`Oumuamua gets a boost

Oumuamua -- the first interstellar object discovered within our Solar System -- has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its discovery in October 2017 [1]. Now, by combining data from the ESO's Very Large Telescope and other observatories, an international team of astronomers has found that the object is moving faster than predicted. The measured gain in speed is tiny and `Oumuamua is still slowing down because of the pull of the Sun -- just not as fast as predicted by celestial mechanics, according to Science Daily.

The team, led by Marco Micheli (European Space Agency) explored several scenarios to explain the faster-than-predicted speed of this peculiar interstellar visitor. The most likely explanation is that `Oumuamua is venting material from its surface due to solar heating -- a behaviour known as outgassing [2]. The thrust from this ejected material is thought to provide the small but steady push that is sending `Oumuamua hurtling out of the Solar System faster than expected -- as of 1 June 2018 it is traveling at roughly 114,000 kilometres per hour.

What do slugs hate? Home remedies put to the test

Home remedies used by gardeners to deter slugs and snails are to be tested scientifically for the first time.

Researchers at the Royal Horticultural Society are investigating whether the likes of egg shells and copper have any effect in keeping slugs away, according to BBC.

The RHS is starting scientific trials of five traditional remedies to see if they are based on science or myth.

Challenging our understanding of how platelets are made

Platelets are uniquely mammalian cells, and are the small cells of the blood that are critical for us to stop bleeding when we cut ourselves. They are also a central part of the process of thrombosis, which underlies heart attacks and stroke, and form the target of major drugs used in the treatment of these diseases, such as aspirin. These cells are formed from large precursor cells, megakaryocytes, in the bone marrow and the lung, at a remarkable rate of 100 billion platelets per day in adult humans (that is one million platelets per second) according to Science Daily.

Despite this hugely active process, we still do not understand the details of how platelets are formed in the body.

Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

A tree regarded as the icon of the African savannah is dying in mysterious circumstances.

International scientists have discovered that most of the oldest and largest African baobab trees have died over the past 12 years, according to BBC.

They suspect the demise may be linked to climate change, although they have no direct evidence of this.

The tree can grow to an enormous size, and may live hundreds if not thousands of years.

New insight into Earth's crust, mantle and outer core interactions

A new study, sheds light on a longstanding question that has puzzled earth scientists.

Using previously unavailable data, researchers confirm a correlation between the movement of plate tectonics on the Earth's surface, the flow of mantle above the Earth's core and the rate of reversal of the Earth's magnetic field which has long been hypothesized, according to Science Daily.

They suggest that it takes around 120-130 million years for slabs of ancient ocean floor to sink (subduct) from the Earth's surface to a sufficient depth in the mantle where they can cool the core, which in turn causes the liquid iron in the Earth's outer core to flow more vigorously and produce more reversals of the Earth's magnetic field.

This study is the first to demonstrate this correlation using records and proxies of global rates of subduction from various sources including a continuous global plate reconstruction model developed at the University of Sydney. These records were compared with a new compilation of magnetic field reversals whose occurrence is locked into volcanic and sedimentary rocks.

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