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This Week In Science!

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Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockJun 11 2021, 12:35 UTC
TWIS

This week in IFLScience June 7-11. Image Credit: IFLScience

Microscopic Animal Brought Back To Life After 24,000 Years Frozen In Siberian Permafrost 

Tiny organisms called Bdelloid rotifers have been extracted from Siberian permafrost and revived after being frozen for 24,000 years. Not only did these tiny critters survive, but they were also able to reproduce asexually via parthenogenesis. The rotifers should have been ripped apart by ice crystals that form during the freezing process, but somehow protected themselves instead, and scientists are not sure how.  

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Australia’s Newly Discovered Giant Dinosaur Could Challenge Crown For World’s Largest 

A new species of dinosaur has been unearthed in Australia, becoming the largest ever found there. In fact, it might turn out to be the largest land-dwelling dinosaur species of all time. Australotitan cooperensis – named after Cooper Creek, which all Australotitan species have been found near – lived 92-96 million years ago, and was thought to have been 25-30 meters long. Variation in size could mean that larger specimens could top the current size world record holder. 

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FDA Approves Obesity Drug That Can Cut Body Weight By Up To A Fifth 

Wegovy has become the first drug for chronic weight management that the FDA has approved since 2014. It is based on the molecule semaglutide, which is already approved at lower doses for type 2 diabetes treatment and mimics a hormone that makes us feel full after meals. Many experts stress that this drug is not a magic bullet for weight loss, and it is not clear whether this weight loss can be maintained after stopping the drug. 

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A Mission To Alpha Centauri Within A Human Lifetime Has Just Become More Realistic 

Humanity could one day use lasers to propel spacecraft vast distances across the universe, cutting the time it takes to reach Alpha Centauri from 6,000 years to 22. The atmosphere of our planet has been considered a hindrance to allowing the beams to apply enough force to the craft to push them, but a new study has shown that satellite-mounted lasers could monitor the atmosphere and allow the Earth-based lasers to adjust for distortion.   

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Entire Human Genome Has Been Sequenced For The First Time In History, Scientists Claim 

Researchers from the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium claim to be the first to sequence the entire human genome, with their results published in a preprint paper yet to be peer-reviewed. With access to more advanced sequencing techniques than past researchers, the scientists looked at and pieced together the 3.055 billion base pairs that make up our genetic code, uncovering the 8 percent of it missing from previous data. 

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Exclusive interview: IFLS Meets Professor Johan Rockström 

Leading the Netflix documentary Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet alongside David Attenborough, Professor Johan Rockström is an internationally renowned scientist, making strides in global sustainability narratives. We speak to him about his work, how he got here, and advice he would give to those wanting to do their part for the planet. 

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