This Week In IFLScience! – December 28 - January 3

Roxy Gomez 31 Dec 2020, 14:59

Playing Violent Video Games As A Child Does Not Increase Aggression, Study Suggests

Since video games were invented, there has consistently been staunch opposition claiming violent games give rise to real violence, despite increasing evidence stating otherwise.

Now, a 10-year study has found playing violent video games as a child was a poor predictor of aggression in later life. Instead, it suggests teens used games as a coping mechanism for mental health issues.

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Korea’s Artificial Sun Breaks World Record Running For An Incredible 20 Seconds

Korea’s KSTAR device, a nuclear fusion reactor known as an "artificial sun", has broken the world record by maintaining a plasma for an incredible 20 seconds at an ion temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit), 10 seconds longer than any other similar device. This is one of the core conditions for nuclear fusion, an alternative clean energy source, from an artificial sun.

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New Blue Whale Population In The Indian Ocean Identified By Unique Song

A previously unknown population of blue whales has been discovered living in the western Indian Ocean, one that may even represent a distinct subspecies of these ocean giants.

Scientists detected a whale song they had never heard before in the waters between Mozambique and Madagascar. Blue whale populations have recognizably different dialects to their songs which are used to identify a whale's tribe, but this was different from anything previously recorded, and could suggest a new subspecies.

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Mild And Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases Have Some Long-Term Immunity To Virus

Some good news when it comes to how long protective immunity against COVID-19 might last in people who only suffered mild or asymptomatic illness.

In a new study, 89 percent of healthcare workers still had neutralizing antibodies 16 to 18 weeks after infection, while most also had T cells capable of recognizing multiple different parts of the virus, suggesting the immune response in asymptomatic infections may not be as short-lived as thought.

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New Evidence Supports Theory That Life On Earth Originated As RNA-DNA Mix

For a long time, the hypothesis that primordial self-replicating RNA arose before proteins and DNA has been widely accepted by experts. However, there have been recent studies contradicting this hypothesis, proposing that RNA and DNA formed together.

A new study has added more evidence that RNA and DNA originated together from similar chemical reactions and that the first self-replicating molecules may have been a DNA/RNA mixture.

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