News at a Glance: Immunotherapy for Lupus, Racism as Recent Health Issues, and Deforestation | Science


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The magnetic field of the sun

New images from the European Solar Orbiter may shed light on mysterious changes in the Sun’s magnetic field and explain why the solar wind blows at two different speeds. In March, the spacecraft saw an S-shaped vortex that ejects plasma in the Sun’s corona – this observation, according to previous predictions, shows that the star’s magnetic field lines sometimes collide into rare vertical lines, affecting the plasma’s straight lines. A kink is known as a switch. Scientists have previously seen evidence of shifts in magnetic field data, but their images were reported last week. Astrophysical Journal Letters They are first. The findings support the idea that the frozen solar wind is caused by eddies in the magnetic field lines. The work will help scientists better predict the impact of intense solar storms on Earth, which can wreak havoc on communications systems and navigation equipment.


The first director of ARPA-H was named

President Joe Biden has chosen an applied biologist with experience in industry and government to lead the new biomedical innovation agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Wegrzyn, 45, spent four years as a program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Office of Biological Technologies for the ARPA-H model, leading programs in synthetic biology and gene editing. She is currently vice president of business development at Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks, which focuses on cell engineering; She also has expertise in biosecurity. ARPA-H, which has a budget of $1 billion this year, was created by Congress in March to develop advanced medical technologies and is now part of the National Institutes of Health.

Quotation mark

They need to acknowledge their role in spreading disinformation and choose a different path.

  • University of California, Santa Barbara, energy policy expert Leah Stokes
  • to the Grist About her research on the role of utility companies in climate change denial.

Cancer treatment resists lupus

Five people with lupus have been shown, suggesting a new way to fight some autoimmune conditions. Treated with successfully created immune cells. A group in Germany reported this week Natural medicine The patients—four women and one man with severe organ problems from autoimmune disease—received chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy. This strategy, approved in the United States five years ago, involves isolating T cells and modifying them outside the body to target specific cells — in this case, lupus-promoting B cells — and all five patients tolerated the treatment well, and their organ function, such as kidney problems, improved or normalized. The patients stopped taking other medications such as immunosuppressants. The researchers note that although promising, CAR-T therapy needs to be studied over time in larger populations of people with lupus to confirm its safety and efficacy.


The effects of racism in real time

A study testing a new way to assess the health effects of racism has found that immediately after a person experiences a racist interaction, levels of stress hormones in their saliva rise. In a pilot study, researchers in the United States asked 12 black participants to collect their saliva four times a day for 4 days. During the same period, participants used a phone app to record perceived discrimination and microaggressions—for example, being mistreated by a service worker because of their race. Cortisol levels released during emotional stress –It increased in the saliva of the participants In the morning after reporting incidents of racial discrimination, the group reported this week PLOS One. Microaggressions seem to have an immediate effect, increasing cortisol levels the same day. The study’s authors, led by Sohyun Nam of the Yale University School of Nursing, say the strength of their strategy lies in actually tracking participants and analyzing their hormone levels throughout the day and planning other similar studies.

With attention

Southern right whale
Among this year’s wildlife photographer of the year winners is this image of a southern right whale calf off the coast of New Zealand. After surrounding and examining photographer Richard Robinson, the calf reportedly returned for a second look. New Zealand’s right whale population was on the brink of extinction, but recent conservation efforts have helped it recover from a group of more than 2,000 animals, including 13 breeding females. The competition was organized and organized by the Natural History Museum in London.© Richard Robinson/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Scientific community

Female teachers are paid less

Echoing previous findings, a new study found that female faculty, even those with a publishing history, are paid less than their male counterparts. After examining salary data for more than 2,300 tenured professors working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, researchers at 17 US universities identified a gender pay gap. The average charge in the class and the individual’s h-index, a measure that reflects how many papers they have published and how often those papers have been cited. For example, among teachers with a relatively high h-index of 49, women were paid about $6,000 more than their male counterparts. The authors of the study, The one on the press Scientometrics and is available as a preprint on ResearchGate.They say the findings highlight the need for universities to examine the fairness of faculty pay.

Excavated deforestation

In the year Just four countries accounted for 81% of tropical forest loss caused by industrial mining in 2019. According to a study Published this week Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Indonesia, the largest contributor, mainly mines coal, while others mine gold and aluminum ore. Since 2014, forest loss has decreased by 45%, mainly due to lower mining prices and restrictions on coal mining in Indonesia. Overall, agriculture is still a major cause of deforestation.

A graph showing deforestation
(Graphic) K. FranklinScience; (Data) S. Jill inter alia. PNAS119 (38) E2118273119 (2022)

America changes disgusting place names.

Department of the Interior (DOI) last week Name removed Around 650 peaks, creeks, buttes and other geographic features throughout the United States are used as insults to Native American women. Secretary Deb Holland, the first Native American cabinet member in the US government, formed a committee to consider more than 1,000 ideas for new names. Federal agencies, including the US Geological Survey, update their maps. Museums also update databases for specimens collected near sites on the list. “It is important that our collections reflect the values ​​of diversity and inclusion,” said Carol Butler, assistant director of collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The museum turns over hundreds of cases in an online database, mostly for plant specimens collected at sites with offensive names. DOI continues to accept suggestions for other names that need to be changed.

health care

The hidden costs of sexual assault

People who seek emergency care after sexual assault can also be burdened with heavy medical bills. In the year Looking at nearly 113,000 emergency room visits for sexual assault in 2019, researchers found that 16% of those assaulted had no health insurance and had to pay an average of nearly $3,700. Pregnant individuals who were sexually assaulted filed the highest charges, averaging more than $4,500. Such costs may discourage people from reporting their experiences or seeking help. Alert the authors of the studyPublished this week by New England Journal of Medicine. They also write that low-income women and girls—who are disproportionately vulnerable to sexual assault—are particularly vulnerable to medical malpractice.


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