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Scientists Discovered of Longest Animal Ever Recorded—And It’s Quite Beautiful

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Scientists Discovered of Longest Animal Ever Recorded

Scientists ‘Blown Away’ By Discovery of Longest Animal Ever Recorded—And It’s Quite Beautiful

An estimated 150-foot siphonophore—seemingly the longest animal ever recorded—was discovered during a month-long scientific expedition exploring the submarine canyons near Perth, Australia.

Additionally, up to 30 new underwater species were found by researchers from the Western Australian Museum aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor.

The discovery of this massive gelatinous string siphonophore—a floating colony of tiny individual zooids that clone themselves thousands of times into specialized bodies that string together to work as a team—was just one of the unique finds among some of the deepest fish and marine invertebrates ever recorded for Western Australia.

Scientists from the Western Australian Museum, led by Chief Scientist Dr. Nerida Wilson, were joined by researchers from Curtin University, Geoscience Australia and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in exploring the Ningaloo Canyons in the Indian Ocean. Using an underwater robot, ROV SuBastian, they completed 20 dives at depths of up to 4,500 meters (14,700 feet) over 181 hours of exploration.

During the expedition, scientists collected the first giant hydroids in Australia, discovered large communities of glass sponges in Cape Range Canyon, and observed for the first time in Western Australia the bioluminescent Taning’s octopus squid, long-tailed sea cucumber, and a number of other molluscs, barnacle and squat lobster species. Some of the species collected will be exhibited at the Western Australian Museum.

The team have amassed an incredible collection of organisms which will help to shed new light on the biodiversity of Cape Range Canyon and Cloates Canyon off Ningaloo (Credit: Greg Rouse (Scripps Oceanography), Nerida Wilson (Chief Scientist) and the FK200308 team).

The team also found the largest specimen of the giant siphonophore Apolemia ever recorded—video of which was posted on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Twitter account.

“We suspected these deep sea areas would be diverse but we have been blown away by the significance of what we have seen,” Wilson said. Added Dr. Lisa Kirkendale, head of aquatic zoology at the Western Australian Museum and co-principal investigator, “These specimens represent so many extensions in depth and range records for so many species, and will form an important new part of WA Museum collections.”

The expedition is part of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s year-long initiative in Australia and the Pacific to conduct a number of science and engineering expeditions with teams of scientists and researchers from around the world. Using the underwater robot SuBastian, scientists for the first time are able to explore deep sea canyons and coral reefs around Australia that have never been seen before. The footage and samples collected from the oceans that surround Australia will have important implications for the sustainability and protection of these underwater ecosystems—and for similar habitats worldwide that are in peril because of rising ocean temperatures and other environmental threats.

Owned and operated by Schmidt Ocean Institute, a philanthropic nonprofit established by Eric and Wendy Schmidt in 2009, Falkor is the only year-round seagoing philanthropic research vessel in the world. The vessel is equipped with a state-of-the-art 4,500 meter-capable underwater robotic system, ROV SuBastian, that was used to visually explore and collect samples from critical deep ocean areas that had not been explored before.

The ship and ROV are both made available to the international science community at no cost, and the scientists agree to make their discoveries publicly available. The collection data for these specimens will be made publicly available.

“There is so much we don’t know about the deep sea, and there are countless species never before seen,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute. “Our planet is deeply interconnected–what happens in the deep sea impacts life on land–and vice versa. This research is vital to advance our understanding of that connection–and the importance of protecting these fragile ecosystems. The Ningaloo Canyons are just one of many vast underwater wonders we are about to discover that can help us better understand our planet.”

The science completed will allow the research team to formally describe many of the new species of animals that were found, develop ROV methodology for monitoring Marine Parks in Australia and screen deep water samples for environmental DNA in the Indian Ocean. The ROV SuBastian dives were livestreamed and are available in perpetuity on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube page, including video highlights, making the incredible diversity in the Ningaloo region available for the public to explore. The footage and specimens collected are important records within the Gascoyne Marine Park, serving as a permanent record of biodiversity in the canyons to build on in the future.

“Ongoing scientific exploration is vital to the effective management of our marine parks,” said Dr. James Findlay, director of Australia’s National Parks, who has been closely following the Falkor expedition, “and we are committed to partnering with other agencies to record and monitor these precious places.”

