Russia is Hit with Global Sanctions after Invading Ukraine as Researchers Create The Largest Human Family Tree

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Russia is facing sanctions from countries around the world after invading Ukraine. Researchers create the largest human family tree. Prices in the US continue to rise, and with the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices could skyrocket. NASA’s “NACHOS” instrument may help predict volcanic eruptions. Here are this week’s stories.

Russia is Hit with Global Sanctions after Invading Ukraine

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Russia is facing sanctions from countries around the world after invading Ukraine. The European Union has placed measures to target Russia’s financial, energy and transport sectors, and include export controls and trade financing bans. 70% of the Russian banking sector and key state-owned companies are impacted. The US has placed export blocks on technology and applied sanctions on Russian banks. Washington has stopped 13 major state-owned companies from fundraising in the US. The UK is aiming to exclude Russian banks from the UK financial system and has already sanctioned five Russian banks on Tuesday. Like the US, the UK will prevent state and private companies from raising money in the country. The UK will also ban Russia’s national carrier Aeroflot and freeze the assets of 100 individuals and entities. The country plans to introduce legislation to ban the export of certain technologies to Russia. Recently, The United States and Europe have agreed to cut some Russian banks from SWIFT, the global messaging system that facilitates most international transactions, and target Russia’s central bank. This will make international transactions nearly impossible. Currently, no country is sending troops to help Ukraine, but many have sent resources and military equipment.

Researchers Create The Largest Human Family Tree

Oxford Population Health

Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute have created the largest human family tree ever. Researchers collected both ancient and modern human genomes from a variety of sources and used computer algorithms to reveal patterns and variations in the sequences. They created a genetic genealogy, which reveals the genes shared between two individuals, with 3,609 sequences from 215 populations. Some of these sequences date back more than 100,000 years ago, and new ones are continuously being added. The study confirms that the majority of human evolution occurred in Africa before a mass migration approximately 70,000 years ago. It also suggests that our ancestors arrived in North America earlier than previously believed, but further study is needed to identify unknown migrations. This model provides great insight into genetics, which could be used to benefit medical genetics and evolutionary studies.

Inflation Continues to Rise

Photo by Jean-christophe Gougeon on Unsplash

Prices in the US continue to rise, and with the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices could skyrocket. In January, an inflation gauge carefully tracked by the Federal Reserve increased by 6.1 percent over the previous year, the highest annual increase since 1982. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, increased 5.2% in January from a year earlier. Global oil prices jumped above $105 per barrel for the first time since 2014, and in the US, oil prices approached $100 per barrel. In the US, the average price of a gallon of gas rose to $3.54, up from $2.66 last year. The price will likely cross $4 after Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Global food prices are also rising and are nearing a 10-year high. Supply chain issues are causing the problems, and the Russian-Ukraine conflict could worsen the problem. Russia is the top exporter of wheat, while Ukraine is a powerful exporter of wheat, corn, and vegetable oils. Prices will likely remain high until 2023.

NASA’s “NACHOS” Instrument May Help Predict Volcanic Eruptions

NACHOS Los Alamos National Laboratory/Logan OTT

NASA is launching the Nanosat Atmospheric Chemistry Hyperspectral Observation System (NACHOS), a prototype that may make it easier to monitor volcanic activity and air quality. The instrument will be placed in Earth’s lower orbit and will be able to detect gases in areas as small as 0.15 square miles. It will monitor gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which can indicate volcanic activity. Usually, A dormant volcano waking up will release sulfur dioxide so scientists can predict a volcano eruption. Also, this instrument can analyze air quality in specific cities, communities, and even power plants. It can provide insight into how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are being produced by burning fossil fuels. Traditionally, large instruments with high maintenance are required to gather all this data, but NACHOS solves this problem. NACHOS is only 13 pounds and 18 cubic inches and uses onboard processing algorithms, which reduce the size of its data transmissions and the amount of time it takes to relay those transmissions back to Earth.

Above were my top stories for the week of February 27th, 2022. Thank you and see you next week!

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Lakshya Jain

Lakshya Jain

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I share unique stories that are not widely reported in the media. Veritas! Email: lakshya5jain@gmail.com