January 25, 2022
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NASA's shiny new space telescope has entered orbit L2 around the sun after traveling nearly a million miles since it launched on Dec. 25. The James Webb Space Telescope is expected to start sending back its first images sometime this summer after spending the next few months undergoing instrument calibrations.
Full Story: CNN (1/24) 
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Science in the News
Honks help hippos identify each other
(David Silverman/Getty Images)
Hippos make distinctive noises known as wheeze-honks that help them identify each other, a study in Current Biology suggests. "This recognition ability supports the social relationships between individuals," says Nicolas Mathevon, who led the research.
Full Story: BBC (1/24) 
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The gut can tell the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners, and it communicates with the brain about them using different neural pathways, according to findings reported in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers monitored how the vagus nerve would take up sugar and artificial sweetener in mice via calcium imaging and found that neurons responded more strongly to sugar.
Full Story: The Scientist online (1/21) 
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The top layer of the moon's ancient magma ocean likely stopped churning and became stagnant, creating a lid that turned into the moon's crust, according to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters. Scientists say the magma may have separated into layers over hundreds of millions of years, with deeper levels remaining molten, while outer layers hardened.
Full Story: Space (1/19) 
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Two massive statues in the image of King Amenhotep III, the grandfather of King Tutankhamun, have been found in Egypt. The statues look like sphinxes, according to officials with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and were found alongside three statues of Sakhmet, a goddess who is depicted with the body of a woman and the head of a lion.
Full Story: Live Science (1/24) 
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A study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia found that keeping a person's body mass index stable may help provide some protection from dementia progression. The researchers found that people with non-stable BMIs experienced cognitive decline 60% faster than those who had stable BMIs.
Full Story: The Jerusalem Post (free registration) (1/21) 
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Researchers said that the protein alpha-synuclein, which has been associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, plays a critical role in helping the body's immune response fight against infection, according to a study found in Cell Reports. "Alarmins are endogenous proteins that both alert and direct the immune system to effectively tackle an infectious insult. [Alpha-synuclein] appears to be an alarmin," said Joost Oppenheim, one of the researchers.
Full Story: Parkinson's News Today (1/19) 
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Funding Watch
The University of Hawaii has received $50 million from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, the largest gift in the university's history. The money will be used to study the region's oceans and how they are affected by climate change.
Full Story: KHNL-TV/KGMB-TV (Honolulu) (1/19) 
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Sigma Xi News
Each year, Sigma Xi recognizes exceptional scientists and engineers for their achievements and contributions to the advancement of the research enterprise. The Committee on Awards seeks nominations for the 2022 Awards, which should be emailed to awards@sigmaxi.org by Jan. 31. Get additional nomination criteria and information on the awards.
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Sigma Xi is now accepting grant applications for the Spring 2022 cohort of our Grants in Aid of Research program. Undergraduate, master's, and PhD students from all STEM disciplines are encouraged to apply. Visit sigmaxi.org/giar to learn more.
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