Source: RepublicWorld

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These Plastic Chewing Caterpillars Can Help Fight Plastic Pollution And Can Prove Beneficial

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The small wax worm went from obscurity to a disclosure in 2017 when scientists found the caterpillar might help solve one of the world’s most hazardous natural issues: plastic waste.

Credits:GettyImages

The creature can chomp through plastic, even polyethylene, a common and non-biodegradable plastic currently clogging up landfills and seas.

Scientists have discovered that wax worms can eat and biodegrade polyethylene, the rugged, common plastic used to make the shopping bags that are currently glutting landfill sites. The discovery was serendipitous. The findings, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B Tuesday, could guide efforts to find an effective biodegradation system to tackle plastic waste.

Credit:GettyImages

“We found that wax worm caterpillars are equipped with gut organisms that are basic in the plastic bio degradation process, ” said Christophe LeMoine, a associate professor and chair person of biology at Brandon University in Canada.

Credit:IndiaTimes

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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Researchers Use Gene-focusing on Breakthrough Against COVID-19 Cells With CRISPR Tool Called ‘PAC-MAN’

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DOE / LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY, R.N. Zuckermann

A group of scientists from Stanford University is working with researchers at the Molecular Foundry, a nanoscience client office situated at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), to build up a quality focusing on, antiviral specialist against COVID-19.

Last year, Stanley Qi, an assistant professor in the departments of bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology at Stanford University and his team had begun working on a technique called PAC-MAN—or Prophylactic Antiviral CRISPR in human cells—that uses the gene-editing tool CRISPR to fight influenza.

Be that as it may, that all changed in January, when updates on the COVID-19 pandemic rose. Qi and his group were out of nowhere stood up to with a baffling new infection for which nobody had an unmistakable arrangement. “So we figured, ‘For what reason don’t we take a stab at utilizing our PAC-MAN innovation to battle it?'” said Qi.

Since late March, Qi and his team have been collaborating with a group led by Michael Connolly, a principal scientific engineering associate in the Biological Nanostructures Facility at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, to develop a system that delivers PAC-MAN into the cells of a patient.

Like all CRISPR frameworks, PAC-MAN is made out of a chemical—for this situation, the infection murdering compound Cas13—and a strand of guide RNA, which orders Cas13 to pulverize explicit nucleotide successions in the coronavirus’ genome. By scrambling the infection’s hereditary code, PAC-MAN could kill the coronavirus and prevent it from repeating inside cells.

It’s all in the delivery

Qi said that the key test to deciphering PAC-MAN from a sub-atomic instrument into an enemy of COVID-19 treatment is finding a compelling method to convey it into lung cells. At the point when SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, attacks the lungs, the air sacs in a contaminated individual can get aroused and load up with liquid, seizing a patient’s capacity to relax.

“But my lab doesn’t work on delivery methods,” he said. So on March 14, they published a preprint of their paper, and even tweeted, in the hopes of catching the eye of a potential collaborator with expertise in cellular delivery techniques.

Soon after, they learned of Connolly’s work on synthetic molecules called lipitoids at the Molecular Foundry.

Lipitoids are a kind of engineered peptide imitate known as a “peptoid” first found 20 years prior by Connolly’s tutor Ron Zuckermann. In the decades since, Connolly and Zuckermann have attempted to create peptoid conveyance atoms, for example, lipitoids. Also, as a team with Molecular Foundry clients, they have exhibited lipitoids’ adequacy in the conveyance of DNA and RNA to a wide assortment of cell lines.

Today, researchers studying lipitoids for potential therapeutic applications have shown that these materials are nontoxic to the body and can deliver nucleotides by encapsulating them in tiny nanoparticles just one billionth of a meter wide—the size of a virus.

Now Qi hopes to add his CRISPR-based COVID-19 therapy to the Molecular Foundry’s growing body of lipitoid delivery systems.

In late April, the Stanford researchers tested a type of lipitoid—Lipitoid 1—that self-assembles with DNA and RNA into PAC-MAN carriers in a sample of human epithelial lung cells.

As per Qi, the lipitoids performed well indeed. At the point when bundled with coronavirus-focusing on PAC-MAN, the framework decreased the measure of engineered SARS-CoV-2 in arrangement by over 90%. “Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry has furnished us with an atomic fortune that changed our examination,” he said.

The team next plans to test the PAC-MAN/lipitoid system in an animal model against a live SARS-CoV-2 virus. They will be joined by collaborators at New York University and Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

If successful, they hope to continue working with Connolly and his team to further develop PAC-MAN/lipitoid therapies for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, and to explore scaling up their experiments for preclinical tests.

