Science News Roundup: NASA Splits Human Spacecraft In Two, Reflecting New Orbital Economy; Genetic studies show how ancient sailors colonized vast Polynesia and beyond

Below is a summary of the latest scientific news.

Exclusive Polish gene project wants to drop Chinese technology due to data problems

A European Union-funded project to create a genomic map of Poland plans to discontinue gene sequencing technology from China’s BGI Group because of data security concerns, one of the project leaders told Reuters. The concerns of the Genomic Map of Poland stem from questions about how Polish genomic data can be used in the context of national security, said Marek Figlerowicz, professor at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences who leads the project.

Severe COVID-19 May Trigger Autoimmune Diseases; New variants bring more viruses into the air

Below is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. This includes research that warrants further studies to confirm the results and that has yet to be certified through peer review. Severe COVID-19 can “trigger” immune self-attacks

NASA divides the manned spacecraft into two parts, reflecting a new orbital economy

NASA is dividing its human spaceflight division into two separate facilities – one focused on large, forward-looking missions to the moon and Mars, the other on the International Space Station and other operations closer to Earth. The reorganization, announced Tuesday by NASA CEO Bill Nelson, reflects an evolving relationship between private companies like SpaceX, which have increasingly commercialized rocket travel, and the federal agency, which had a US monopoly on space travel for decades.

Genetic study shows how ancient sailors colonized vast Polynesia

More than a millennium ago, intrepid sailors crossed the vastness of the Pacific Ocean in double-hulled sailing canoes to reach the distant islands of Polynesia, the last habitable region of the planet to be inhabited by humans. A genetic study published Wednesday has deciphered the timing and order of this settlement in an area stretching about a third of the earth’s surface, starting with Samoa, while Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, and other places known for megalithic statues are, including the last to be reached.

Buckle up: Cambodian students build manned drones to help the community

Originally inspired by a desire to overcome their city’s notorious traffic, a group of Cambodian students designed a prototype drone that they hope will later be able to carry people around Phnom Penh and even help fight fires. With eight propellers and a school chair as a pilot’s seat, the drone was developed by students from the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) on the outskirts of the capital.

(With contributions from agencies.)

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