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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockJan 21 2022, 14:53 UTC

NFT Group Buys Copy Of Dune For €2.66 Million, Believing It Gives Them Copyright

A group of crypto enthusiasts has made an unusual purchase: a rare copy of Dune, by science fiction writer Frank Herbert, for a staggering €2.66 million ($3.04 million). The book was expected to fetch €25,000. The buyers – a collective called SpiceDAO – appear to believe that owning an early copy of the hit sci-fi about space worms gives them the copyright, to do with what they will.

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Tonga Volcano Erupted With Force More Than 500 Times The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

According to local officials, the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano had a radius of 260 kilometers (161.5 miles), and threw up ash 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the atmosphere, releasing massive amounts of energy. James Garvin, chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said the eruption released an equivalent of 10 megatons of TNT, making it one of the most powerful eruptions in 30 years.

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Two-Thirds Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Caused By “Nocebo” Effect, Not Jab

Approximately two-thirds of the negative side effects reported from COVID-19 vaccinations were also seen among people who got the placebo in clinical trials, suggesting they were caused by the expectation, rather than the vaccine itself — something researchers hope will encourage vaccinations in the future. Researchers conclude nocebo effects accounted for 76 percent of the reported harmful effects from the first shot and 52 percent of those from the second.

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There Are An Estimated 40 Billion Billion Black Holes In The Universe

The observable universe contains around 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 black holes, according to a newly published estimate. By using estimates of the number of stars of appropriate mass formed from the Big Bang to now, researchers put a figure on the number of black holes left behind. The work also provides an estimate of the distribution of their masses, calculating that 1 percent of the baryonic matter in the universe is locked up in stellar-sized black holes.

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New Treatment For Depression Causes Remission In Almost 80 Percent Of Patients

A new protocol for treating severe depression using transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown overwhelming success, resulting in remission for 79 percent of people in the 29-person double-blind trial. Such treatment has been used previously against depression, but the new protocol is an individualized and non-invasive method. After just five days of treatment, 78.6 percent of the participants went into remission and completed several requirements to no longer be diagnosed as depressed.

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Is COVID-19 Becoming Endemic?

You may be excited by the recent emergence of a new watchword: endemic. That’s right – if some governments and commenters are to be believed, the pandemic is practically over. Instead, we’re heading for a new era: the era of endemic COVID. But what does this mean, exactly? Is COVID not a problem anymore? Or is this all just wishful thinking?

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