
The image of what looks to be a symmetrical, created Martian portal, captured May 7 by NASA’s Curiosity rover, has ignited a cosmic array of speculation.
It's not a stairway to heaven - it's a doorway on Mars.

The image of what looks to be a symmetrical, hand-hewn Martian portal, captured May 7 by NASA's Curiosity rover, has ignited a cosmic array of speculation, conspiracy theories and dreams of intelligent life on the red planet.

"If you zoom in all the way you can see Matt Damon crouching inside the doorway," noted one wise guy on Reddit.

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Natural machinery operates without intervention; but how?

Cell Kinesin molecular machine
© Discovery Institute.
The workhorse of the cell: kinesin
This article was originally published in 2015.

In Francis Bacon's day, it was easy to oversimplify nature. Elizabethan scientists began to conceive of a world that ran like a machine. Robert Boyle was a strong proponent of the mechanical philosophy. Soon, Isaac Newton's clockwork heavens reinforced the notion that all the Creator had to do was wind it up, and let it run all by itself. From Boyle to Babbage, the Newtonian revolution showed the way for scientific progress: just uncover the natural laws that make the universe run.

By the late 18th century and into Victorian times, mechanical philosophy was sufficient unto itself. An original Designer could be conceived of, perhaps, but as science progressed, the Prime Mover had less and less to do. Some argued that it was an insult to the Watchmaker to suggest he needed to intervene and fix the watch.

Then molecular biology arrived, and we found out the clocks are real. Literal machines made of molecules make life run. Simultaneously, the computer age dawned and we learned a bit about programming. Now, robotics is here. We're going to need a new philosophy: one that can handle realities the Elizabethans and Victorians could never have imagined.

Microscope 1

Developing cells take their ease in the curves

cells swell curved tissue
© Aurélien Roux
By bending “sheet” of cells, similar to the one that makes up our skin, the researchers noticed more precisely that the cells swelled to take the shape of small domes.
A UNIGE team shows that cells that make up our tissues increase in volume when tissues bend. A key discovery for the culture of in vitro organs

How do our cells organize themselves to give their final shape to our organs? The answer lies in morphogenesis, the set of mechanisms that regulate their distribution in space during embryonic development. A team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has just made a surprising discovery in this field: when a tissue curves, the volume of the cells that compose it increases instead of decreasing. This discovery opens new avenues for in vitro organ culture, a partial alternative to animal experimentation. It also suggests new perspectives for the production of certain materials. This research is published in the journal Developmental Cell.

In biology, the mechanisms that determine the distribution of cells in space to shape the form and structure of our tissues and organs are referred to as "morphogenesis". These mechanisms are at work during embryonic development and explain how, for example, the folds of our intestines or the alveoli of our lungs are formed. In other words, these phenomena are at the basis of our development and that of all living beings.


New magnetic phenomenon discovered with industrial potential

New Magnetism
© Ori Lerman
Illustration of edge magnetism discovered in CrGeTe3 using nanoscale magnetic microscopy.
Working with the tiniest magnets, Hebrew University discovers a new magnetic phenomenon with industrial potential.

For physicists, exploring the realm of the very, very small is a wonderland. Totally new and unexpected phenomena are discovered in the nanoscale, where materials as thin as 100 atoms are explored. Here, nature ceases to behave in a way that is predictable by the macroscopic law of physics, unlike what goes on in the world around us or out in the cosmos.

Dr. Yonathan Anahory at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)'s Racah Institute of Physics led the team of researchers, which included HU doctoral student Avia Noah. He spoke of his astonishment when looking at images of the magnetism generated by nano-magnets, "it was the first time we saw a magnet behaving this way," as he described the images that revealed the phenomenon of "edge magnetism."

The images showed that the magnetic material the HU researchers were studying only retained magnetism on its edge — in fact only within 10 nanometers of the edge (remember a human hair is around 100,000 nanometers). Their results were recently published in the prestigious journal Nano Letters.