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This Week In Science!

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Philip Brayne

Creative Services Assistant

clockMar 4 2022, 11:11 UTC
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World's First Drug-Delivering Contact Lens Has Been Approved In US 

The world’s first drug-delivering contact lens has just been approved in the US. ACUVUE Theravision is a daily disposable contact lens that's coated with ketotifen, a widely used antihistamine used to treat allergies such as hayfever. Phase 3 clinical studies found the lens was effective at reducing itchy eyes as quickly as three minutes after being inserted, as well as providing relief for up to 12 hours. 

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Solar Cells Harvesting Water From Air Using Waste Heat Grow Spinach In Desert 

Researchers tapped into waste heat from solar panels to collect water out of the air, demonstrating the effectiveness of the idea by growing spinach in the Arabian desert, one of the driest places on Earth. they coated the backs of two solar panels with a hydrogel that absorbs water from the air, and evaporates it when hot. At night, the concentrated evaporated water condensed into a box below and was used to grow spinach. 

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First Case Of Deer-To-Human COVID Transmission Possibly Seen In Canada 

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may have possibly jumped from a deer to a human in Canada. Researchers tested the nose and lymph nodes of almost 300 deer that had been hunted in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario in 2021, of which 17 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Most worrying of all, the strain found in the deer appears to have some strong genetic differences from the strains currently circulating in human populations. 

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Closest Black Hole To Earth Is Not A Black Hole After All 

Two years ago, astronomers reported the discovery of the closest black hole to the solar system. Well, it turns out that there wasn’t a black hole there after all. Follow-up observations have revealed that the three-body system called HR 6819 – thought to be two stars and a black hole – is actually just two stars orbiting quite close to each other every 40 days.  

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False Widow Spider Spotted Killing And Eating Bats For The First Time 

A noble false widow spider (Steatoda nobilis) was spotted catching, killing, and eating a mammal for the first time. One dead juvenile bat and a still-alive adult bat were found trapped in a web. Researchers believe it to be the first reported case of a tangle-web spider killing a bat globally. The observation was made possible thanks to a roost of bats that had taken up residence in one of the study author’s attics. 

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What Are Tactical Nuclear Weapons? 

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, there has been speculation about whether Russia would use "tactical nuclear weapons" against their neighbor.  

But what exactly are tactical nuclear weapons, and how are they different from "strategic" nuclear weapons, 

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