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January eNews

Introducing Paul, AlphaGalileo's new Managing Director

Paul has gained more than 30 years’ experience as a financial controller and accountant while working for several major London companies. These include an accountancy practice, two commodities traders, two privately-owned language schools and several insurance companies including L&G and Lombard. Paul combines his duties at AlphaGalileo with work as an accountant for a commercial insurance broker and will continue to provide financial control and accounts management to AlphaGalileo in conjunction with his new role as Managing Director. Paul joined AlphaGalileo in March 2007 as a part-time management accountant and has gradually increased his involvement as the Company has grown substantially during this period.

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Q + A with Peter Green

Peter stepped down as Managing Director of AlphaGalileo at the start of this year but before he did we grabbed him for a quick Q + A about his time with the Company.

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Top 5 December 2020

1. Scientists invent a new type of microscope that can see through an intact skull, published by Institute for Basic Science, Republic of Korea, on 1/12/20

Researchers at IBS invented a new type of microscope called reflective matrix microscope, which uses adaptive optics techniques

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2. New light on the sustainability of palm oil, published by Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands, on 7/12/20

It all appeared very clear. The production of palm oil is harmful to the environment and species. If we must consume plant-based oils, it would be better to use crops such as olive, sunflower, rapeseed and soybean. A new study by researchers from seventeen countries across six continents published in the scientific journal Nature Plants shows it is not that simple.

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3. Archaeologists unearth huge Phoenician defensive moat, published by Asociación RUVID, Spain, on 9/12/20

Wide and intact, it helped fortify the defensive nature of the area, noticeably increasing its ability to resist attacks.

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4. Research leads to better modeling of hypersonic flow published by University of Illinois Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, USA, on 3/12/20

Designing a thermal protection system to keep astronauts and cargo safe requires an understanding at the molecular level of the complicated physics going on in the gas that flows around the vehicle. Two recent studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign added new knowledge about the physical phenomena that occur as atoms vibrate, rotate, and collide in this extreme environment.

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5. New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead, published by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange), France, on 9/12/20

Was burial of the dead practiced by Neandertals or is it an innovation specific to our species? There are indications in favour of the first hypothesis but some scientists remain sceptical. For the first time in Europe, however, a multi-disciplinary team led by researchers at the CNRS and the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (France) and the University of the Basque Country (Spain) has demonstrated, using a variety of criteria, that a Neandertal child was buried, probably around 41,000 years ago, at the Ferrassie site (Dordogne).

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Editors' picks

Corona: How the virus interacts with cells published by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, JMU on 21/12/2020

Scientists from Würzburg and the US have charted the first global atlas of direct interactions between SARS-CoV-2 RNA and human host cells. This may provide a starting point for novel treatments. SARS-CoV-2 infections pose a global threat to human health and a formidable research challenge. One of the most urgent tasks is to gain a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions between the virus and the cells it infects. It must also be clarified, whether these interactions favour the multiplication of the virus or - on the contrary - activate defence mechanisms. In order to multiply, SARS-CoV-2 uses proteins of the host cell. However, thus far no detailed information on the part of the human proteome - i.e. the total of all proteins occurring in human cells – that is in direct contact with the viral RNA existed.

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Image caption: 18 host proteins play an important role during SARS-CoV-2 infection – two of them are particularly interesting. They could open up new ways to treat infections with SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses. Graphics: SCIGRAPHIX / S. Westermann

The brain pulsates differently in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease by the University of Oulu on 14/12/20

Researchers at the University of Oulu have developed a new method for detecting changes in the brain’s cleaning system. The study showed that in patients with Alzheimer's disease, pulsations in the brain's blood vessels differ from those in healthy individuals. This discovery enables the development of new types of treatments and diagnostic tools for memory loss diseases.

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Image caption: In the magnetic resonance image, a healthy brain is higher and a lower one with Alzheimer's disease. Pulsations in the brain appear as red signals at the frequency of the heartbeat. There is a clear difference in pulsations in the brains of healthy people and people with Alzheimer's. Photo: Oulu Functional NeuroImaging

Image of the month

Image caption: Artist's composition of the two brown dwarfs, in the foreground Oph 98B in purple, in the background Oph 98A in red. Oph 98A is the more massive and therefore more luminous and hotter of the two. The two objects are surrounded by the molecular cloud in which they were formed. © University of Bern, Illustration: Thibaut Roger

A pair of lonely planet-like objects born like stars by University of Bern on 16/12/2020

An international research team led by the University of Bern has discovered an exotic binary system composed of two young planet-like objects, orbiting around each other from a very large distance. Although these objects look like giant exoplanets, they formed in the same way as stars, proving that the mechanisms driving star formation can produce rogue worlds in unusual systems deprived of a Sun.

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Latest image of the month

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