The newly discovered orangutan courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Science news roundup

Nobel Prizes

The 2017 Nobel prize recipients were announced October 3. The physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine recipients are as follows:

Physics: Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S, Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

Chemistry: Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson “for developing cry-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.”

Physiology or Medicine: Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbas and Michael W. Young “For their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”

The recipients will be awarded their prizes on December 10.


Physics News
From LIGO: On August 17, LIGO detected gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars. This event was also detected by various light based observatories. This marks the first event that has been viewed by both gravitational waves and light. This detection is further confirmation that LIGO is able to detect real astrophysical events and is able to distinguish between different events.

From Cern: The ATLAS experiment has detected the first evidence of light-by-light scattering. The scattering process involves two photons interacting and then changing direction, which is impossible according to classical mechanics but was predicted by quantum electrodynamics decades ago. This discovery gives physicists a new interaction to study in search of new physics.
ATLAS Collaboration. Nature Physics doi:10.1038/nphys4208

Chemistry/Biochemistry News
An international group of researchers corrected a disease-causing gene mutation in human embryos using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique of genome modification.The gene mutation is called MYBPC3 and causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The experiment was published on August 2, in Nature.

Via Nature
Ma, H. et al. Nature

Biology News
Researchers claim to have discovered and classified a new species of orangutans.The species, Pongo tapanuliensis, would increase the number of orangutan species to three. This particular type of orangutan lives in the Batang Toru forest in Sumatra, and the scientist believe that currently fewer than 800 individuals are alive.

Post Author: Adam Lux