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News of the week selected by Impactscool – May 11th

11 May 2020 | Written by La redazione

The Lin28 molecule, a new way to fight paralysis

Thousands of patients suffer spinal cord injuries each year leading to paralysis. When axons, the part of neurons that carry electrical impulses, are severely damaged or severed, the brain has no way of communicating with a part of the body that remains paralyzed. New research on mice at Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University shows, however, that it may be possible to partially recover the function of axons, thanks to a molecule known as Lin28, which regulates cell growth. By changing the expression of this molecule, the researchers managed to regrow some of the damaged axons in the spinal cord and optic nerves. Future research on this molecule could reveal the secrets for the regeneration of nervous system cells.


Tom Cruise wants to make a movie in space

NASA will make the International Space Station available to Tom Cruise to shoot the first film in space. The statement comes from NASA director Jim Bridenstine, who in a tweet expressed the importance of popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists. According to rumors, SpaceX would also be involved in the project, probably by providing the means to allow the actor and a small crew to reach the station.


The hydrogen of the future comes from plants

Hydrogen is used in many fundamental sectors, from agriculture, to create fertilizers, to heavy industry, in metalworking. To date, 95% of hydrogen is extracted through a process called steam reforming which is powered by fossil fuels. This highly energy-intensive and CO2-releasing process could be replaced in the future by a much greener alternative thanks to the discovery of Kevin Redding, professor at the School of Molecular Sciences and director of the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis. By manipulating the DNA of an alga the professor and his team managed to transform the photosynthesis process to allow the small microorganism to produce hydrogen. This research lays the foundations for the creation of bio-factories capable of carrying out difficult reactions powered only by the Sun.


Microsoft invests 1.5 billion in Italy

“Microsoft’s mission has always been to help people and organizations realize their potential,” Silvia Candiani, CEO of Microsoft Italy, explained to Wired, commenting on the investment of the Windows company of 1.5 billion dollars. This is the #DigitalRestart plan within the “Ambition Italy” program which aims to contribute to the digital transformation of our country. The first step will be to build a regional data center in Milan, a further new node in Microsoft’s international cloud network to provide an ecosystem of services to businesses, institutions and citizens.

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