close
  • chevron_right

    Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 12:05 · 1 minute

A young Hadza bushman making an arrow for a hunting bow.

Enlarge / A young Hadza bushman making an arrow for a hunting bow. (credit: chuvipro via Getty Images )

What did people eat for dinner tens of thousands of years ago? Many advocates of the so-called Paleo diet will tell you that our ancestors’ plates were heavy on meat and low on carbohydrates—and that, as a result, we have evolved to thrive on this type of nutritional regimen.

The diet is named after the Paleolithic era, a period dating from about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago when early humans were hunting and gathering, rather than farming. Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University and author of Burn , a book about the science of metabolism, says it’s a myth that everyone of this time subsisted on meat-heavy diets. Studies show that rather than a single diet, prehistoric people’s eating habits were remarkably variable and were influenced by a number of factors, such as climate, location and season.

In the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition, Pontzer and his colleague Brian Wood, of the University of California, Los Angeles, describe what we can learn about the eating habits of our ancestors by studying modern hunter-gatherer populations like the Hadza in northern Tanzania and the Aché in Paraguay. In an interview with Knowable Magazine, Pontzer explains what makes the Hadza’s surprisingly seasonal, diverse diets so different from popular notions of ancient meals.

Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    The era of fast, cheap genome sequencing is here

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 11:17

Illumina says its NovaSeq X machine will get the price of sequencing down to $200 per human genome.

Enlarge / Illumina says its NovaSeq X machine will get the price of sequencing down to $200 per human genome. (credit: Illumina)

The human genome is made of more than 6 billion letters, and each person has a unique configuration of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts—the molecular building blocks that make up DNA. Determining the sequence of all those letters used to take vast amounts of money, time, and effort. The Human Genome Project took 13 years and thousands of researchers. The final cost: $2.7 billion.

That 1990 project kicked off the age of genomics , helping scientists unravel genetic drivers of cancer and many inherited diseases while spurring the development of at-home DNA tests , among other advances. Next, researchers started sequencing more genomes: from animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses. Ten years ago, it cost about $10,000 for researchers to sequence a human genome . A few years ago, that fell to $1,000. Today, it’s about $600.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    COVID may have pushed a leading seasonal flu strain to extinction

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 23:08 · 1 minute

A bottle of influenza vaccine at a CVS pharmacy and MinuteClinic on September 10, 2021, in Miami.

Enlarge / A bottle of influenza vaccine at a CVS pharmacy and MinuteClinic on September 10, 2021, in Miami. (credit: Getty | Joe Raedle )

The pandemic coronavirus' debut wrought universal havoc—not even seasonal flu viruses were spared. Amid travel restrictions, quarantines, closures, physical distancing, masking, enhanced hand washing, and disinfection, the 2020-2021 flu season was all but canceled. That meant not just an unprecedented global decrease in the number of people sick with the flu but also a dramatic collapse in the genetic diversity of circulating flu strains. Many subtypes of the virus all but vanished. But most notably, one entire lineage—one of only four flu groups targeted by seasonal influenza vaccines—went completely dark, seemingly extinct.

Researchers noted the absence last year as the flu was still struggling to recover from its pandemic knockout. But now, the flu has come roaring back and threatens to cause a particularly nasty season in the Northern Hemisphere. Still, the influenza B/Yamagata lineage remains missing, according to a study published this week in the journal Eurosurveillance . It has not been definitively detected since April 2020. And the question of whether it's truly gone extinct lingers.

What B/Yamagata's absence might mean for future flu seasons and flu shots also remains an open question. For a quick refresher: Four main types of seasonal flu have been circulating globally among humans in recent years. Two are influenza type A viruses: subtypes of H1N1 viruses and H3N2 viruses. The other two are influenza type B viruses: offshoots of the Victoria and Yamagata lineages. (For a more detailed explanation of influenza, check out our explainer here .) Current quadrivalent vaccines target season-specific versions of each of these four types of flu viruses.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    Florida’s Space Coast on track after Ian, set for 3 launches in 3 days

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 22:06

United Launch Alliance moves its Atlas V booster into the Vertical Integration Facility  adjacent to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday, August 26.

Enlarge / United Launch Alliance moves its Atlas V booster into the Vertical Integration Facility adjacent to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday, August 26. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Hurricane Ian cut a devastating swath across Florida this week, and its core passed directly over Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral on Thursday.

However, by then, Ian had weakened to become a moderately strong tropical storm, with the bulk of its heaviest rainfall to the north of the launchpads along the Atlantic coast. As a result, damage to NASA's launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, and the Space Force launchpads at Cape Canaveral, was minimal.

Accordingly, by Friday, work was already underway at facilities along Florida's "Space Coast" for a rapid-fire succession of three launches in three days.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    Une tempête solaire a frappé la Terre cette semaine, une autre arrive dès demain

    news.movim.eu / JournalDuGeek · 2 days ago - 15:30

claro-158x105.jpg

Des phénomènes pas particulièrement inquiétants en tant que tel, mais qui témoignent de la montée en régime du Soleil.

Une tempête solaire a frappé la Terre cette semaine, une autre arrive dès demain

  • chevron_right

    L’Homme a beaucoup de mal pour lire sur les lèvres, mais pas les IA

    news.movim.eu / JournalDuGeek · 2 days ago - 11:30

lecture-labiale-158x105.jpg lecture-labiale-

Lire sur les lèvres est une discipline très difficile à maîtriser et pourtant essentielle pour les sourds et les malentendants.

L’Homme a beaucoup de mal pour lire sur les lèvres, mais pas les IA

  • chevron_right

    Qubits surf sound waves between quantum nodes

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 11:30

Qubits surf sound waves between quantum nodes

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Inspired by the functioning of pulsed lasers, scientists from France and Japan have developed an acoustic counterpart that enables the precise and controlled transmission of single electrons between quantum nodes.

Riding the waves

The spin of an electron can serve as a basis for creating qubits—the basic unit of information of quantum computing. In order to process or store that information, the information in qubits may have to be transported between quantum nodes in a network.

One option is transporting the electrons themselves, something that can now be done by having them ride sound waves. “More than 10 years ago, we demonstrated it for the first time,” said lead researcher Christopher Bauerle of the Grenoble-based Institute Néel .

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • chevron_right

    Rocket Report: BE-4 engine breathes fire; Delta IV Heavy puts on a show

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 11:00 · 1 minute

A Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office  lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on Sept. 24.

Enlarge / A Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on Sept. 24. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Welcome to Edition 5.12 of the Rocket Report! As a bit of late breaking news, Firefly attempted to make its second orbital launch attempt with the Alpha rocket early Friday, at 3 am EST (07:00 UTC) from California. However in the final moments before liftoff the vehicle went into "auto abort" after engine ignition. Firefly is reviewing data from the scrub to determine its next attempt.

As always, we welcome reader submissions , and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

smalll.png

Virgin Orbit faces "difficult" licensing in Britain . The next launch of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket, which fires its engines after being dropped from a carrier aircraft, is due to occur no earlier than October 29 from Spaceport Cornwall in southwestern England. A report in Cornwall Live says that the launch window that opens at the end of October is viable for several weeks and that the company still aims to launch during the fourth quarter of this year. During a Cornwall Council meeting earlier this month, Louis Gardner, cabinet member for the economy, provided details about licensing issues that are still being worked through.

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments