Stunning image of Jupiter from the James Webb Space Telescope

Stunning image of Jupiter from the James Webb Space Telescope

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Rabbits have had a disastrous effect on Australian agriculture and native flora.Credit: Bettman/Getty

The invasive rabbit population in Australia likely originated from a shipment of twenty wild English rabbits that arrived near Melbourne on Christmas Day 1859. Genetic analysis has found that Oryctolagus cuniculusPerhaps the wild race gave her an advantage over previous arrivals. “This single event has caused such a massive catastrophe, both ecologically and economically, in Australia,” says evolutionary geneticist and study co-author Frances Giggins.

Nature | 4 minutes to read

Reference: PNAS paper

Anthony Fauci, who has been the chief infectious disease adviser in the United States for nearly 40 years, will leave his leadership positions in December. From the AIDS epidemic to the COVID-19 pandemic, the famous medical chief has advised seven US presidents about the many outbreaks of the disease. “Dr. Fauci is the most dedicated civil servant I have ever known,” says Francis Collins, former director of the US National Institutes of Health. “His contributions have saved countless lives from HIV/AIDS, Ebola and SARS-CoV-2, and will continue to be very important gifts to humanity.” But don’t call it retirement, says 81-year-old Fauci. “I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have a lot of energy and passion for my field.”

Nature | 5 minutes to read

Cognitive neuroscientists showed that repeatedly stimulating the brains of adults over 65 with weak electrical currents over several days resulted in improved memory that lasted for up to a month. They used transcranial alternating current stimulation, a non-invasive method that involves electrodes placed on the surface of the scalp. Fire the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – an area near the front of the brain – with high-frequency electrical currents to improve long-term memory. Stimulation of the lower parietal lobe, which goes back further in the brain, with electrical currents of low frequency, enhances working memory.

Nature | 5 minutes to read

Reference: natural neuroscience paper

The tree line in the Arctic is moving at an alarming pace. Study found it white spruce (Picea glaucaTrees spread north into the Alaskan tundra at more than four kilometers per decade Faster than any pine tree line ever measured. “When you see trees growing, you know the climate has already changed,” says ecologist and co-author Roman Dial. “It’s not like five years of weather, or ten years of weather. The climate for 30 years has created new trees in new places.” Fir trees, in turn, contribute to increased warming because they reflect less sunlight than snow that once covered the same ground.

wired | Read for 7 minutes

Reference: temper nature paper

Features and opinions

Civil engineer Briony Rogers works on projects that address the tension that exists between cities and water: they are typically located next to important water sources, such as rivers, but many have been developed in ways that strip them from their aquatic environments, such as by draining swamps. In Australia, known for its droughts and floods, Rogers is not only looking at how to insulate cities against water shocks, but also how to use water to make it more convenient and healthy.

Nature | 5 minutes to read

This article is part of Spotlight on Nature: Smart CitiesIndependent editorial supplement.

picture of the week

Jupiter appears in stunning detail with the glowing aurora borealis shining in icy blue and the faint dots of two small moons.

This image of Jupiter was taken with the near-infrared camera of the James Webb Space Telescope. The camera captures infrared light, which is mapped here in the visible spectrum. The image shows Jupiter’s aurora flickering over its poles, faint rings and two small moons.: Amalthea is the bright point of light to the left of the planet, and Adrastea is very faint halfway between the two, at the edge of the ring. The mysterious patches in the lower background are likely galaxies colliding with the Jovian view. The image was produced by Judy Schmidt, who works on telescope data as a hobby, in collaboration with planetary scientist Ricardo Hueso. Planetary astronomer Emke de Pater says Webb’s picture is surprisingly good. “It’s really cool that we can see details about Jupiter with its rings, little moons, and even galaxies in one picture.” (NASA James Webb Space Telescope Blog | 5 minutes to read) Credit: NASA, ESA, Jupiter ERS Team; Image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt

Quote from today

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, whose research paved the way for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, takes into account academic life, the risks of being discovered and why she dreams of surfing in tidal waves. (The New York Times Magazine | 10 minutes to read)

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