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30th September Top 10 STEM News

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Our editors round up of the best science for 30th September Top 10 STEM News:

1. Elon Musk just unveiled the spaceship that will take passengers to Mars

It’s a wildly ambitious plan, but SpaceX’s Elon Musk says human passengers will be able to travel to Mars by 2025, thanks to the biggest rocket of all time.

Musk’s grand vision, unveiled at a keynote address in Mexico on Tuesday, would see 100 passengers at a time ferried to Mars on an 80-day trip, aboard what he calls the Interplanetary Transport System.

Watch the video


2. South African teen wins Google prize for orange peel innovation

A 16-year-old South African schoolgirl has won the grand prize at Google’s science fair for using orange peel to develop a cheap super-absorbent material to help soil retain water.

Kiara Nirghin beat students from around the world for a $50,000 (£38,000) scholarship with her “fighting drought with fruit” submission.

Her work was in response to the recent drought that has hit South Africa .

The drought, the worst since 1982, led to crop failures and animals dying.

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3. Nanotech bandage heals wounds in day

Egyptian researchers have developed a bandage embedded with nanoparticles for the treatment of wounds using the anti-epilepsy drug Phenytoin, known for its capacity to treat skin injuries.

The bandage can heal wounds in a few days, after just one application to soft tissue. Wounds normally take several days to a few weeks to heal completely, and some may only heal after several months or up to two years.

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4. Hear the first-ever full pop song composed by artificial intelligence

The first-ever pop song written by artificial intelligence was unveiled earlier this week by Sony CSL Research Laboratory. The song, which is called ‘Daddy’s Car’, was composed by an AI system called Flow Machines.

Hear the song


5. Does this 25 year-old hold the key to winning the war against superbugs?

Not many 25-year-olds can claim to get up at 4am and work weekends to save the world from an impending Armageddon that could cost tens of millions of lives.

But for the past three years, Shu Lam, a Malaysian PhD student at the University of Melbourne, has confined herself to a scientific laboratory to figure out how to kill superbugs that can no longer be treated with antibiotics.

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6. Artificial blood vessels developed in the lab can grow with the recipient

In a groundbreaking new study led by University of Minnesota biomedical engineers, artificial blood vessels bioengineered in the lab and implanted in young lambs are capable of growth within the recipient. If confirmed in humans, these new vessel grafts would prevent the need for repeated surgeries in some children with congenital heart defects.

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7. How the brain decides between effort and reward

In a new study, researchers investigated what parts of the brain may be involved in deciding if something is worth the effort. The team found a relevant pattern of activity in three areas of the brain, the supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and putamen.

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8. Breastfeeding saves mothers’ lives

Breastfeeding is not only good for children, but also for their mothers, providing more health benefits and preventing more maternal diseases than previously known, new research shows.

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9. Brain’s biological clock stimulates thirst before sleep

The brain’s biological clock stimulates thirst in the hours before sleep, according to a study. Scientists have known that rodents show a surge in water intake during the last two hours before sleep. The study now reveals that this behavior is not motivated by any physiological reason, such as dehydration. So if they don’t need to drink water, why do they?

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10. Morning sickness linked to lower risk of pregnancy loss

Nausea and vomiting that occurs in pregnancy is often called “morning sickness,” as these symptoms typically begin in the morning and usually resolve as the day progresses. For most women, nausea and vomiting subside by the 4th month of pregnancy. Others may have these symptoms for the duration of their pregnancies. The cause of morning sickness is not known, but researchers have proposed that it protects the fetus against toxins and disease-causing organisms in foods and beverages.

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