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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockApr 9 2021, 12:40 UTC
This week in science IFLScience

New HIV Vaccine Approach Shows Great Promise In First-In-Human Clinical Trial 

Results from a phase I trial have shown great promise for a vaccine designed to prevent HIV infections by stimulating the production of rare immune cells. These cells are needed to create the right antibodies to fight HIV, causing an immune response that can neutralize diverse strains of the virus. After two doses two months apart, 97 percent of participants had developed the right immune cells to respond to an HIV infection. 

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Long-Anticipated Fermilab Results Strengthen Evidence For Brand New Physics 

Long-awaited results from America's particle physics and accelerator laboratory, Fermilab, have strengthened the evidence for brand new physics by showing fundamental particles – muons, similar to electrons but with greater mass – not behaving in a way predicted by our best theory, the Standard Model of Particle Physics predicts. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that not only is there unknown physics out there but that we know a very good place to start looking for it. 

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As “Hypercarnivores", Humans Were Apex Predators For 2 Million Years 

While many modern humans opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet, new research suggests that our ancestors got the majority of their nutrition from meat, and only diversified to include more plants in their diet at the very end of the Stone Age. This indicates that humans were apex predators for around 2 million years, with numerous species within the Homo lineage engaging in “hypercarnivory”. 

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Closest Double Quasars In The Distant Universe Spotted By Astronomers 

Astronomers have spotted two pairs of double quasars (that’s four quasars!), the closest double quasars ever seen in the distant universe. Quasars are extremely bright light sources fueled by voraciously feeding supermassive black holes that can sometimes outshine their own galaxy. The quasars in these pairs are just several thousands light-years apart, and the galaxies are already well on their way to a merger. The light from the furthest one traveled from 11.5 billion years ago.   

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A Robot's Self-Portrait Has Sold For Almost $700,000 As An NFT 

A self-portrait by the AI robot Sophia recently sold at auction for a whopping $688,888, with the art collector picking up both the physical version of the digitally produced painting and securing ownership of the NFT of the artwork. Created by Sophia observing a series of paintings of herself and using neural networks to create her own, the resulting piece is a digital file consisting of a 12-second video showing the artist’s portrait transforming into Sophia’s digital painting. 

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Vaccine Passports: What Are They, Are They Needed, And Why Do Many People Oppose Them? 

Heard talk or seen headlines about COVID-19 vaccine passports but not entirely sure what they are, how they might work, who they are for, and why some people are so against them? Let us tell you all you need to know right here.  

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