An ocean in hiding inside Saturn’s moon Mimas


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A false colour image from NASA of Mimas transiting Saturn’s ring shadows.

Striped by its rings’ shadows, Saturn (mild blue; artificially colored) looms behind its moon Mimas (gray sphere), which conceals a liquid ocean beneath its floor.Credit score: NASA through Alamy

Mimas, a small moon of Saturn, seems to have an ocean beneath its icy floor — regardless of wanting too geologically inert to have water sloshing inside. The truth that unexceptional Mimas has an ocean implies that “you possibly can have liquid water nearly wherever”, says astronomer Valéry Lainey. And meaning a better probability of extraterrestrial life someplace: interactions between a buried ocean and a moon’s rocky core might generate sufficient chemical power to maintain dwelling organisms.

Nature | 5 min learn

Reference: Nature paper

Mutations that allow most cancers cells thrive when wholesome cells would die can enhance engineered immune cells’ capability to kill tumours in mice. Engineered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are already used to deal with blood cancers, however don’t appear to work nicely for ‘strong’ cancers, resembling breast and lung tumours. Researchers screened the impact of 71 mutations present in cancerous T cells, and located that one particularly gave T cells the facility to soften away mice’s tumours. “It’s a really particular molecule, it appears to have the ability to beat all of the checks we put to it,” says dermatologist and examine co-author Jaehyuk Choi.

Nature | 5 min learn

Reference: Nature paper

A brand new strategy appears to be like at authors, somewhat than the content material of papers, to assist determine journal articles that originate from ‘paper mills’ — factories for faux analysis. It appears to be like for uncommon patterns of co-authorship and peculiar networks of researchers, which may very well be an indication that authorship was paid for, somewhat than earned. The strategy may very well be essential as synthetic intelligence (AI) techniques make all of it too straightforward to churn out convincing copy. “That is the form of sign that’s rather more troublesome to work round or outcompete by intelligent use of generative AI,” says Hylke Koers of the Worldwide Affiliation of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers.

Nature | 5 min learn

Reference: arXiv preprint

Options & opinion

How a battery works: graphic that shows how a battery functions and suggests ways that the design can be improved.

Supply: Tailored from G. Harper et al. Nature 575, 75–86 (2019) and G. Supply et al. Nature 582, 485–487 (2020)

Researchers are creating new sorts of batteries that would present cheaper, extra environment friendly methods to energy electrical autos — and maybe even aeroplanes. One of many largest challenges will probably be discovering a battery design utilizing a useful resource that’s cheaper and extra sustainable than the lithium most present batteries are based mostly on. “The entire completely different chemistries that aren’t commercialized at this time have their professionals and cons,” says chemical engineer Brian Cunningham. “Our job is to take away all these cons.”

Nature | 15 min learn

The Moon is asking — and business firms and nationwide house companies from the world over are on their manner. However 4 out of the eight lunar touchdown makes an attempt made prior to now 5 years have failed, exhibiting simply how robust it’s to stay the touchdown. Nature takes a have a look at some key checks and challenges concerned in making ready a lunar lander for its mission.

Nature | 7 min learn

Because the British Library and Berlin’s pure historical past museum have skilled in latest months, cyberattacks on data establishments are rising. A Nature editorial explores how researchers can contribute to a greater understanding of such assaults — and who ought to pay each for higher cybersecurity measures and for clearing up after a breach.

Nature | 5 min learn

Quote of the day

In 1922, the Basler Nachrichten newspaper heralded the success of iodized salt in opposition to an ailment that was — due to a quirk of geography — endemic in additional than 80% of Switzerland: iodine deficiency. Now that success has been all however forgotten, writes Jonah Goodman in The London Assessment of Books. (19 min learn)

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