‘’Your weekly informant’’

14th April-20th April

1. Neptune is colder than we thought: A new study uncovers unexpected temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere

Temperatures in Neptune’s atmosphere have fluctuated unexpectedly during the past two decades, according to new research headed by space scientists at the University of Leicester. The researchers were able to offer a more thorough picture of trends in Neptune’s temperatures than ever before by analyzing the data. However, since reliable thermal imaging began in 2003, these datasets show a decline in Neptune’s thermal brightness, indicating that globally-averaged temperatures in Neptune’s stratosphere — the layer of the atmosphere just above its active weather layer — have dropped by roughly 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) between 2003 and 2018, surprising the researchers. Dr. Michael Roman, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester and lead author of the paper, said: “This change was unexpected. Since we have been observing Neptune during its early southern summer, we would expect temperatures to be slowly growing warmer, not colder.”

2. The furthest galaxy ever discovered has been discovered by astronomers

The galaxy candidate, known as HD1, is 13.5 billion light-years away and was described in the Astrophysical Journal on Thursday. The group has two suggestions: HD1 could be creating stars at an incredible rate, and it could even be home to Population III stars, the universe’s first stars, which have never been seen before. HD1 could also be home to a supermassive black hole with a mass 100 million times that of our Sun. In ultraviolet light, HD1 is exceptionally bright. Some energetic activities are occurring there or, better yet, did occur billions of years ago, says the research. At first, the researchers assumed HD1 was a typical starburst galaxy, one that produces a lot of stars. However, after calculating how many stars HD1 produced, scientists discovered “HD1 would be creating more than 100 stars every year, which is an astounding rate. This is at least a tenfold increase beyond what we would predict for these galaxies.” That’s when the researchers started to believe that HD1 wasn’t creating ordinary stars.

3. As a common sleep issue worsens, risky driving behaviors rise

People with sleep apnea wake up weary in the morning, regardless of how much sleep they get. They stop and start breathing dozens, if not hundreds, of times per night as a result of the disorder. Even if apnea sufferers are not awakened by such breathing disruptions, they are prevented from falling into a deep, restful sleep. A new study puts a monetary value on how risky chronic fatigue may be, at least when it comes to driving. According to a study by experts at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, for every eight more breathing pauses per hour, the chances of making a dangerous driving maneuver such as speeding, braking forcefully, or accelerating quickly increase by 27%. Adults over the age of 65 are more likely to develop sleep apnea. In a car accident, they are also more likely to be critically hurt or killed. The findings, published in the journal Sleep, imply that screening older folks for sleep apnea and, if necessary, therapy could help them drive safely for longer.

4. A new study suggests that brisk walking can help to halt the biological aging process

A new study of more than 400,000 UK people’s genetic data published on Wednesday found a striking correlation between walking speed and a biological age marker. The Leicester-based team of researchers found a causal link between walking speed and leucocyte telomere length (LTL), a biological age indicator, and predict that a lifetime of brisk walking might result in the equivalent of 16 years shorter biological age by midlife. A quicker walking pace, independent of the quantity of physical activity, was related to longer telomeres, according to data from 405,981 middle-aged UK Biobank participants. Telomeres are the ‘caps’ at the ends of each chromosome that contain repeating sequences of non-coding DNA that protect the chromosome from harm, similar to how a shoelace’s cap prevents it from unraveling. These telomeres shorten with each cell division, until they are so short that the cell can no longer divide, a condition known as replicative senescence.’ As a result, experts consider LTL to be a reliable indicator of a person’s biological age, regardless of when they were born.

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