10 Science News Roundup #11

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

Trends in drug development – One third of all drugs on the American market act on the same kind of important cell receptor — the G protein-coupled receptors. A major mapping of these drugs has found that their pharmacological mechanisms are becoming more complex. The mapping also reveals rapid developments especially within Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, asthma and diabetes. Science Daily

How flu shot manufacturing forces influenza to mutate – The common practice of growing influenza vaccine components in chicken eggs disrupts the major antibody target site on the virus surface, rendering the flu vaccine less effective in humans. Science Daily

Building a sustainable future: Urgent action needed – We need to act urgently to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings as the world’s emerging middle classes put increasing demands on our planet’s energy resources. Science Daily

Aliens Probably Went Through Natural Selection Just Like Us – Science fiction normally depicts aliens in one of two ways. The first is that they look almost identical to us (hello Star Trek). The other is they are something wildly beyond our imagination, say, the heptapods in Arrival. IFLScience

Photons are caught behaving like superconducting electrons – Light is a fan of the buddy system. Photons, or particles of light, have been spotted swapping energy with partners. This chummy behavior resembles how electrons pair up in materials that conduct current without resistance, known as superconductors, researchers report in a paper accepted in Physical Review Letters. Science News

Zika hasn’t been in the news much, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone – Less than a year after the World Health Organization declared Zika is no longer a public health emergency, the virus seems to have fallen from public consciousness, at least outside of heavily affected areas. The mosquito-borne virus staged a massive assault on the Western Hemisphere in 2015 and 2016 (SN: 12/24/16, p. 19), but this year, Zika appears to be in retreat. Science News

Extremely Rare Case in US as Woman Gets Pregnant While Already Pregnant – An extremely rare case of a woman becoming pregnant while already pregnant has occurred in the US, with a mother unwittingly giving birth to ‘twins’ who were not conceived at the same time. Science Alert

Alzheimer’s Could Actually Start Elsewhere in The Body And Not The Brain, Says Study – Alzheimer’s disease is usually described as a degenerative neurological condition, one that is commonly associated with memory loss and confusion. Science Alert

This Monster Planet With a Tiny Star Poses a Planetary Formation Puzzle – Astronomers have found something they thought was impossible: a gas giant roughly the size of Jupiter orbiting a white dwarf half the mass and size of the Sun. Science Alert

Yellowstone’s massive volcano could erupt more frequently than scientists thought – SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—Some 630,000 years ago, the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming recorded its last catastrophic eruption, forming a caldera that nearly spans the park’s width and belching a thick layer of ash, or tephra, across North America. Science

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