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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Ian Lau


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Science

This Week in Science: Omicron may spread like common cold, J&J could boost Pfizer vaccine, Hawaii blizzard

The omicron variant, the newest COVID-19 strain, may be more contagious but cause milder symptoms than other coronavirus variants, a new study suggests. Venky Soundararajan, a bioengineer who co-wrote the study, explained to the Washington Post that as viruses evolve to become more widespread, symptoms generally become less severe. Still, researchers caution that more information is needed about the novel variant.

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Science

This Week in Science: NASA's armageddon mission, boosters for all adults, high-kicking frogs, the best way to hug, COVID-19 origin

NASA plans to launch a spacecraft this week that, in late 2022, will intentionally crash into an asteroid, hopefully changing its trajectory. Planetary defense research has been conducted over the past several years in hopes of preventing foreseeable meteor crashes. Although scientists believe massive meteorites do not pose a significant Armageddon-level threat in the next few centuries, smaller astrological debris can be just as deadly, with the potential to decimate entire cities like Manhattan.  

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Science

Bite-Size Science: 23andMe for horses? Genetics provide clues on equine ancestry

An analysis of ancient animal DNA samples has helped identify the genetic homeland of modern horses from around 4,200 years ago. A team of archaeologists spent the last five years collecting thousands of horse samples — from bones to teeth — in locations where the animals could have originated. Researchers utilized radiocarbon dating to figure out the age of different samples and tracked several horse populations before, during and after domestication. By comparing these different populations, the team concluded in a recent report published in Nature thatmodern domestic horses originated from the steppes — which are grasslands located in present-day Russia — before spreading across Eurasia and replacing all preexisting horse lineages.

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PHOTO

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Bendetson Hall, home of Tufts’ office of admissions, is pictured on Nov. 15, 2021.

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PHOTO

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Ballou Hall, home of Tufts’ administrative offices, is pictured on Feb. 1, 2022.

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