Top Science Stories Of The Week

Posted: Jun 4 2017, 6:29pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Top Science Stories of the Week
Credit: NASA

DNA Unravels Egyptian Mummies’ Ancestry

DNA extracted from Egyptian mummies has yielded some surprising clues to their ancestry. The first ever full-genome analysis of more than 90 Ancient Egyptians shows that they were genetically similar to Turks and Europeans. These results are totally different than researchers had expected. Modern Egyptians share approximately 8% more ancestry with Sub-Saharan African populations than with ancient Egyptians. It suggests that Egyptian populations remained unaffected by foreign rule most of their history. Genetic mixing occurred sometimes later in the last 1,500 years, possibly due to increased long-distance trade between Sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt.

NASA Sending Mission to Touch the Sun

NASA has launched several successful missions to the space over the years. But it hasn’t sent a single mission to our nearest star, the sun. For the first time, NASA has announced plans to send a probe directly into the sun. Launching as early as July 2018, the probe will make 24 orbits of the sun and reach within four million miles of the sun’s surface.

Since the mission will encounter heat and radiation never before experienced by any spacecraft, it will not carry humans. However, the specially designed mission could withstand temperatures exceeding 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit as well as intense solar radiation. The mission is aiming to address basic questions about sun and solar activity that have never been answered before.

Huge Antarctica Iceberg is About to Break Away

The massive crack on Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf has grown by 17 kilometers in last six days of May. Now, only 13 km ice is keeping the ice shelf intact. Once it breaks all the way through, the crack will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

With this calving event, Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10% of its area and that much ice will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. More ice will enter into the ocean and adds to sea level rise. Even it could lead to the disintegration of entire Larsen C which is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica.

Faceless Fish Found in Deep Sea Expedition off Australia

While exploring deep sea waters off Australia, researchers have stumbled across a fish that appears faceless. The fish does not have any eyes and nose. Its mouth is also tucked under its head, making it look like a fish without face. The fish was only once before over a century ago.

The faceless fish is one of the many new species discovered in underwater scientific voyage off Australian coast and indicates that several more unique species may have been lurking in the dark and cold depths of oceans.

Hundreds of Methane Craters Discovered in Arctic

Researchers have discovered hundreds of methane-rich craters in the Arctic seafloor. Many of the craters are around 1 kilometer wide and were formed some 12,000 years ago but they are still leaking methane. Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas that heavily contributes to global warming.

Researchers suspect that vast amounts of methane were trapped under the ice sheet in the Arctic seafloor but increasing underwater temperatures made it unstable. The gas could not escape but it allowed building up over pressured conditions, causing huge underwater explosions.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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