Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Exclusive-Polish gene project moves to drop Chinese tech on data concerns
A European Union-funded project to build a genomic map of Poland plans to drop gene-sequencing technology from China’s BGI Group over concerns about data security, one of the project’s leaders told Reuters. The Genomic Map of Poland’s concerns stem from questions over how Polish genomic data may be used that relate to national security, said Marek Figlerowicz, a Professor at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences who steers the project.
Severe COVID-19 may trigger autoimmune conditions; New variants cause more virus in the air
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that have yet to be certified by peer review. Severe COVID-19 may “trip off” immune self-attacks
NASA splits human spaceflight unit in two, reflecting new orbital economy
NASA is splitting its human spaceflight department into two separate bodies – one centered on big, future-oriented missions to the moon and Mars, the other on the International Space Station and other operations closer to Earth. The reorganization, announced by NASA chief Bill Nelson on Tuesday, reflects an evolving relationship between private companies, such as SpaceX, that have increasingly commercialized rocket travel and the federal agency that had exercised a U.S. monopoly over spaceflight for decades.
Genetic study reveals how ancient seafarers settled vast Polynesia
Beginning more than a millennium ago, intrepid seafarers traversed vast Pacific Ocean expanses in double-hulled sailing canoes to reach the far-flung islands of Polynesia, the planet’s last habitable region to be settled by people. A genetic study published on Wednesday has deciphered the timing and sequence of this settlement of an area spanning about a third of Earth’s surface, with Samoa as the starting point while Rapa Nui, also called Easter Island, and other locales known for megalithic statues were among the last to be reached.
Buckle up: Cambodian students build manned drone to aid community
Inspired at first by a desire to beat their city’s notorious traffic, a group of Cambodian students have designed a prototype drone that they hope can eventually be used to ferry people around Phnom Penh and even help fight fires. With eight propellers and using a school chair for the pilot’s seat, the drone was developed by students at the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) on the outskirts of the capital.
(With inputs from agencies.)