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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockSep 17 2021, 12:49 UTC
This week in science IFLScience

Inspiration4 Makes History And Breaks Records As It Successfully Reaches Orbit 

The Inspiration4 crew blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 8:02 pm ET on September 15 in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. This is the first space mission with a completely non-professional all-civilian crew: Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski, and Dr Sian Proctor. They are now successfully in orbit, further from Earth than humans have been in over a decade, putting the total number of humans residing in orbit at a record 14. 

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Ozone Layer Hole Over The South Pole Is Larger Than Antarctica This Year 

The Ozone layer absorbs much of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, acting as an invisible shield for our planet. The ozone hole found above the South Pole naturally fluctuates in size with the season, breaking down and thinning around September. The hole has considerably grown in the last fortnight is unusually large this year, encompassing an area larger than Antarctica – now larger than 75 percent of ozone holes at this time of the year since 1979. 

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First Fossilized Skin Of A Carnivorous Dino Reveals Carnotaurus Had Scaly Skin With No Feathers 

In 1984 a remarkable skeleton was discovered in Patagonia. The new species of therapod was named Carnotaurus sastrei. However, the most remarkable part of the specimen was the best-preserved therapod skin ever found. A new study has now looked at this skin in detail, finding that it consists of “large and randomly distributed conical studs surrounded by a network of small elongated, diamond-shaped or subcircular scales.” 

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120,000 Year-Old Tools For Leather And Fur Among Oldest Evidence Of Humans Making Clothes 

Researchers discovered a set of bone tools during an excavation of deposits at Contrebandiers Cave, found along the Atlantic Coast of modern-day Morocco. Based on dating of the surrounding sediments, the age of the tools could be up to 120,000 years old. If true, this provides some of the oldest solid evidence of cloth-making in the world, marking a milestone in the story of humanity’s cultural and cognitive development. 

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Experimental Immunotherapy Cures Girl Of Autoimmune Disease 

Diagnosed with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at age 16, Thu-Thao V was unable to continue her hobbies and faced life-threatening complications. After trying everything available to treat her, doctors turned to a new type of immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. Six months after being treated in March 2021, she is in complete remission and has returned to sports, no longer requires drugs, and all her symptoms have disappeared. 

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Episode 2 Of Our Brand New Podcast Is Out Now  

Welcome to our new podcast. IFLScience The Big Questions asks the biggest questions of our time, and in our latest episode we tackle one of the biggest: Can we stop or reverse climate change? We talk to Dr Alexandre Kōberle of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change to discuss the unfolding climate crisis and whether it’s too late to fix the mess we are in. 

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