July 2020

Rousettus aegyptiacus

An article published in the journal “Nature” reports a genetic research on bats which reveals some of their characteristics that makes them particularly resistant to viruses and also to cancer. A team of scientists from the Bat1K consortium, which aims to sequence the genomes of all bat species, generated and analyzed six genomes of the highest quality that make them ten times more complete than the ones previously available. This allowed to identify a series of genes that help explain the evolution of flight and echolocation.

The Darkest of Nights by Charles Eric Maine (Italian edition)

The novel “The Darkest of Nights”, also known as “Survival Margin”, republished in a revised edition as “The Big Death”, by Charles Eric Maine was published for the first time in 1962.

For Dr. Pauline Brant of the International Virus Research Organization (IVRO) returning to London after a long period of work spent in Tokyo is complicated. The Hueste virus has a mortality rate of 50% and is spreading throughout Asia with the serious risk that it will reach other continents because it’s very contagious. Pauline also faces her personal situation with her husband Clive, who has already started a relationship with another woman considering their marriage over.

In many countries, the authorities start censoring the reports of the Hueste virus as they prepare underground shelters to isolate selected people. Clive Brant tries to gather information on the international situation, but traveling becomes increasingly difficult. Despite the censorship, people discover that the places in the shelters have been assigned favoring politicians and riots begin.

Ethereum logo

Ethereum is a platform for a well-known cryptocurrency, but out of the blockchain world – the technology behind cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin remains by far the most famous one. However, the growth of Ether (ETH) transactions of this period led Ethereum to become the most used blockchain platform in recent days, surpassing Bitcoin. This doesn’t mean that the value of Ether surpassed its own record and indeed it’s still far from its highest values. For Ethereum it’s an important period also because at the beginning of August a public test phase of version 2.0 will begin.

The Men Who Sold The World by Guy Adams

The novel “The Men Who Sold The World” by Guy Adams was published for the first time in 2011.

A cargo of alien weapons labeled “Torchwood” is supposed to be transported while keeping a low profile for the operation to remain absolutely secret. Instead, some CIA agents seem more interested in alien weapons than in their duty.

The CIA assigns Agent Rex Matheson to the case, but he’s provided only with the information that is strictly necessary to accomplish his mission. As if this weren’t enough, every time he’s on the track of his former colleagues it seems that an unexpected new obstacle prevents him from finding them.

Zona: The Forbidden Land by Fred G. Baker

The novel “Zona: The Forbidden Land” by Fred G. Baker was published for the first time in 2018.

Grant Taylor had to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, to settle his uncle Randall’s estate after he went missing on an expedition to Siberia, in an unexplored area known only as the Zona. Grant finds the diaries his uncle wrote on previous expeditions, and the descriptions of flora and fauna seem quite imaginative.

There seem to be unclear interests around the mysterious Zona and, after speaking with his uncle’s lawyer and his daughter, Grant ends up involved in a new expedition. Soon, he realizes that that place hides more than he expected, but there are also considerable dangers, starting with giant wolves who don’t take well the arrival of the new expedition.