Current Event Summaries by Rithvik V.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Rithvik V.

  1. Most massive neutron star ever detected, almost too massive to exist.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916114030.htm
    Green Bank Observatory
    Sciencedaily.com
    September 16, 2019

    Summary:

    Researchers have claimed that they have discovered the most massive neutron star ever to be dated. A neutron star is a star with a very high density and packed neutrons. They usually have a small radius because of the highly packed neutrons. Neutron star is also a a the compressed remains of massive stars gone supernova. Going supernova means that a star explodes and creates an extreme amount of light gets released. This massive neutron star goes by the name of J0740+6620. It is 2.17 times the mass of our sun but is only 30 kilometers across. This measurement approaches the limits of how massive and compact a single object can become without crushing itself. If the star would get more dense, it would turn into a black hole. The stars have a tipping point where their interior densities get so strong that the force of gravity disturbs the ability of the star to resist any further collapse.

    This was interesting and fun to read. I learned new things like how a supernova works and the different components going into it. I wonder why neutron stars emit extreme amounts of light while black holes do the opposite. It is fascinating how this neutron star is only 30 kilometer wide but has more mass than our sun. Our sun is 695510.196 in circumference.

  2. The US and Canada have lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the past 50 years
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190919142331.htm
    Sciencedaily.com
    Cornell University
    September 20

    Summary:

    Since 1970, the US and Canada lost nearly 3 billion birds, that is a huge loss in bird species. Some of these birds could just be backyard songbirds to long-distance migrants. Studies note that birds are kind of like an indicator and they help us know how the environment is doing and if it is sustainable. But the decrease in bird species indicates that human activities are severely impacting the wildlife populations. Just like humans, birds need to have a high mortality rate. We can’t control how many eggs the birds lay but with the change in our atmosphere and the pollution that goes into the air, we can help the birds have a higher mortality rate. The pollution isn’t just the atmosphere, but it’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, and the biosphere that’s getting affected by human interactions. Many harmful pesticides that go into agriculture and plants also affect the living of birds. Many birds are omnivores which means they eat plants or meat. Pesticides can affect plants, bugs, worms, and many other species living in the soil.
    I thought it was crazy how so many bird species are dying off and most people aren’t even thinking about the consequences and the result in the future. Humans share the world with many different species and it is sad to see many of them go extinct. We need to do our part to reduce pollution, pesticide use, and much more to keep what was here a long time.

  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190306081820.htm
    October 1, 2019
    NFL players show heart abnormalities decades after retiring from football
    Science daily.
    American College of Cardiology

    Summary:

    Football players specifically NFL football players are at a high chance of getting heart abnormalities even years after they retire. They are also associated with higher blood pressure than before playing in the league. Football players is strong and emormus, but with the intense training and competition they have to go through can affect them for a lifetime. Most would think that football players would have extraordinary cardiovascular health, which they do, but with big hits that they take on the field, it slowly affects their lifestyle. These changes in cardiovascular; health are usually called “athlete’s health.” Athletes commonly show changes in the size and shape of their heart after going through intense games and practices. To get bigger and stronger they are also required to tackle extreme amounts of training and exercise. One of the components of athletes heart is left ventricular hypertrophy, which means that there is an increase in the thickness of the wall of the heart’s left ventricle. This is not that harmful but it shows a drastic change in the size of the heart. Researchers examined about 1200 players and about 12% of them had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). So over time athletes can experience some after effects of playing in the professional league.
    I don’t think we covered any topics that relate to this situation in class. I think trainers and the medical crew for the football teams need to restrict what they can or cannot do. This will prevent some of the injuries or after effects that can take place. I wonder if any other sports have these incidents involving cardiovascular health. And I wonder if there are any other health issues that occur over time after retiring from football. It is important to keep themselves healthy now so this doesn’t happen in their future without them even knowing.

  4. Article #4
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Brave new world: Simple changes in intensity of weather events ‘could be lethal’
    October 5, 20019
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190930131549.htm

    Summary:

    Unexpected and unpredictable weather can be very dangerous to living things. A lot of people get mildly sick when the temperature changes very quick. Plants and animals have very similar effects with this situation. Extreme weather events such as hurricane Dorian also have devastating effects on the environment and the people living in that specific region. Researchers are exploring how living things adapt to the extreme changes in the weather. Species that breed only once in their lifetime usually have special behaviors and they are smarter. Theses types of species are most likely ready for disasters and expected changes in the environment. One the other hand, species that breed multiple times, like birds that nest more than once in a season, are not as aware of their surroundings and the climate. Some of the extreme weather disasters include hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, cold spells, tornados, and heatwaves. People that live in states that have continental climates such as Kansas, are more adapted to all of the extreme temperatures and different seasons. In some states like Arizona, people might have trouble adapting to states such as Minnesota or Wisconsin because of their cold climate. This doesn’t affect humans as much as it does to animals or plants, but it’s still important to adapt to the environment that you live in.
    I already had some background information on this topic. We went over this in the take home test, an experiment was conducted on a rabbit to see the change in its fur color because of the ice. The rabbits fur color changed to white so it can adapt to the cold climate or the snow that was present in the region. For me, I get a mild cold whenever the temperature changes too quickly. My nose gets runny and I sneeze when this it changes too quickly. This also happens to me when the temperature in the shower changes too quickly. This kind of represents of what would happen to someone if they moved from a cold state or area to a hot one.

  5. Article #5
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/stanley-qi-sn-10-scientists-to-watch
    Stanley Qi gives CRISPR a makeover to redefine genetic engineering
    By Tina Hesman Saey
    ScienceNews.com

    Summary:

    CRISPR is one of the most powerful tools in molecular biology. It is composed of an RNA that guides the DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9 to places in an organism’s genetic instruction book. It’s like changing what the instruction book had originally and modifying it. If CRISPR gets more advanced as it is every year, it can reach the point where it can destroy viruses and diseases before they can take action. Qi, a grad student from Stanford, disabled Cas9 so it could no longer cut DNA. Cutting DNA has its own disadvantages such as deformities or other mental problems. That’s why d/Cas9 was created. Now with this new invention scientists can turn genes up or down, or up or down. Qi also learned how stem cells work and to take charge of the genetic instruction book, or genome, to one day cure some genetic diseases. In some cases CRISPR can even prevent AIDS, blood disorders, or even blindness. This type of technology can reduce the amount of diseases in the future generations and make the life expectancy rise dramatically. Obviously technology like this will cost a lot of money and time. These treatments can range anywhere from about $500,000 to $1.5m. It also is a very slow process, it can take months to design a single, customized protein.
    I think that CRISPR can be very useful and even live saving. Technology like this can make a developing country’s life expectancy rise, which means the total fertility rate goes down. That can control the population growth. CRISPR can even improve farming and food growth. Agricultural scientists have been improving plants through biotechnology for 25 years by taking genes from one plant and putting it into another by using CRISPR. CRISPR is on its way to cure many diseases and even global problems like world hunger.

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