Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Interesting science news

A Mummy's DNA May Help Solve The Mystery Of The Origins Of Smallpox
The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus.

Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers, after a global vaccination campaign eradicated the virus in the late 1970s. But much about this killer remains unknown, including its origins.

Now scientists have the oldest complete set of smallpox genes, after they went hunting for viral DNA in a sample of skin from a mummified young child, probably a boy, that was found in a crypt underneath a Lithuanian church.
I never got my smallpox vaccine. I was sick when it was scheduled and when I came back, they weren't giving them anymore here in the US, as we were on the road to eradication. But I'm the only person my age I've met who didn't have one.

Mix of Graphene With ‘Silly Putty’ Yields Extremely Sensitive Sensor
Mixing graphene—a material made of single-atom-thick layers of carbon—with homemade “Silly Putty” produces a sensor so sensitive that it can detect the tiny footsteps of spiders, according to new research.
The uses could be endless, but include wearable health trackers.

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