MI weekly selection #240

NASA’s quieter supersonic jet zooms past milestone

A supersonic jet under development at NASA that would create a much quieter sound than the loud sonic booms produced by more conventional supersonic aircraft has passed a preliminary design review. The Quiet Supersonic Transport is meant to make a quiet thump when passing the speed of sound.


Personalized cancer vaccines show glimmers of success

Vaccines genetically personalized for individual cancer patients have shown promise in fighting off tumors in two small clinical trials. The vaccines appear to have prevented a relapse of cancer in a handful of patients across the studies.


Constant UV exposure may make perchlorates toxic to potential life on Mars

The soil on Mars may be too toxic to support microbial life. Researchers have found that when typically beneficial perchlorates in soil are exposed to the kind of constant ultraviolet radiation typical on Mars, they become toxic to bacteria, making life impossible.


Ancient humans in Africa moved around a lot

Two new studies suggest ancient humans who lived in Africa as far back as 6,000 years ago moved around much more than previously thought. Both studies examined the genomes of ancient humans, finding evidence of migrations.


New study supports safety of gene editing using CRISPR

A new study has called into question findings of an earlier study that suggested gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9 could cause undesirable mutations. The new study says the mutations found during the sequencing of the genomes of three CRISPR-edited mice were due to the fact that two of the mice were closely related and therefore had more mutations in common.

New Scientist

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