MI weekly selection #172


Mars’ magnetic field shaken by close comet flyby

A comet streaking by Mars in 2014 wreaked havoc on the Red Planet’s fragile magnetic field, according to data collected by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft, according to NASA.


Bacteria found in Japanese recycling center evolves to consume plastic

A bacteria that thrives on plastic has been found in a Japanese recycling plant, and one day may be an answer to plastic pollution. Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 is a strain of bacteria that has evolved to consume polyethylene terephthalate, breaking it down in about six weeks.

The Christian Science Monitor

Heart disease risk linked to ‘good’ HDL cholesterol

So-called good cholesterol may not be so good after all. Researchers comparing the genomes of volunteers with high levels of high-density lipoprotein to those with low levels found that those with high levels have mutations in SR-BI protein that are linked to a higher risk for coronary heart disease.


Forty-six percent of California adults have prediabetes

Forty-six percent of California adults have prediabetes, higher than previous estimates of about 33%, while 55% overall had diabetes or prediabetes. Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the California Health Interview Survey and found that the state’s prediabetes rates increase with age, from 33% of adults ages 18 to 39 to 60% of those ages 55 to 69.

Los Angeles Times

Mini-fuel cell holds promise for phones, drones and cars

A new type of fuel cell miniaturized with a combination of thin-film electrolyte and porous stainless steel holds promise as a source of long-duration power for small applications such as cellphones and drones and larger ones such as cars. South Korean researchers developed the new solid oxide fuel cell with an eye to both improved performance and endurance over their silicon-based counterparts.


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