“An effective lipitoid delivery, coupled with CRISPR targeting, could enable a very powerful strategy for fighting viral disease not only against COVID-19 but possibly against newly viral strains with pandemic potential,” said Connolly.

“Everybody has been working nonstop attempting to think of new arrangements,” included Qi, whose preprint paper was as of late companion looked into and distributed in the Journal Cell. “It’s exceptionally compensating to join skill and test new thoughts across establishments in these troublesome occasions.”

Credit:phys.org

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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Scientists Develop Near Invincible Textile Coating That Can Repel Almost Anything

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Scientists Develop Near-Invincible Textile Coating That Can Repel Blood, Bacteria, and Even Viruses

Masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are essential for protecting healthcare workers—however, the textiles and materials used in such items can absorb and carry viruses and bacteria, inadvertently spreading the disease the wearer sought to contain.

When the coronavirus spread amongst healthcare professionals and left PPE in short supply, finding a way to provide better protection while allowing for the safe reuse of these items became paramount.

Thankfully, researchers from the LAMP Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering may have a solution. The lab has created a textile coating that can not only repel liquids like blood and saliva but can also prevent viruses from adhering to the surface. The work was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Photo by University of Pittsburgh

“Recently there’s been focus on blood-repellent surfaces, and we were interested in achieving this with mechanical durability,” said Anthony Galante, PhD student in industrial engineering at Pitt and lead author of the paper. “We want to push the boundary on what is possible with these types of surfaces, and especially given the current pandemic, we knew it’d be important to test against viruses.”

What makes the coating unique is its ability to withstand ultrasonic washing, scrubbing and scraping. With other similar coatings currently in use, washing or rubbing the surface of the textile will reduce or eliminate its repellent abilities.

“The durability is very important because there are other surface treatments out there, but they’re limited to disposable textiles. You can only use a gown or mask once before disposing of it,” said Paul Leu, co-author and associate professor of industrial engineering, who leads the LAMP Lab. “Given the PPE shortage, there is a need for coatings that can be applied to reusable medical textiles that can be properly washed and sanitized.”

Galante put the new coating to the test, running it through tens of ultrasonic washes, applying thousands of rotations with a scrubbing pad (not unlike what might be used to scour pots and pans), and even scraping it with a sharp razor blade. After each test, the coating remained just as effective.

The treatment consists of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles in a solvent thermally sintered to polypropylene microfibers. PTFE is stable and nontoxic at temperatures lower than 260 °C (500 °F).

The researchers worked with the Charles T. Campbell Microbiology Laboratory’s Research Director Eric Romanowski and Director of Basic Research Robert Shanks, in the Department of Ophthalmology at Pitt, to test the coating against a strain of adenovirus.

“As this fabric was already shown to repel blood, protein and bacteria, the logical next step was to determine whether it repels viruses. We chose human adenovirus types 4 and 7, as these are causes of acute respiratory disease as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye),” said Romanowski. “It was hoped that the fabric would repel these viruses similar to how it repels proteins, which these viruses essentially are: proteins with nucleic acid inside. As it turned out, the adenoviruses were repelled in a similar way as proteins.”

The coating may have broad applications in healthcare: everything from hospital gowns to waiting room chairs could benefit from the ability to repel viruses, particularly ones as easily spread as adenoviruses.

“Adenovirus can be inadvertently picked up in hospital waiting rooms and from contaminated surfaces in general. It is rapidly spread in schools and homes and has an enormous impact on quality of life—keeping kids out of school and parents out of work,” said Shanks. “This coating on waiting room furniture, for example, could be a major step towards reducing this problem.”

The next step for the researchers will be to test the effectiveness against betacoronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19.

“If the treated fabric would repel betacornonaviruses, and in particular SARS-CoV-2, this could have a huge impact for healthcare workers and even the general public if PPE, scrubs, or even clothing could be made from protein, blood-, bacteria-, and virus-repelling fabrics,” said Romanowski.

At the moment, the coating is applied using drop casting, a method that saturates the material with a solution from a syringe and applies a heat treatment to increase stability. But the researchers believe the process can use a spraying or dipping method to accommodate larger pieces of material, like gowns, and can eventually be scaled up for production.

Reprinted from University of Pittsburgh

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