Largest bacterium ever discovered is 2 cm long


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Illustration of a dinosaur fleeing a huge wave surging downriver, bringing with it fish, dinosaurs and trees as fire rains down.

Proof suggests an asteroid impression that killed off most dinosaurs might need occurred in spring.Credit score: Joschua Knüppe

Palaeontologists have unearthed fossilized fish that counsel the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs struck in spring. The fossils come from Tanis, a outstanding web site in North Dakota, which some scientists assume captured what occurred simply hours after the asteroid crashed. However some are but to be satisfied by this rationalization as a result of detailed descriptions of the location’s geology aren’t obtainable, and comparatively few scientists have visited it.

Briefing readers would possibly bear in mind Tanis from 2019, when its extraordinary geology was controversially first reported in The New Yorker.

Nature | 5 min learn

Reference: Nature paper & Scientific Studies paper

A fourth booster of a COVID-19 vaccine appears to revive antibodies to ranges noticed after the third dose, however offers solely a modest increase in safety. A small trial carried out in Israel, which has not but been peer reviewed, means that present mRNA vaccines hit a ‘ceiling of immunity’ after the third dose. Nonetheless, observational research from Israel have proven increased ranges of safety towards an infection and extreme illness from a fourth shot, which might be essential for folks at excessive threat.

Nature | 4 min learn

Reference: medRxiv preprint 1 & medRxiv preprint 2

A newly found bacterium, Thiomargarita magnifica, challenges the definition of a microbe: its filament-like single cell is as much as 2 centimetres lengthy. T. magnifica achieves its unprecedented measurement by having distinctive mobile options: two membrane sacs. One is crammed with its genetic materials; the opposite, which is far bigger, helps to maintain its mobile contents pressed up towards its outer cell wall in order that the molecules it wants can diffuse out and in. Researchers have dubbed these sacs ‘pepins’ — impressed by the pips in fruit — and word that they blur the road between single-celled prokaryotes and eukaryotes (the group that features people), which pack their DNA right into a nucleus.

Science | 6 min learn

Reference: bioRxiv preprint (not peer reviewed)

Nearly 200 nations will convene subsequent week to attract up a blueprint for the first-ever international settlement on plastic air pollution. Negotiators will attend the United Nations Surroundings Meeting (UNEA), in individual and remotely, in Kenya. They are going to purpose to set the groundwork for a ultimate deal, which can be hammered out intimately over the next years. A draft decision, modelled on the United Nations’s local weather treaty, suggests a legally binding dedication to handle the total lifecycle of plastics.

Science | 5 min learn

Reference: Draft decision

Options & opinion

A sequence of Nature interviews with feminine African scientists and a ballot of 249 African researchers present that many ladies working in analysis in African nations are thriving. However they nonetheless want insurance policies that assist to decrease the limitations to their success. Our sequence additionally illustrates the impacts of continual funding shortages in Africa. Researchers outdoors the continent have an essential half to play by collaborating with those that stay there and sharing data, expertise and funding.

Nature | 5 min learn

Gender fairness in drugs has been elusive, and the challenges of the pandemic have made the state of affairs even worse, argue eight physician-scientists. “Whereas related numbers of males & girls enroll in MD/PhD packages… solely 27% of girls (vs 73% of males) plan to proceed vital analysis,” writes co-author Joy Wu in an accompanying Twitter thread detailing the proof of the limitations to development. They define a framework for retaining feminine physicians in analysis, with a selected give attention to the unequal burden of childcare.

Nature Medication | 8 min learn & accompanying Twitter thread

Paul Bishop, a civil servant from Better Manchester, obtained a package deal in the future with a whole high set of his personal false tooth, which he had final seen on a boozy vacation to Spain, when he vomited them right into a bin. The package deal got here with a letter stating that the tooth had been discovered by waste collectors, who despatched them to one among Spain’s largest public analysis our bodies, the place they had been ultimately swabbed for DNA that was matched to Bishop. The story went viral, however a more in-depth examination reveals the reality may not be what it appears.

Wired | 12 min learn

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Scientific psychologist Steven Taylor explores what the psychological state of a post-COVID-19 world would possibly appear like. (The Guardian | 7 min learn)