MI weekly selection #490

Source: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI)

Best-explored planet outside our solar system

WASP-39b, a boiling Saturn-like planet 700 light-years away from the sun has become the best-explored planet outside our solar system, as the James Webb Space Telescope’s observations have yielded a trove of information about the exoplanet’s atmosphere. Laura Kreidberg, director of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, said the “early observations are a harbinger of more amazing science to come” with the telescope.

Full Story: Space.com

Gene replacement restores night vision

An experimental gene therapy has restored the night vision of two people with leber congenital amaurosis, a congenital eye disorder. The experiment replaced defective genes that code for a protein essential to the function of cells in the retina.

Full Story: Live Science

33 bacterial pathogens caused 7.7M deaths in 2019

Research published in the journal The Lancet indicates that 33 bacterial pathogens were associated with 7.7 million deaths in 2019, representing 13.6% of all deaths. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were responsible for nearly 55% of the deaths among pathogens studied, and S. aureus was the most common bacterial cause of death in 135 nations.

Full Story: HealthDay

Artificial neural networks benefit from “sleep”

Mimicking the patterns of human sleep may help artificial neural networks form and maintain memories. “The brain is very busy when we sleep, repeating what we have learned during the day,” said Maxim Bazhenov, professor of medicine and a sleep researcher at the University of California, San Diego.

Full Story: ScienceDaily

Uncrewed spacecraft flies above moon in Artemis 1 mission

The uncrewed Orion spacecraft flew around 130 kilometers away from the moon on day five of the Artemis 1 mission. “I think this is an historic day for Nasa, but it’s also an historic day for all the people who love human space flight and deep space exploration,” said Howard Hu, the Orion program manager.

Full Story: CNBC

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