Science News Roundup: Scientists Propose Tyrannosaurus Had Three Species, Not Just ‘Rex’; Breakthrough gene-editing tech belongs to Harvard, US court MIT and others

Here is a summary of current scientific news.

Scientists Propose Tyrannosaurus Has Three Species, Not Just “Rex”

A group of researchers propose that Tyrannosaurus, the most famous of all dinosaurs and the ultimate apex predator, actually comprises three species and not just the single T. rex, based on femur and tooth variations among dozens of its fossils. T. rex, meaning “tyrant lizard king”, is the only recognized species of the genus Tyrannosaurus since the dinosaur was first described in 1905. A genus is a larger grouping of related organisms than a species.

Breakthrough gene-editing tech belongs to Harvard, US court at MIT

A US court overseeing patent litigation ruled on Monday that patents on the breakthrough gene-editing technology known as CRISPR belong to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling is a defeat for University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna and Nobel Prize-winning researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier.

Seals help Japanese researchers collect data under Antarctic ice

A seal wearing a helmet with an antenna might seem unusual, but eight Weddell seals, each with a 580g tracking device on their heads, helped Japanese researchers probe the waters beneath the thick Antarctic ice cap . Exploited for a research project between March and November 2017 – winter in Antarctica – these seals were fitted with a head-mounted conductivity, temperature and depth sensor, which allows scientists to collect sighting data , such as water temperature and salt levels, in areas with extremely harsh environmental conditions.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture says to facilitate commercialization of GM soybeans and corn

China’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday it would facilitate the commercialization of genetically modified soybean, corn and cotton crops. China will improve management of GM crop varieties, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs also said in its 2022 GM crop regulation work plan.

Ukraine gets Starlink internet terminals – and a friendly security warning

Ukraine said on Monday it had received Starlink satellite internet terminals from SpaceX, but an internet security researcher warned they could become Russian targets. “Starlink – here. Thank you, @elonmusk,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted days after asking billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for help. Fedorov’s tweet included a photo of the back of a military-looking truck loaded with terminals.

Modified T cells can help those taking immunosuppressants; ECMO machines improve COVID survival

Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that deserves further study to corroborate the findings and that has not yet been certified by peer review. Modified T cells not suppressed by immunosuppressants

(With agency contributions.)

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