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Australian Scientists Determines Precise Location of Cosmic Radio Waves

Having discovered that the burst originated on the outskirts of a Milky Way-sized galaxy 3.6 billion light years from Earth

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Friday revealed that it made the discovery using its new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope. Pixabay

In a first, a team of Australian scientists has determined the precise location of a powerful one-off burst of cosmic radio waves.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Friday revealed that it made the discovery using its new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in Western Australia, Xinhua news agency reported.

Having discovered that the burst originated on the outskirts of a Milky Way-sized galaxy 3.6 billion light years from Earth, researchers were then able to image that galaxy using three of the world’s largest optical telescopes.

“This is the big breakthrough that the field has been waiting for since astronomers discovered fast radio bursts in 2007,” Keith Bannister, the lead author from the CSIRO, said in a media release.

Australian, Scientists, Cosmic
In a first, a team of Australian scientists has determined the precise location of a powerful one-off burst of cosmic radio waves. Pixabay

In the 12 years since the radio bursts were first detected scientists across the world have detected another 85 bursts, most of which were “one-offs”.

The source of one of the few “repeater” bursts was discovered in 2017 but localising a one-off burst has proved more challenging because they last for only a millisecond.

In order to make the discovery Bannister’s team developed technology that can freeze and save data detected by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder less than a second after it is detected.

“From these tiny time differences, just a fraction of a billionth of a second, we identified the burst’s home galaxy and even its exact starting point, 13,000 light years out from the galaxy’s centre in the galactic suburbs,” said team member Adam Deller of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

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“It comes from a massive galaxy that is forming relatively few stars. This suggests that fast radio bursts can be produced in a variety of environments, or that the seemingly one-off bursts detected so far by ASKAP are generated by a different mechanism to the repeater.”

The results were published online in the journal Science. (IANS)

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Chinese Scientists Develop Combined Tumor-Killing Therapy

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fudan University developed a common immune checkpoint inhibitor in a nanoparticle formulation

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The study published on Friday in the journal Science Immunology described the new cancer immunotherapy that can prevent the immune system from becoming tolerant of tumors. Pixabay

Chinese scientists developed a combined tumor-killing therapy that can be activated specifically at tumor sites in mouse models of cancer, which is more effective than previous similar therapies.

The study published on Friday in the journal Science Immunology described the new cancer immunotherapy that can prevent the immune system from becoming tolerant of tumors, which occurs in 30 per cent of all cancer patients, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A team led by Wang Dangge from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fudan University developed a common immune checkpoint inhibitor in a nanoparticle formulation, which is highly tumor-specific.

The checkpoint inhibitor is a kind of increasingly popular anti-tumor drug. It can block proteins that keep immune T cells from killing cancer. But the checkpoint inhibitor used to target those immune system-suppressing proteins like PD-1 and PD-L1 often fails to reach deep-seated or metastatic tumors.

Chinese, Scientists, Tumor
Chinese scientists developed a combined tumor-killing therapy that can be activated specifically at tumor sites in mouse models of cancer, Pixabay

Wang’s team combined the nanoparticles carrying PD-L1-targeting antibodies with a light-activated molecule. The molecule called photosensitiser can produce tumor-killing reactive oxygen species after encountering a protein abundant in tumors, according to the study.

In mouse models, a local near-infrared radiation that activated the photosensitiser, along with the administration of antibodies-carrying nanoparticles, promoted the infiltration of cancer cell-killing T cells into the tumor site and made the tumors more sensitive to the checkpoint blockade.

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This combination also helped the nanoparticles effectively suppress tumor growth and metastasis to the lung and lymph nodes, resulting in approximately 80 per cent mouse survival over 70 days, compared to complete mouse death in 45 days in the group treated with only PD-L1 antibodies, according to the study. (IANS)