Page 53 - ScienceIndia Magazine March 2021
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     NASA’s rover successfully touches surface of Mars
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Mars rover Perseverance streaked through the Martian sky and landed on the Red Planet on February 10, 2021. It has
Martian landscape
accomplished the dangerous step in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on Mars. Nearly seven months after its take-off, Nasa’s Perseverance rover made a historic landing on the red planet, becoming the fifth Nasa rover ever to touch down on Mars after Sojourner, twin rovers Spirit and Op- portunity, and Curiosity.
Flip of Earth’s magnetic poles linked to the end of Neanderthals
A flip of the Earth’s magnetic poles about 42,000 years ago may have re- sulted in the extinction of megafauna and the end of the Neanderthals. The Neanderthals were a species or subspe- cies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ago. Earth’s magnetic fields, which protect the planet from damaging radiations, may have reversed about 42,000 years ago, which may have weakened the protective shield, exposing the planet to cosmic radiations. The Neander-
The Neanderthals lived in Eurasia about 40,000 years ago
thals are named after the valley Nean- dertal of the river Düssel in Germany, where the first identified specimen was found in 1856.
Comet, not an asteroid, may have wiped out dinosaurs
Harvard researchers have found that dinosaurs might have been killed by a comet instead of an asteroid. A comet is a celestial object that consists of a nucleus of ice and dust. It originates from a group of icy objects located on the edge of the solar system. While
an asteroid is a rock piece that orbits the Sun. They are mostly found in the Asteroid Belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. The study said that a piece of comet crashed into Earth some 66
A piece of comet crashed into Earth some 66 million years ago
million years ago to create Chicxulub crater, which is linked to the Creta- ceous-Paleogene extinction event that wiped off the dinosaurs and many other species.
Most people are naturally armed against Covid-19
The majority of the people can pro- duce neutralising antibodies against the novel coronavirus in severe cases of Covid-19, according to a study. The researchers noted that neutralising antibodies that specifically target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein — which the virus uses to enter human cells — are thought to be essential for control- ling it.
Mystery illness that killed over 50 chimps could jump to humans
A new bacterium caused the mysteri- ous deaths of chimpanzees in Sierra
Leone’s Tacugama sanctuary, scientists say. New research also shows that the fatal illness may also pose a potential risk to humans considering chimpan- zees and humans share 98 per cent
of genetic makeup. Identified as an epizootic neurologic and gastroenteric syndrome or ENGS, the unknown illness caused neurological problems, vomiting and diarrhoea among chimpanzees.
Teeth from Siberian mammoths yield oldest DNA ever recovered
Scientists have recovered the oldest DNA on record, extracting it from
the molars of mammoths that roamed northeastern Siberia up to 1.2 million years ago, in research that broadens the horizons for understanding extinct species. The researchers had recovered and sequenced DNA from the remains of three individual mammoths — elephant cousins that were among the large mammals that dominated Ice Age landscapes — entombed in perma- frost conditions conducive to preserva- tion of ancient genetic material.
Magnets manipulated at atomic level
A team of global researchers has managed to manipulate magnets at
the atomic level. This feat is expected to help scientists work on better and energy-efficient data processing tech- nologies in the coming years. Magnets find use in several day-to-day appli- ances, along with storing data by cloud services like Google and Amazon. With an increased demand of magnetic data processing cells, it is important that scientists are able to manipulate the magnetic state.
Life found 3,000 ft under ice
A group of scientists from the Brit-
ish Antarctic Survey (BAS) has come across life deep under a floating sheet of ice in Antarctica. This discovery challenges the predominant idea that life could not exist in such extreme situations. The team came across these signs of life in the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf on the South Eastern Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

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