April 21, 2021
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The genome of a black bear that lived during the Stone Age was recreated for the first time using DNA fragments found in the soil of Mexico's Chiquihuite Cave, and the process is described in Current Biology. The technique may help scientists learn more about evolution without having to have ancient fossils.
Full Story: Interesting Engineering (4/20) 
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Science in the News
Tyrannosaur fossils found in a group suggest they were a family unit and researchers say it was likely they lived and hunted as a pack. Evidence collected from the 74 million-year-old fossils suggests all five tyrannosaurs, which were of varying ages, likely died during a single event, possibly a flood, hinting at a pack lifestyle.
Full Story: New Scientist (free content) (4/20) 
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The New Horizons space probe crossed 50 astronomical units away from the sun over the weekend, and it marked the occasion by capturing an image of its fellow interstellar traveler Voyager 1, which is currently the farthest out of the long-distance probes. NASA scientists needed to mark the spot where Voyager 1 is within the star field in the image because it is so tiny.
Full Story: New Atlas (4/19) 
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Gases emitted by three different meteorites heated to high temperatures have offered scientists clues about the atmospheres of other planets, according to findings reported in Nature Astronomy. "We're trying to simulate in the laboratory this very early process when a planet's atmosphere is forming so we can put some experimental constraints on that story," said Myriam Telus, the study's co-author.
Full Story: Space (4/19) 
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Study explores hydrogen sulfide role in brain disease
A study in Scientific Reports that involved rats found hydrogen sulfide may block a brain cell gateway that helps the brain communicate. "This is an exciting finding as it gives us new insights about the role of hydrogen sulfide in various brain diseases, such as dementia and epilepsy," said researcher Mark Dallas at the University of Reading.
Full Story: Reading Chronicle (U.K.) (4/16) 
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A study published in the journal Brain found anhedonia, or the loss of the ability to experience pleasure, was a sign of frontotemporal dementia but not Alzheimer's disease. "Our findings point to the importance of considering anhedonia as a primary presenting feature of behavioral variant FTD and semantic dementia, with distinct neural drivers to that of apathy or depression," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (4/15) 
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A study of 84 breastfeeding women in Israel, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that after receiving two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, they had "robust" amounts of antibodies in samples of their breast milk for 6 weeks post-vaccination. Researchers saw no serious adverse effects in mothers or their infants, although transient fever and upper respiratory tract infection symptoms were seen in a number of infants.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (4/19) 
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Funding Watch
NASA is providing a $500,000 grant to an internal team to support research on the development of a future Lunar Crater Radio Telescope. The lunar telescope would function in much the same way as the recently destroyed Arecibo telescope did, scanning for radio waves and boosting them for better analysis.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (4/16),  The Hill (4/16) 
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Editor's Note
Revisit an interview with Ariana Sutton-Grier, a past recipient of the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, as she explains her work on climate change mitigation and why we all might feel a little better by "getting out" a bit more often. Read more.
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Join us this November in Niagara Falls, New York for Sigma Xi's 2021 Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference. This year's theme is Roots to Fruits: Responsible Research for a Flourishing Humanity - How scientific virtues serve society. The conference is open to both members and non-members. Register today!
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