MI weekly selection #564

Photo by Josh Olalde / Unsplash

Earth’s inner core may have started slowing spin in 2010

Seismograms confirm Earth’s inner core has slowed its rotation for the first time in decades, possibly beginning in 2010 because of gravitational pull or the liquid iron outer core’s constant motion, which generates the planet’s magnetic field. The slowdown could change the length of a day on Earth, but only “on the order of a thousandth of a second,” says John Vidale, an author of the paper.

Full Story: ScienceAlert

Ozone-harming gases drop ahead of schedule

Levels of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases are dropping faster than predicted after peaking in 2021, five years ahead of expectations. HCFCs and CFCs, which originate mostly in aerosol sprays, air conditioning and refrigeration, have been the target of reduction efforts since the 1987 Montreal protocol, an international agreement that study author Luke Western credits for the drop, along with stricter national regulations and industry shifts.

Full Story: The Guardian (London)

Three-layer textile could cool people

Clothing that leverages radiative cooling, or the natural radiation of heat from objects to space, could keep people cooler than other fabrics. The three-layer material’s inner layer is wool, cotton or another common clothing fabric, with a silver-nanowire core and a top layer of polymethylpentene, a plastic that emits infrared radiation and neither reflects nor absorbs most wavelengths.

Full Story: New Scientist

Gene editing looks into tardigrades’ drought tolerance

Gene-edited microscopic tardigrades could reveal how genes help the animals survive extreme temperatures and drought, which could in turn transform the donation, transportation and transplant of human organs, researchers write in PLOS Genetics, describing a study that uses a novel technique called direct parental CRISPR. Researchers hope that deeper understanding of tardigrades’ survival of long stretches of extreme dehydration could apply to whether human organs might be successfully dehydrated and rehydrated.

Full Story: Popular Science

Synthethic cell mimics biological response

Researchers reported about the development of a minimal synthetic cell capable of symmetry breaking with chemical cues. The next step is to enable the synthetic cells to move toward a target, which could help with drug delivery.

Full Story: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

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