MI weekly selection #220

Signs of organic material spotted on Ceres

Evidence of the building blocks of life has been found on the dwarf planet Ceres. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected signs of organic molecules around the Ernutet crater.

Los Angeles Times

Radio receivers around the world linking up to see black hole

Astronomers think they’re very close to seeing what a black hole actually looks like, thanks to an array of radio receivers around the world linking up to create a massive “virtual telescope.” Scientists hope to get a glimpse of Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, during observations scheduled for April 5 to 14.

BBC

Scientists push for Zealandia to be recognized as continent

A potential new continent has been seen, mostly hidden under the Pacific Ocean but including New Zealand and New Caledonia, and geologists are arguing that it should be recognized officially as such in GSA Today. The area, called Zealandia, is about 5 million square kilometers, in a single piece of continental crust that is separate from Australia, the scientists note.

Nature

A handful of mutations let Ebola viruses jump species

Fewer than five mutations would allow Ebola viruses to infect a new species. Multiple types of rodents, which aren’t normally susceptible to Ebola viruses, began to spread disease to others of their species after multiple exposures to the viruses, and the authors said the findings raise the prospect of swine or canine infections that could also pose a danger to humans.

Science Daily

Use of antibiotics as a nonsurgical treatment for pediatric appendicitis

Antibiotic use alone yielded 97% efficacy and no adverse effects in children using nonsurgical treatment for appendicitis, and 82% of those who received antibiotics avoided appendectomy at a follow-up of eight weeks to four years. The findings, based on a review of 10 international studies, showed that 14% of those who didn’t undergo surgery had recurrent appendicitis.

The Guardian

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