TWIS: A Fourth Person Has Been Cured Of HIV, The “Somerton Man” Mystery Has Finally Been Solved, And Much More This Week

All the biggest science news stories of the week.


Eleanor Higgs

Creative Services Assistant

clockJul 29 2022, 11:07 UTC
A banner image made of five images from the biggest stories of the week
All the biggest science news stories of the week. Image credit: Edited by IFLScience.

This week we learn about the origin of the Assateague horses, an AI invents a whole new kind of “alternative” physics, and we starting thinking long term about the next generation of space telescopes that will come after the JWST.  

 DeepMind's AI Predicts Structure Of Almost Every Protein Known To Science  


Sixty five years after John Kendrew became the first person to determine the 3D structure of a protein, DeepMind’s AlphaFold Artificial Intelligence just predicted the structures of 200 million more. “Essentially, you can think of it as covering the entire protein universe,” Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s founder and chief executive, told The Guardian. Read the full story here 

 "Somerton Man" Mystery May Have Finally Been Solved Using DNA From His Death Mask 

A professor from the University of Adelaide may have solved the mystery of the Tamám Shud or "Somerton Man" case, using DNA sequencing of a hair found in the man's death mask. The case has remained unsolved for 73 years. Read the full story here 


US Leukaemia Patient Is Fourth Person Cured Of HIV  

Of the 37.7 million people living with HIV, only three have ever gone into long-term remission. Now, a fourth patient with HIV and leukemia has joined them, having received stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation. The 66-year-old received the treatment three and a half years ago, making him the oldest person to ever go into remission for both blood cancer and HIV. Read the full story here 

 Oldest American Horse DNA Lends Evidence To Spanish Shipwreck Origin Myth  


“Assateague's wild horses are well known, even to many people who have never been to the island,” notes the National Park Service. But despite their popularity, one thing has always remained mysterious: where did they come from? It’s a question nobody has ever been able to definitively answer – until now. Read the full story here  

An AI May Have Just Invented "Alternative" Physics 

Dr Boyuan Chen and co-authors trained an artificial intelligence (AI) system to count the number of variables needed to describe physical systems and predict developments. This is just the beginning, as we are only starting to understand the variables the computers deduced. Read the full story here 



Feature of the week: 

What Comes After JWST? More Extraordinary Telescopes Are On Their Way 


The first images from the JWST have dazzled the world, but someone is always looking for the next challenge. An even larger space telescope will require a significant upgrade on humanity's current launch capacity. Instead, a new generation of giant Earth-based telescopes are on their way, along with smaller space telescopes optimized for specific purposes. Read the full story here