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Hank brings you the news of a newly discovered dinosaur he is kind of afraid to look at, a way to sequence your genome in less time than it takes to get your clothes dry cleaned, & two new adventures that will take place in space - one going up, and the other coming down! Stow your tray tables, SciShow News is taking off!


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Hello, this is SciShow News. I'm Hank Green. We have some catching up to do, so let's get right to it, starting out with a newly discovered dinosaur that I am kind of afraid to look at, also a way to sequence your genome in less time than it takes to get your clothes dry cleaned, and, finally, two new adventures that will take place in space. One, going up, and the other going down. Fast. Stow your tray tables, because SciShow News is taking off. 

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First, a riddle for you. What has two legs, fangs, and is covered with quills? Last week, I would have said a porcupine vampire, but on Wednesday paleontologist Paul Sereno said that the actual answer is this thing. Its name is Pegomastax africanus, a newly discovered species of dwarf dinosaur that roamed the earth some 200 million years ago.
The only known fossil of Pegomastax, who I am going to now just start calling Peggy, was actually excavated in Southern Africa in the 1960s. But it spent the last 50 years languishing in a collection at Harvard University, until Sereno rediscovered it. I love when stuff like this happens. Peggy is a kind of heterodontosaurus, a group of two-legged, cat-sized dinosaurs notable for their large canine teeth and their coats of weird quill-like bristles which might have been any early form of feathers. Despite its fearsome fangs, Sereno said that Peggy was probably an herbivore that used its teeth for defense and to compete for mates. You can read all about in the links below. 

Second, I wanted to weigh in on probably the biggest science news of the past week. You probably heard that a team of physicists in Japan had created a new element, element 113, in their lab. You loyal SciShow news viewers will recall that I said that a team of US and Russian scientists did the same thing a few months ago, so why is this news? Well, they did it in different ways, and now an international team of experts has to decide who gets credit for it.
The Russian lab managed to create a whole bunch of element 113 - by which, I mean a couple dozen atoms - by first firing a bunch of calcium atoms, each with 20 protons, into the element Americium, with 95 protons. This created element 115, which has 115 protons- 20 plus 95 is 115 - see, now element 115, that quickly decayed into 113. So, the Russian lab was actually able to make both of them, although fleetingly.
But the Japanese team took another approach. They took a hunk of Bismuth, element 83, and bombarded it with ions of zinc, element 30, to create, for a few milliseconds, element 113. Of course, it took 9 years of constant bombardment to create what ended up only being 3 or 4 atoms of the stuff. But while the Russian lab was able to make it by creating something heavier that decayed into it, the Japanese team managed to create element 113 from scratch.
So who gets the credit? Well, that call is up to the organization that designated new elements, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Whichever team ends up getting the nod will have the honor of naming the new element. And might I suggest - I've been working on this for a while now - Hankium?

Next, two new breakthroughs that have taken place inside your genome that you didn't even know about. First, you know about the Human Genome Project - the historic, decade-long effort that mapped all of our coding and non-coding DNA. Much of what we learned from that project wasn't quite what we expected, but we did learn that sequencing genomes is really hard, time-consuming, expensive, and painstaking. Until now. Doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City announced Wednesday that they have developed a new technology that can sequence and analyze a person's individual genome in two days. The new technology, called SSAGA, was developed specifically for new-born infants with critical illnesses.
Using a new, super ramped-up computer platform, SSAGA can sequence an infant's genome from a drop of blood, and then compare it with a healthy genome. If mutations are found, a diagnosis can be made, and treatments can begin, all within 50 hours. Among four newborns in Mercy Hospital's intensive care unit, the new technology correctly detected genetic conditions in three of them. The doctors say that by the end of the year, they expect to have the whole process whittled down to just 36 hours.
Speaking of genomes, you know a month hardly goes by without me talking about Neanderthals, our dearly departed fellow human sub-species with whom we shared this world. And whose DNA we are still carrying around today.
It's been known for a while that our ancestors mated with Neanderthals, but until this week, it wasn't exactly clear when and where this inter-species boot-knocking took place. Like, did it happen way, way back in the day when both Neanderthals and modern humans were still in Africa, or did these prehistoric two ships passing in the night encounters happen after we had already started to colonize the world?
Well yesterday, a team of geneticists at Hard University said that it was able to measure the length of Neanderthal DNA and our genes to determine just how long it's been there. And they found that modern humans last exchanged genes - if you know what I mean - with Neanderthals between 37 thousand and 86 thousand years ago. Well after we modern humans left Africa, but before we started spreading across Eurasia. This might explain why Neanderthal genes appear in pretty much every population on Earth today, but they are most common outside of Africa. And now you know where to put that caveman in your family tree.
Finally, I wanted to tell you about a couple of exciting events that are about to happen in, or at least near, space.
First up, you'll remember when we covered the first launch of SpaceX Corporation's mission to the International Space Station back in May. After some delays, the unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully delivered its nonessential supplies to the crew of the ISS. But the whole thing was basically a dry run. On Sunday, however, SpaceX is scheduled to launch it's first official this-is-not-a-drill resupply mission, carrying about 450 kilograms of materials to the ISS including materials for 63 new science experiments. The Dragon capsule will return with some 320 kilos of completed scientific experiments on human biology and biotechnology, plus another couple hundred kilos of hardware. The launch of the Falcon 9 Rocket is slated for this Sunday, October 7th at 8:35 PM Eastern Time in the US, with the rendezvous with the ISS to take place Wednesday. You can watch it yourself online at NASA TV, tune in, and think of the good times we had together in May. 
And second, a man will attempt something on Monday that's been on my reverse bucket list - that is, something that I never ever ever ever ever ever ever want to do, for as long as I live, but I'm glad that someone's doing it.
Austrian thrill-seeker Felix Baumgartner is going to attempt the world's highest and fastest sky dive, and in the process, may be the first person to break the sound barrier in free fall. A giant helium balloon will cart Baumgartner in a special, custom made capsule to an altitude of nearly 37 kilometers over New Mexico, where he will jump wearing a pressurized suit, and if all goes to plan, will reach the sound barrier in only 30 seconds, and will free fall for four and half more minutes before deploying his parachutes.
Now, the stunt is being billed as the first jump from near space, but to be all facty about it, our atmosphere actually meets space around 100 kilometers up. But still, planners say the dive will help collect data what could be valuable in emergency planning for space missions, including evacuations of craft at extreme altitudes. 
All I can say is better him than me, but you can totally watch the livestream at the links below.
Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow news. If you want to keep updated with all that's going on in the world of science, you can go to and subscribe. If you have any questions, ideas, or comments for us, we're on Facebook and Twitter and, of course, down in the comments below. We'll see you next time.

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