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Amazon cloud gaming platform Luna comes out of early access with free Prime games

Amazon’s cloud gaming service Luna, which launched on an invite-only early access basis in late 2020, has received a full release in the US. Alongside Luna’s launch, two new optional paid channels were added to its library, giving you access to more streamable games for an additional fee, as well as a free channel for Amazon Prime subscribers. The Retro Channel offers a selection of classic NES, SNES, and arcade-era games, while the Jackbox Channel includes a variety of party games. Users will also be able to connect their Luna and Twitch accounts to broadcast their gameplay to the livestreaming platform directly.

Nanorobots clean up contaminated water by grabbing hold of pollutants

Chemists have created nanorobots propelled by magnets that remove pollutants from water. The nanorobots use a temperature-sensitive polymer material and iron oxide. The polymer acts like tiny hands that can pick up and dispose of pollutants in the water, while the iron oxide makes the nanorobots magnetic. At low temperatures of around 5°C, the nanorobots are dispersed in water. When the temperature is raised to roughly 25°C, the nanorobots clump together, trapping any pollutants between them. When tested on water containing 5 milligrams of arsenic per litre, the nanorobots were able to eliminate up to 65.2 per cent of the arsenic in 100 minutes.

Science News

This elusive toxin in the gut reawakens “zombie” viruses

A team of researchers uncovered the stealth mechanisms by which colibactin, an important but cryptic molecule generated by some microbes in the gut, wreaks havoc on cells. When the colibactin producers came into contact with bacteria containing latent viruses, the number of viral particles increased and the growth of virus-containing bacteria dropped. This viral boom resulted in a surge of “active, cell-killing infections.” Somehow, colibactin is able to tweak microbial cells in such a way that latent viruses come back to life and outcompete its non-zombified counterparts. “We hypothesize that this bacteria probably evolved to target other bacteria.”

Largest bacterium ever discovered is longer than a housefly

Biologists have discovered the largest bacterium ever found, with a single cell measuring a mammoth 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Visible to the naked eye, this single cell is longer than your everyday housefly. This gigantic size completely upends the accepted scientific understanding of how big bacteria could possibly get. It contains a water-filled sac that makes up 73 percent of its volume, which pushes its cellular contents up against the outer membrane, so vital molecules don’t have to travel across its entire width. Its genome is also massive, containing 11 million bases and around 11,000 genes, which is almost three times larger than most bacterial genomes.

Business News

Neste says to become first global renewable fuels producer

Finnish refiner Neste said its billion-dollar investment in a joint venture with U.S.-based oil company Marathon Petroleum would make it the world’s first and only renewable fuels maker with global capacity. The duo announced that they would convert Marathon’s Martinez, California, refinery into a renewable fuels production facility to make renewable diesel from residues. “We will be the only global provider of renewable products with a production footprint in North America, Asia and Europe.” Neste plans to start SAF production at a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) facility investment under construction in Singapore at the end of first quarter 2023.

Russia’s No.1 lender Sberbank pulls out of Europe

Russia’s largest lender Sberbank said it was quitting almost all European markets, blaming big cash outflows and threats to its staff and property following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions. The bank said it was no longer able to supply liquidity to European subsidiaries, following a central bank order, but its capital level and asset quality were sufficient to pay all depositors. “The group’s subsidiary banks have faced abnormal cash outflows and threats to the safety of its employees and branches.” Sberbank, which had operations in Austria, Croatia, Germany and Hungary among other nations, had European assets worth 13 billion euros.

Miscellaneous News

UK announces first wave of sanctions against Belarus

The UK has announced its first wave of sanctions against senior military figures in Belarus specifically for their role in joining and facilitating the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Belarusian chief of the general staff and three other deputy defence ministers will all face sanctions, along with two military enterprises. The EU is likely to take similar measures. Belarus has been used as a base for Russian soldiers to pour into Ukraine. Soldiers from the Belarus army have joined the invasion. The Foreign Office described Gulevich as responsible for directing the actions of the Belarusian armed forces, which have supported and enabled the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A cargo ship carrying thousands of cars, including Porsches, Audis, and Bentleys, has sunk in the Atlantic

A cargo ship that caught fire while transporting thousands of Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic in February has sank. The ship was transporting nearly 4,000 vehicles from Germany to a port in Rhode Island when a fire broke out and the crew was evacuated. The Felicity Ace remained adrift, on fire, for days before firefighting vessels arrived to battle the blaze. The Felicity Ace toppled over and sank before making it to its destination. The incident came during a chaotic time for the auto industry. Parts shortages, COVID-19 infections, and clogged ports have roiled car manufacturing and sales for the better part of two years.

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