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Jupiter is, scientifically speaking, not great for humans. The gravitational pull is about 2.4 times that of Earth, and its atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium. Even within our own Solar System, there are much better candidates for sustaining life, even including some of Jupiter's own moons.
But from space, it's far harder to see Jupiter's hostility to life forms. In fact, this color-enhanced image of Jupiter's cloud belts, taken by the Juno spacecraft, makes the planet look positively inviting.
The image was taken by Juno on December 16th, during the probe's tenth-closest flyby of the gaseous giant. Although the image looks close, that's mostly because Jupiter is huge. At the time of capture, Juno was 8,453 miles from Jupiter.
A spokesperson for Nasa said: “The dark region in the far left is called the South Temperate Belt. Intersecting the belt is a ghost-like feature of slithering white clouds. This is the largest feature in Jupiter's low latitudes that's a cyclone (rotating with clockwise motion).”
In the same pass, Juno also captured a far more abstract photo of Jupiter's clouds. The image above was captured 8,292 miles from Jupiter's atmosphere on the same day, and it shows the turbulence with far greater detail. The second image was color-enhanced by Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using publicly available data from Juno's sensors, while the first image was processed by Kevin M. Gill. The publicly available feed of images from Juno has proved fertile ground for citizen scientists to try their hand at image processing.
News brief: Every year, microbes produce hundreds of millions of tons of methane, a greenhouse gas that’s more potent than carbon dioxide. Scientists had thought the job was done exclusively through methanogenesis. But in the journal Nature Microbiology, a research team led by the University of Washington’s Caroline Harwood lays out an alternate method that makes use of a backup enzyme called iron-only nitrogenase. “Our findings are significant because they give scientists a second target to chase in understanding biological methane formation and rising methane emissions,” Utah State University’s Lee Seefeldt said in a news release. “In addition, the discovery could drive… Read More
Chinese artificial intelligence is now capable of outperforming humans in reading comprehension. A neural network model created by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba beat its flesh-and-blood competition on a 100,000-question Stanford University test that's considered the world’s top measure of machine reading. The model, developed by Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science of Technologies, scored 82.44, while humans scored a 82.304.
Ancient Mexican Civilization Nearly Wiped Out by Something Stuck in Their Teeth, New DNA Evidence Reveals
Researchers believe they have identified a likely cause for a 16th century epidemic that decimated a group of indigenous Mesoamerican people known as the Mixtec—and it’s related to the bug that might give you food poisoning after a bad barbecue. Beginning in 2004, researchers found and exhumed several bodies from the more than 800 buried in mass graves near a churchyard cemetery at an archeological site called Teposcolula-Yucundaa. DNA from a strain of Salmonella turned up in the remains of people who died during this epidemic—specifically, in the pulpy part of their teeth. “This was a hugely devastating epidemic,” Kirsten Bos, one of the lead authors of the paper and a physical anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, told Newsweek.
Discussions about the effects of salt on our bodies are typically focused on heart health. A new study suggests eating too many salty foods could create an inflammatory response that impacts your brain health. In 2015, researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found that too much salt appeared to reprogram the brains of lab rats.
Three years ago, a farmer in the Hebei province of China uncovered a mysterious fossil and brought it to the the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning. Now, after studying the find, scientists have announced that the fossil is of a new, duck-sized dinosaur—and when it lived it had an incredible feather display that shined like a living rainbow. An international team of scientists studying the dinosaur, called Caihong juji, made the discovery by carefully analyzing tiny melanosomes, the part of the cells that contain pigment, in the fossil, which turned up dramatic evidence of the dinosaur’s flamboyant plumage.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for National Dental Practice-Based Research Network: Administrative and Resource Center (U19 Clinical Trial Required - Infrastructure )
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for National Dental Practice-Based Research Network: Coordinating Center (U01 Clinical Trial Required - Infrastructure )
- Notice of Change in Bench Testing Therapeutic/Indication Pairing Strategies (UG3/UH3) (PAR-17-465)
- Notice of Modifications for PAR-18-244 "Collaborative Innovation Award, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)"
- Correction to the Application Forms Package issued for PAR-17-338 "Continuation of Existing Grant Based Epidemiology Cohort Studies in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Diseases and Disorders (U01-Clinical Trials Not Allowed)"