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Methane-eating microbes in the ocean help moderate Earth’s temperature

Methane-eating microbes in the ocean help moderate Earth’s temperature

Science
June 14 (UPI) -- Methane-eating microbes in the planet's oceans play an unappreciated role moderating Earth's temperature, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Carbon dioxide is the most abundant and famous greenhouse gas, but methane is plentiful and its warming effect is more than 30 times more powerful. Most methane that ends up in the atmosphere is released by human activities, but several natural processes also produce methane: volcanic activity, subsurface water-rock interactions and microbial metabolism. The majority of naturally produced methane on Earth is produced by microbes, and much of that is in the ocean. Over the last decade or so, a number of studies have shown the planet's oceans to be home to a lot more me...
New vulnerable sites identified on surface of COVID spike protein that ‘could help future vaccine development’

New vulnerable sites identified on surface of COVID spike protein that ‘could help future vaccine development’

Technology
Scientists have discovered new vulnerable sites on the surface of the COVID-19 spike protein for antibodies which could help in the development of vaccines.Coronavirus is surrounded by spike proteins that it uses to enter and infect human cells. COVID vaccines work by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, have developed a detailed model of the spike protein to identify potential target sites on its surface for the antibodies.They said previous models have not shown the flexibility of the spike protein or the movements of the protective glycans - which they describe as chains of sugar molecules - that coat it. ...

Bengaluru lecturer loses bitcoins worth Rs 10 lakh to fraudster who offered help on app

Finance
(This story originally appeared in on Mar 17, 2021)BENGALURU: A 38-year-old lecturer who was new to the cryptocurrency world lost bitcoins worth Rs 10 lakh to a fraudster who had promised to handle his cryptocurrency account. Ramesh J (name changed), a resident of Palace Gutahalli and lecturer with a private college, lodged a complaint with Central CEN police on Saturday. According to the complainant, the incident took place on February 22. Police sources said Ramesh recently logged in to CoinSwitch Kuber, a trading platform to buy, sell and manage cryptocurrency. In order to understand the trading process, he also logged in to a few cryptocurrency rooms on Telegram mobile application, where people would share their views. An account hacker who messaged Ramesh personally said he could han...
Wild genes may help domesticated peaches adapt to climate change

Wild genes may help domesticated peaches adapt to climate change

Science
March 9 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered genes that help wild peaches tolerate a variety of climate stressors. The genes could be reintroduced to domesticated peaches to help the stone fruits adapt to climate change. For the study, scientists sequenced and analyzed the genomes of wild peaches and landraces -- varieties that have adapted over hundreds of years to specific climate conditions -- across seven regions of China. Advertisement The survey, published Tuesday in the journal Genome Research, revealed the genes that help the wild relatives of the domestic peach, Prunus persica, survive cold spells, drought and elevated levels of ultraviolet radiation. "Our study provides many candidate genes, showing how peach has adapted to all kinds of environmental stresses and stimuli," study ...
Instagram photos help Facebook AI ‘teach itself’

Instagram photos help Facebook AI ‘teach itself’

Technology
FacebookOne billion public-facing Instagram photos were used to train an algorithm created by Facebook to learn to recognise images by itself.Traditionally, algorithms have been trained on datasets which have already been categorised by humans - labelled cats, dogs or flowers, for example.But the Instagram photos were presented to the algorithm without the labelling.Afterwards it was able to correctly identify images with 84.5% accuracy, Facebook reported.Facebook has called its system Seer, an abbreviation of self-supervised. AI expert Calum Chase said the system "could be an important step towards the holy grail of computers with common sense" if it proved effective in the long term.There are other firms also working on similar processes.Facebook said that while this sort of technique ha...