Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
China pig breeders go high-tech in self-sufficiency push
Tiny slivers of ear tissue snipped from hours-old piglets offer valuable clues for the team at Best Genetics Group (BGG) as it strives to improve the genetics of China’s hog herd to produce cheaper meat for the world’s top pork consumer. Breeding pigs that have larger litters, reach slaughter weight quicker and require less feed can make a big difference in a market producing almost 700 million hogs a year.
Archaeologists discover ancient Mayan city on construction site
Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city filled with palaces, pyramids and plazas on a construction site of what will become an industrial park near Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The site, called Xiol, has features of the Mayan Puuc style of architecture, archaeologists said, which is common in the southern Yucatan Peninsula but rare near Merida.
Bacteria with antibiotic resistant genes discovered in Antarctica, scientists say
Bacteria in Antarctica have been discovered with genes that give them natural antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance and have the potential to spread out of the polar regions, according to scientists in Chile. Andres Marcoleta, a researcher from the University of Chile who headed the study in the Science of the Total Environment journal in March, said that these “superpowers” which evolved to resist extreme conditions are contained in mobile DNA fragments that can easily be transferred to other bacteria.
Breakthrough infections may be less contagious; vaccine protection wanes faster in cancer patients
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 has yet to be certified by peer review. Breakthrough infections may be less contagious
Boeing Starliner capsule returns to Earth, capping key uncrewed test mission
Boeing Co’s Starliner astronaut capsule returned from the International Space Station and landed in New Mexico on Wednesday, capping a high-stakes test flight as NASA’s next vehicle for carrying humans to orbit. Less than a week after its launch from the Cape Canaveral U.S. Space Force Base in Florida, the CST-100 Starliner capsule plunged through Earth’s atmosphere Wednesday evening ahead of a parachute-assisted descent over the desert of White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico. It touched down on time at 6:49 p.m. EDT (2249 GMT).
(With inputs from agencies.)