Secrets uncovered as scientists explore Beethoven’s DNA


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CNN
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I have always been fascinated by the idea of time travel.

Since I was a kid, I’ve imagined a “Jetsons”-like future with flying cars and the ability to journey to the past, as the Time Traveller did in H.G. Wells’ novella “The Time Machine.”

Advances have turned many sci-fi ideas into reality, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be going for a stroll with novelist Jane Austen or mathematician Ada Lovelace anytime soon.

As humans, however, we’re motivated by challenges. There are always ways around or around a problem that is not easily solved.

Science has improved enough to offer new ways of looking back at the past. A team of researchers used DNA analysis to better understand a key figure in classical music this week.

Samples of Beethoven's hair allowed researchers to sequence the composer's DNA.

Ludwig van Beethoven, a composer known for his stirring sonatas, symphonies and music, made a wish before his death in 1827. The composer asked doctors to examine his illnesses and share them.

Beethoven experienced progressive hearing loss and gastrointestinal issues over his 56-year life.

Now, researchers have used advances in DNA research to piece together Beethoven’s genome using five preserved hair.

The genome identified genetic risk factors that could lead to liver disease. This may have contributed both to his death and a hepatitis B infection.

The researchers also uncovered a bit of Beethoven’s secret family history hiding in his DNA.

You want a slice of delicious cheesecake? There’s a 3D printer for that.

Columbia University engineers assembled and cooked a seven ingredient vegan cheesecake using a 3D printing machine and laser technology.

The layers of cheesecake were cooked by the lasers as they printed. Years of work went into the method that resulted in a single slice of cake — a confection that would make Willy Wonka proud.

If you think that’s wild, that’s not the only news in 3D printing: An aerospace startup has fabricated a rocket that had a picturesque night launch this week — but it ultimately failed to reach orbit.

Haze can be seen in French artist Claude Monet's painting

Claude Monet, the Impressionist painter was famous for his dreamy haze across many of he works.

Now, researchers have uncovered the scientific cause behind the inspiring “smoke” the artist chased during his London trips: atmospheric change.

Climate scientists studied over 100 works of Monet and British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner. Turner was active prior to the Impressionist artist.

The study team observed changes in the skylines as industrial pollution increased. As pollution increased, the sky in the paintings became darker.

A couple decided to renovate their apartment in north England and were surprised to discover centuries-old murals depicting a Biblical scene.

In 2017, the first interstellar visitor to our solar system was observed.

About the size of an asteroid, the mystery object kind of moved like a comet, but it also accelerated — some even thought it was an extraterrestrial spacecraft.

Now, researchers think they know what caused ‘Oumuamua to go zipping around our sun.

When the interstellar comet was warmed by the sun’s searing heat, hydrogen trapped inside of it began to escape, propelling the reddish pancake-shaped rock.

Scientists studying the samples from Ryugu, a near-Earth asteroid, discovered vitamin B3 as well as an RNA compound called Uracil. This finding further supports the idea that meteorites may have carried the building blocks for life to Earth.

Mice created with two biologically male parents showcase different shades of fur.

For the first time, scientists were able create mice from biologically male parents.

The skin cells from male mice’s tails were used to create eggs. These eggs were then implanted into female mice, resulting in healthy pups with different fur shades.

The experiment, which was years in the making, could have implications for fertility treatments and even prevent endangered animals from going extinct — but thorny legal and ethical issues remain around these advances in genetic engineering.

What’s more, only a handful of embryos became mice, which means There is still a lot of work to be done before cultured cells can make human eggs.

Check out these fascinating stories:

— A new giant species of spider may look like nightmare fuel, but the rare golden trapdoor spider recently found in Australia needs protecting, researchers say.

— The James Webb Space Telescope has detected churning clouds of dust 40 light-years away on a Tatooine-like exoplanet that orbits two stars.

— A “marsupial sabertooth” that lived in South America 5 million years ago had such massive canines that the roots wrapped over the top of its skull.

— A stunning lineup of five planets will soon decorate the night sky. Here’s how to see the parade.

Are you participating in Ramadan Sultan Alneyadi, an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, shared his plans to participate in Ramadan while in space.

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