New gas giant exoplanet discovered by NGTS survey

An international team of astronomers has discovered a new gas giant alien world as part of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). The newly found exoplanet, designated NGTS-12b, is about the size of Jupiter, but more than four times less massive than the solar system’s biggest planet. The finding is reported in a paper published September 22 on arXiv.org.

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Breaking COVID-19’s ‘clutch’ to stop its spread

Scripps Research chemist Matthew Disney, Ph.D., and colleagues have created drug-like compounds that, in human cell studies, bind and destroy the pandemic coronavirus’ so-called “frameshifting element” to stop the virus from replicating. The frameshifter is a clutch-like device the virus needs to generate new copies of itself after infecting cells.

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Achieving invisibility: Cross-wavelength invisibility integrated with invisibility tactics

Invisibility is a superior self-protection strategy of long-standing interest in academia and industry, although the concept is thus far most popularly encountered in science fiction. In a new report on Science Advances, Su Xu and colleagues in engineering, nanotechnology, nanobionics and quantum information in China were inspired by the natural ecological relationship between transparent oceanic animals and their predators that employ a cross-wavelength detection strategy. The scientists proposed a new concept of cross-wavelength invisibility that integrated a variety of invisibility tactics. They presented a Boolean metamaterial design strategy to balance divergent material requirements across cross-scale wavelengths. As proof of concept, they simultaneously demonstrated longwave cloaking and shortwave transparency using a nanoimprinting technique. The work extended stealth techniques from individual strategies of invisibility targeting a single-wavelength spectrum to integrated invisibility targeting cross-wavelength applications. These experiments will pave the way to develop cross-wavelength integrated metadevices.

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Adaptive genetic markers identify the origins and dispersal of invasive species

The western area of the Iberian Peninsula could be determinant in the origin of the ancestral population of Drosophila subobscura, an invasive species widely spread across multiple latitudes. This is the conclusion of a study of adaptive genetic markers now published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which was led by Marta Pascual from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona.

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