Good News Friday: From Rare Dinosaur Fossils to Mysterious Deep-Sea Holes
14:31 GMT 12.08.2022 (Updated: 14:47 GMT 12.08.2022)
TGIF, folks, so now's the time to take a pause from political and economic developments and take a look at Sputnik’s digest of this week’s most optimistic stories.
'DiaBeats' to Fight Diabetes
A team of Indian scientists from Maharashtra state has hammered out an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to help predict the increased risk of developing pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes.
Called ‘DiaBeats’, the algorithm is derived from analyzing an individual's heartbeat recorded on an ECG (electrocardiogram). With an estimated 463 million adults around the world suffering from diabetes in 2019, the new algorithm, which detects the disease in its early stages, might be key to preventing subsequent serious health problems.
No More Animals in Preclinical Tests?
Scientists from Russia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have invented a way to end the controversial use of lab animals in preclinical research into cancer radiotherapy.
They developed three-dimensional dosimetric phantoms - or models - of lab rats or mice, which can completely replace these animals at certain stages of the trials, according to the university's press service.
Anna Grigorieva, a postgraduate student at the TPU Research School of High-Energy Physics, told Sputnik that the scientists “focused not only on creating phantoms but also on developing devices to increase the efficiency of radiation therapy and minimize the radiation dose to healthy tissues”.
Rare Dinosaur Remains Unearthed in Argentina
Paleontologists have announced the discovery of a previously unknown small armored dinosaur in southern Argentina, a creature that they believe probably walked upright on its hind legs about 100 million years ago.
Researchers explained that the Yakapil Kanyukura dinosaur had its own natural armor and was well-protected by rows of bony plates along its neck, back and up to its tail. The dinosaur was about 1.5 meters long and weighed only 4-7 kg. Its fossilized remains were excavated near a dam in Patagonia in the La Buitrera paleontological area of Argentina’s Río Negro province.
Mysterious Deep-Sea Holes Tracked in Atlantic
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered mysterious holes on the seabed around the mid-Atlantic Ridge, hundreds of meters below the surface.
Researchers were initially in the dark about what led to the holes’ creation, with NOAA even asking people on social media to provide ideas. Now, however, NOAA has collected water samples from the area in an attempt to find some “environmental DNA” that might shed light on this mystery, according to Newsweek.
Manufacturing Metal on Mars?
A team of scientists from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia has devised a method to produce iron on Mars.
The new technique could prove invaluable if possible future expeditions to Mars were to attempt to build large structures on the red planet without depending on shipments from Earth.
The method proposed by the team involves using carbon – “sourced from the cooling of carbon monoxide produced from CO2 electrolysis from the Martian atmosphere” – as a reducing agent to extract iron from the Martian regolith via carbothermic reaction.