Boson, Earth far from the Sun, scourge cat of the islands: science news

The scientific news of July 4, 2022 is:

In particles: LHC restart: after the Higgs boson, what are physicists looking for?

  • After a three-year shutdown for technical improvements, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator in the world, is back in service. Installed near Geneva, it will officially enter its third period of operation.
  • With the Higgs boson now found, researchers are now tackling for good the greatest mysteries of the Universe, including the nature of dark matter.
  • The LHC will operate continuously for almost four years at the record collision energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts, bringing the experiments unprecedented precision.

In the solar system: July 4, the day of the year 2022 when the Earth is farthest from the Sun.

  • Over the course of a year, the distance between the Earth and the Sun varies. And on July 4, 2022 at 9:10 a.m., our planet was at its aphelion, that is to say at its greatest distance from our star.
  • The dates of the passage of the Earth to the perihelion and the aphelion advance in the calendar. Twenty minutes per year.
  • In a little less than 5,000 years, the Earth will be farthest from the Sun at the time of the autumnal equinox and in a little less than 10,000 years, at the time of the winter solstice.

In animals: The cat, this formidable scourge for the biodiversity of the islands.

  • The proliferation of cats hinders the survival of island fauna. This predation poses an immense risk to rare or endangered species.
  • Several studies have concluded that our favorite feline is an apex predator: rodents, birds, reptiles, insects, anything that comes within its reach is potential prey.
  • On the islands, the risk they pose to an often fragile and endemic biodiversity can sometimes be irreversible. A recent study, published on Scientific Reports on June 16, 2022 showed that cat predation was a real danger to species like the Kangaroo Island dunnart, a marsupial endemic to this southern Australian island.

In politics: Government Borne: update on ministries with scientific stakes.

  • The emergency doctor and president of the Samu – Urgences de France union, François Braun, has been appointed Minister of Health and Prevention to replace Brigitte Bourguignon, beaten in the legislative elections.
  • The director of the French Red Cross, Jean-Christophe Combe, has been appointed minister in charge of Solidarity and disabled people, replacing Damien Abad, under investigation for attempted rape.
  • Christophe Béchu has been appointed Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, a position previously held by Amélie de Montchalin, outgoing government who had failed to be re-elected in the legislative elections.

In animals: Air France will no longer transport primates to laboratories.

  • On June 30, 2022, the French airline announced that it had decided to end the transport of primates to laboratories when it was released from its current contracts.
  • Alternative techniques to animal experimentation are showing great promise. One of them is the organ-on-chip. Researchers have already succeeded in reproducing several organs on a chip, including the lungs.
  • Another alternative to animal experimentation: a 3D model of the epidermis and dermis called HSE for Human Skin Equivalent.

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