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NASA scientists say the eruption of a submarine volcano in Tonga is serving to them to know how options shaped on the surfaces of Mars and Venus. The bizarre explosion presents an opportunity to review how water and lava work together. The volcanic island, which started to type in 2015, piqued the curiosity of researchers at NASA’s Goddard Area Flight Heart, due to its similarity to buildings on our planetary neighbours. Volcanic islands usually final for simply months earlier than being eroded away, however Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai survived for years, permitting them to make use of satellite tv for pc observations and seafloor surveys to review how such islands type, erode and persist.
Proof from Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (NBA) gamers and workers means that the swift unfold of the Omicron coronavirus variant just isn’t as a result of it causes a excessive viral load. Researchers analysed the treasure trove of COVID-19 assessments collected as a part of the league’s strict well being and security protocols. For folks contaminated with Delta, the height degree of virus was much like or barely larger than that of these with Omicron. The outcomes recommend that Omicron’s hyper-transmissibility doesn’t stem from the discharge of enormous quantities of virus from contaminated folks. As a substitute, the perfect rationalization for its lightning-fast unfold is its potential to evade SARS-CoV-2 immunity brought on by both vaccination or previous an infection.
The NBA examine, and a separate examine in Switzerland, additionally recommend that 5 days of isolation won’t be sufficient to cease the unfold. In folks with breakthrough Delta infections, about half of the Swiss samples nonetheless held infectious virus 5 days after the people examined optimistic. 5 days after an preliminary optimistic take a look at for Omicron, about half of examined NBA personnel had viral hundreds excessive sufficient that they have been most likely nonetheless infectious.
Yesterday, an ageing-research initiative known as Altos Labs was launched with US$3 billion in preliminary financing from backers together with world’s richest particular person Jeff Bezos. It’s the newest in a surge of anti-ageing ventures that depend on ‘partial reprogramming’ utilizing Yamanaka components — 4 transcription components that may reprogram cells into an embryonic-like state that may give rise to totally different cell sorts. Research in rodents and in cultured mammalian cells have proven that partial reprogramming can dramatically reverse some indicators of ageing. But it surely’s nonetheless a thriller what processes underlie this rejuvenation. And there are dangers: reprogrammed cells readily type tumours often called teratomas, and a few Yamanaka components have been linked to most cancers.
Learn extra: Ageing — the mysteries of human longevity (Nature Outlook | 9 options plus related analysis papers)
Research of smartphone apps for psychological well being will not be rigorous sufficient to point out whether or not the apps are efficient in contrast with different remedies. Researchers examined 14 meta-analyses of 145 randomized management trials for mental-health interventions, together with remedies for despair, nervousness and smoking cessation. They discovered that not one of the trials confirmed “convincing proof” that the mobile-phone-based interventions had any impact, due to shortcomings within the examine designs. There was “extremely suggestive” proof that eight of the interventions have been simpler than controls that offered no remedy in any respect — which nonetheless is perhaps beneficial, provided that apps are vastly cheaper and extra extensively accessible than face-to-face interventions.
Options & opinion
The pandemic unleashed a staggering tide of preprint research, that are launched publicly earlier than they’ve been peer reviewed. The stakes had by no means been larger, swift motion was essential and pre-printing outcomes aided fast information sharing, which expedited analysis. But it surely uncovered the internal workings of the scientific course of to a brand new viewers and laid naked the perfect and worst of pandemic analysis. “We’re down a pathway of open science, and that pathway goes to speed up,” says physician-scientist Kyle Sheldrick. “Our selection just isn’t whether or not it happens or not; our selection is whether or not it happens responsibly.”
Learn extra: How COVID broke the proof pipeline (Nature | 14 min learn, from Might)
Flying is a difficult enterprise, however when you’re lower than a millimetre lengthy, issues get even more durable. At such tiny scales, the physics of flight modifications, so bugs have advanced methods to fly in miniature. Watch the never-before-seen flight techniques of a species of feather wing beetle.