October 8, 2021
SIGMAXI SmartBrief
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Top Story
A space object called 2005 QN173 is both a comet and an asteroid, according to a study set for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The object is icy, leaves a dust trail like a comet and has an orbit of an asteroid, circling the sun on the outer edges of the asteroid belt, researchers say.
Full Story: Space (10/6) 
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Science in the News
Scientists have created a prototype robot that can both walk and fly to demonstrate how it might one day be able to handle difficult tasks that other robots or humans can do, according to findings detailed in Science Robotics. The robot, called LEONARDO, short for LEgsONboARD drone, was influenced by characters in "Astro Boy" and "Iron Man" and can be seen walking, flying down a flight of stairs, navigating a slackline and riding a skateboard in a video showcasing its capabilities.
Full Story: Gizmodo (10/6) 
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Preventing asteroid collision is all about timing
(Nasa/Getty Images)
Blowing up an asteroid on a collision course with Earth with little or no fallout is possible, but it all comes down to when the incoming object is hit, a study in Acta Astronautica suggests. The more notice we have of an impending collision, the better our chances to use late-time small-body disruption, or asteroid nuking, to destroy it or change its course, according to various simulations.
Full Story: ScienceAlert (Australia) (10/7) 
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Three of the remaining 24 glaciers in Europe's Pyrenees mountains have shrunk to the point where they are no longer moving, say researchers who used drones, satellite images, field surveys and algorithms to study the glaciers. "We can argue with confidence that Pyrenean glaciers are in extreme jeopardy and could disappear or become residual ice patches in the next decades," says Jesus Revuelto, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council and the corresponding author of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Full Story: Eos (10/4) 
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Six dogs from around the world that learned the names of more than 28 toys took part in the Genius Dog Challenge, a study detailed in Royal Society Open Science. All of the dogs learned the names of 11 or 12 new toys within a week and remembered the names of toys they hadn't seen for two months, and researcher Shany Dror likened their level of learning to that of children around 18 months old.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (10/5),  Inverse (10/5) 
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Men who had weight loss surgery had a five-fold higher risk of death within 30 days, compared with women, possibly linked to age and overall health, researchers reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference. Men also had higher mortality risks than women on the day of the bariatric surgery and over a mean 5.4-year follow-up period.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (9/30) 
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A study in JAMA Network Open found that patients who received treatment for obstructive sleep apnea may have reduced odds of developing dementia in later life. Researchers evaluated MRI images of patients and found a significant association between sleep apnea severity and white matter hyperintensities.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (10/5) 
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Strategies and Practices for Online Learning
As the new school year began, the COVID-19 Delta variant made plans for in-person learning incredibly uncertain, and made the potential shift to online learning higher. Join a discussion that will provide valuable strategies and key elements for implementing online learning, from emergency preparedness to designing an integrated long-term program. Watch Now!
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Funding Watch
The University of Michigan is embarking on a three-year project to manufacture lower-limb exoskeletons for older people who have mobility issues. The university received a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutions of Health for the project.
Full Story: WDIV-TV (Detroit) (10/4) 
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Sigma Xi News
Featuring the theme Roots to Fruits: Responsible Research For a Flourishing Humanity, this year's conference is not to be missed! In addition to recurring tracks that span all scientific disciplines, dedicated tracks will highlight themes of scientific integrity, ethics and how scientific virtues serve society. Join us online, November 4-7!
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Non-student members of Sigma Xi are invited to review abstract submissions and serve as judges for the upcoming Student Research Conference. Reviewers are needed immediately to assess recent abstract submissions for student presentations. Judges will serve as evaluators during the virtual conference, taking place November 4-7. Sign up today.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Columbus Day in the US and in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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You can't control the success or failure of a thing you work on. You can only control the thing you work on.
Lin-Manuel Miranda,
composer, lyricist, singer, actor, playwright, producer
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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