April 12, 2024

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Updated human DNA map captures the diversity of life

A version of this story appeared in the CNN science newsletter Theory of Wonder. to get it in your inbox, Sign up for free here.

An international team of scientists has mapped approx Entire The human genome for the first time in two decades, breaking the genetic code of human life.

The global effort was a massive scientific work This achievement and voyage of discovery has helped researchers decipher the genetic underpinnings of complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The project also improved our understanding to Why humans evolved to have more mental strength than other animals and plants, and usher in a new era of biomedical research.

But the cartography was never complete. Now, scientists have unveiled a new chart that better captures the richness of human diversity.

Daryl Lega/NHGRI

Researchers have released the first human sex extract, a high-quality, more comprehensive reference that will help better detect genetic diseases.

The original human genome was mostly based on a single, anonymous individual, who responded to an ad call For project volunteers who appeared in The Buffalo (New York) Evening News in March 1997.

Each person’s genome is slightly different – by less than a percentage point from the next – but many genetic variants remain hidden to researchers due to reliance on a single reference genome.

a The new ‘pangenome’ includes the DNA of 47 individuals from All continents except Antarctica and Oceania. Concerned scholars said update It will improve our ability to diagnose disease and understand the genetic variants that lead to ill health, Among other developments.

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Getting a good night’s rest can make all the difference. NASA requires that astronauts get 8 1/2 hours of sleep each night on missions to avoid long-term sleep loss and errors caused by fatigue and health complications.

Sleeping properly in zero gravity can be difficult, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station suffer from sleep problems just like people on Earth.

Fortunately, the Anti-Stress Actions Lab at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, Evolution Tools Helping astronauts overcome sleep challenges.

Led by Dr. Erin Flynn Evans, the lab also conducts simulated space missions to understand how crew members perform when sleep is restricted while living on Mars or the Moon.


The Voyager Pro test model is an exact replica of the twin Voyager space probes launched in 1977.

The Voyager space probe lifted off in 1977. These two record-breaking figures are the only human-made objects outside the protective bubble of our sun, transmitting invaluable data about interstellar space.

Their cosmic travels were not planned for long distances – the two spacecraft were originally designed to operate for four years. Susan Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, calls them “old folks.”

“I kind of describe them as a twin sister,” Dowd said. “One has lost his hearing, needs some hearing aids, and another has lost some sense of touch. So, they fail differently over time. But overall, they are pretty healthy for their age.”

With care and monitoring, Dowd hopes to keep them leadership Operating missions for years to come.

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The world of privatized spaceflight is getting busier and bolder.

Virgin Galactic, the suborbital space tourism company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, is preparing for its debut Journey to the edge of space In nearly two years in late May. The company expects it to be the final test before Virgin Galactic can open rounds to paying customers after years of promises and missed deadlines.

Also looming is the possibility of a A Michelin-starred meal is served at the edge of the space15.5 miles (25 kilometers) above ground. “Advance tickets” for upcoming flights in a pressurized restaurant capsule, dubbed the Celeste, attached to a stratospheric balloon are already on sale.

B. Huertas / Trustees Museum of Natural History

This specimen of the Saurona triangula, a recently described species of butterfly, is in the collection of the Natural History Museum in London.

An international team of scientists discovered Hit the new butterflies in the flag In the collection of the Natural History Museum, London.

Their intricate wing patterns include black-and-white eye-dots on the orange-tipped hind wings, which inspired researchers to name the genus Saurona — a nod to the Eye of Sauron, a fiery symbol for villainy in J.R.R. Tolkien’s film The Lord of the Rings.

Scientists documented two different species in Sorona, one of nine newly identified butterfly groups they described in a recent study.

Identification of new candidate species Not always directScientists have debated how to classify Earth’s vast biodiversity since the early days of biology.

Before you go, indulge in these great reads.

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– I picked up giant solar-powered balloons equipped with microphones sent into the Earth’s stratosphere Some unexpected grumbling.

– Find out how psilocybin is A narcotic in magic mushroomsIt may rewire the brain to help with mental health conditions.

Scientists have revealed how the huge ancient “thunder beasts” known as brontotheres survived evolved into giants.

Astronomers used the James Webb Space Telescope to observe The first asteroid belt seen outside our solar system.