Don’t Miss the Top Five Stories of the Week
New Test Detects Almost All Viruses
A new test developed by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis can detect virtually any virus in both humans and animals. The test, called ViroCap, finds viruses standard testing doesn’t, according to results published last month. As it stands now, most tests aren’t effective enough to test low levels of a virus or only test for specific viruses that physicians believe to be the cause of illness. “With this test, you don’t have to know what you’re looking for,” said the study’s senior author, Gregory Storch, MD.
Researchers plan several more trials to prove its validity. Find out how ViroCap works, and when it could be readily available, by clicking here.
By the Numbers: Which States Are Reducing Their Carbon Pollution?
According to new figures released by the Energy Information Administration, most U.S. states are improving their carbon footprint to comply with new federal guidelines set in place to reduce carbon pollution. But 13 states are moving in the other direction. Most of these states are big producers of coal — and are also wrapped up in lawsuits to stop the recent regulations, set to cut carbon emissions by relying on clean and renewable energy sources.
How did your state do? Click here to read the full article.
Happy Birthday, ISS
This week marked the 15th anniversary of habitation on the International Space Station (ISS). What started as a humble abode in space has expanded to a round-the-clock occupied space laboratory the size of a football field. Since its inception, the ISS has helped scientists and researchers understand various aspects of space, and how the human body reacts and adjusts to life in the cosmos.
NASA celebrated the ISS anniversary by releasing a time-lapse video of the growth of ISS over the last 15 years. Click here to watch the two-minute video and see a chart of the most notable ISS accomplishments from the last decade and a half.
Fighting Fire With Fire — and Drones
A new drone prototype is purposefully shooting balls of fire into wooded areas, all for good reason. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have created the drone in an initiative to prevent devastating wildfires along the Plains and in the West. The drone, named the Unmanned Aerial System for Firefighting (UAS-FF), will work by dropping chemical-laced balls to remote areas of land that are at high risk for flames, deliberately setting a controlled fire to neutralize the area and prevent fires from spreading.
The drones are cheaper than using a helicopter and safer than setting the fires by hand. You can read more about the initiative by clicking here.
Amazing New Footage of the Sun
Your mother always told you not to stare at the sun or you’d go blind, but times have changed, thanks to NASA. This week, the agency released stunning footage from its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). SDO launched in 2011 and keeps a close eye on the sun from 22,000 miles above Earth, shooting back images every 12 seconds. Pieced together from the SDO images, the video features 10 different wavelengths of light to help scientists gauge temperature changes.
The video is 30 minutes long, but it takes no time at all to become fully entranced in the movements of the sun. Click here to watch the video and read the full article.
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