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Lake Titicaca giant frog: Scientists join forces to save species

Lake Titicaca giant frog: Scientists join forces to save species

Science
Five scientific institutions are joining forces in a cross-border effort to preserve the Lake Titicaca giant frog (Telmatobius culeus).The frog is one of the world's largest exclusively aquatic frogs and lives in the waters of Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia. The aim of the project is to ensure the future of the endangered frog.The amphibian is threatened by pollution from mining and also by its use in traditional medicine. The scientists will study the habitat of the Lake Titicaca giant frog and also carry out genetic analyses to find out how to best protect the species. The frog lives its entire life in the waters of Lake Titicaca and nearby lagoons. It has loose, baggy skin which ripp...
Scientists discover ‘camouflage’ coronavirus enzyme

Scientists discover ‘camouflage’ coronavirus enzyme

Technology
Many workplaces require employees to possess special passes or know a code to enter the building, and the coronavirus has the same advantage when breaking into cells.Scientists have uncovered the structure of an enzyme called nsp16 which coronavirus uses to fool the immune system and gain access to host cells, which it hijacks to replicate itself. Understanding how nsp16 works could lead to new antiviral drugs for COVID-19 patients by inhibiting the enzyme in allowing the virus to slip past security. The enzyme is used to modify something called the messenger RNA cap, effectively a signature which tells the cells that the proteins they're being told to produce are the right ones."It's a camouflage," according to Dr Yogesh Gupta of the University of Texas, the lead author of the study w...
Scientists attempt to model spread of social unrest, riots

Scientists attempt to model spread of social unrest, riots

Science
July 21 (UPI) -- After a series of demonstrations and riots rippled across Chilean society in 2019, a team of researchers in Chile and Britain, including economists, mathematicians and physicists, decided to find out if social unrest follows predictable patterns. For their study, the results of which were published Tuesday in the journal Chaos, scientists combined epidemic models with analytical tools adapted from the physics of disorder. Advertisement Adopting the perspectives of social scientists and economists, researchers used their new model to analyze the trajectory of the 2019 social unrest in Chile. The findings showed the spread of riots today involve highly dynamic processes. According to the study's authors, traditional epidemic models are less able to predict the spread of uph...
Scientists release largest-ever 3D map of the universe

Scientists release largest-ever 3D map of the universe

Technology
Scientists have released the largest ever three-dimensional map of the universe, proving that it is basically flat and filling in an 11 billion year gap in its history."We know both the ancient history of the universe and its recent expansion history fairly well, but there's a troublesome gap in the middle 11 billion years," said Dr Kyle Dawson. Dr Dawson, a cosmologist at the University of Utah, lead the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) team which worked for the past five years to fill in that gap. Image: The map reveals the structure of the universe. NASA file pic. Their results were produced in an international collaboration with more than 100 astrophysicists taking part in something called the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectrosco...
Scientists shed light on how the blackest fish in the sea ‘disappear’

Scientists shed light on how the blackest fish in the sea ‘disappear’

Science
An ocean mystery - how the blackest fish in the deep sea are so extremely black - has been solved in a study that began with a very bad photograph. "I couldn't get a good shot - just fish silhouettes," said Dr Karen Osborn from the Smithsonian Institution. Her detailed study of the animal's "ultra-black" skin revealed that it traps light. While it makes the animals difficult to photograph, marine scientists say it provides the ultimate camouflage. The discovery, described in the journal Current Biology, could provide the basis for new ultra-black materials, such as coatings for the interior of telescopes or cameras. Several ultra-black species, according to the research, appear independently to ...