The 12 Best Scientific Advances of July 2022

To prevent being harmed in risky situations or eaten by predators, our brains have evolved a fear response. Fortunately, during the past few tens of thousands of years, the globe has become noticeably safer, which has reduced the likelihood of encountering terrifying scenarios. The issue is that our brains are still processing the information.

That is also normal. It seems sense to be cautious in a world where danger could result in your death. As a result, sometimes our fear reaction is turned up higher than is really appropriate. The repercussions of at least one unreasonable fear negatively affect the lives of A significant portion of people worldwide.

There are several methods for treating phobias, with exposure treatment possibly being the most popular one. It works by forcing a patient to confront their anxiety in a circumstance where they must do so. The use of a virtual reality application called oVRcome to give digital exposure therapy has now been studied by academics from the University of Otago, Christchurch, and published in the Australian andamp; New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry .

The software, which can be downloaded as an app on your phone, considers the intensity of your phobia while creating a suitable exposure program. Some participants moved from moderate or severe symptoms to mild symptoms after just six weeks since the study’s findings were so effective.

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The Nature

Asteroid impact

Although science has made it possible for us to produce synthetic diamonds in a laboratory, the brilliant gemstones had existed in nature before humans even existed. In reality, a natural diamond must be used as a nucleation site before synthetic diamonds may be created (via Forbes ). In the end, nature cannot be avoided.

However, it turns out that there are other ways in which diamonds might be created in the cosmos. Diamonds normally develop deep beneath the Earth’s surface under conditions of extreme heat and pressure. Asteroid impacts produce intense heat and pressure, which could be ideal circumstances for the growth of diamonds. An international group of scientists has just confirmed in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that an impactor that crashed onto Earth 50,000 years ago produced unique elements that are similar to diamonds.

We have already observed this type of action taking place in our solar system. In fact, a study released in March 2022 raises the possibility that diamond dust may cover a sizable section of Mercury’s surface (via Science News ).

Of course, it would take a lot of effort to travel to Mercury and study those jewels. As long as you are not need to be there for their construction, it is much preferable to discover our own at home. They already offer intriguing directions for research. Researchers discovered unusual intergrowths that resemble graphene, which may open the door to the creation of new materials.

Feathered dinosaur volcano

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Killer whales

The name “killer whale” serves as a warning as well as a not-so-cute nickname. The epitome of an animal that appears cuddly but is anything but is the killer whale, especially if you’re a great white shark. Two killer whales are consistently chasing great white sharks in the vicinity, and the sharks are fleeing in fear, according to recent South African research. By looking at bite marks on carcasses that washed up on the coast, scientists were able to link the kills to the same two orcas.

The study’s findings, which were published in the African Journal of Marine Science , revealed that the great white population has decreased for reasons other than simply being killed by killer whales. The remaining sharks now perceive the whales as a sign of impending death and leave the region whenever they appear.

That response makes sense for a reason. Along with killing the sharks, orcas also remove and eat their livers and, in some cases, other organs. This is due to the liver’s high nutritional content and significant body mass. Killer whales should have been our initial source of fear, not great whites, who are the subject of all ocean-based horror films.

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Science

Woolly mammoths

We previously coexisted on Earth with a variety of astounding megafauna species. Due in large part to our own activities, many of those species are now extinct. One of these was the woolly mammoth, a ponderous creature with a thick, luxurious covering of fur that resembled current elephants.

We have had the distinct pleasure of finding well-preserved remains that include soft tissues like muscle, skin, and hair, which is unusual compared to many other extinct animals. That’s because of a combination of their geologically recent extinction and the freezing conditions they experienced while alive and after they passed away.

A mummified baby mammoth was recently discovered at a Yukon mining site, inside Trondk Hwchin Traditional Territory ( Yukon Government ). Trondk Hwchin and Yukon government representatives are collaborating to protect and study the animal.

The mummies, known as Nun cho ga, which in the Hn language means “huge baby animal,” is thought to be about 30,000 years old and has been exquisitely preserved in the permafrost. The mammoth is the best-preserved and most complete one that has ever been found in North America.

Elephant shrew

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Cannibal neutron star

The coolest things in the known cosmos are neutron stars. They are the exploded star remnants that have collapsed, and the leftover matter is packed so tightly that they contain more mass than the Sun in a 20 km diameter region (via significant portion 1 ). When matter is compressed so tightly, it often exhibits some amazing behaviors.

One such neutron star is the pulsar PSR J0952-0607, which was initially identified in 2017. The pulsar is the heaviest yet discovered, with a mass 2.35 times that of the Sun, give or take 0.17 solar masses, according to a new examination of it that was just published in significant portion 2. According to estimates, the object is located in the constellation Sextans between 3,200 and 5,700 light-years away (via significant portion 3 ). On Maunakea, the 10-meter Keck I telescope was used to measure the item. It orbits its partner star every six and a half hours and goes by the term “black widow pulsar” due to the fact that it has eaten up the majority of its companion’s mass.

As gravity does its best, it started to drag materials away from the companion and toward the neutron star with a higher mass. The neutron star’s rotational speed rose as it developed, reaching 707 rotations per second at this point, making it the second-fastest neutron star ever detected, trailing only PSR J1748-2446ad, which rotates at 716 rotations per second (via significant portion 4 ).

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