Science News Roundup: Archaeologists discover ancient Maya city at construction site; Chinese pig farmers embrace high-tech in self-sufficiency and more

Here is a summary of current scientific news.

Chinese pig farmers turn to high technology to achieve self-sufficiency

Tiny shards of ear tissue taken from hour-old piglets offer valuable clues to the Best Genetics Group (BGG) team as they work to improve the genetics of the Chinese pig herd to produce new the cheapest meat for the biggest consumer of pork in the world. Breeding pigs that have larger litters, reach slaughter weight faster and require less feed can make a big difference in a market producing nearly 700 million pigs a year.

French authorities will use orca sounds to guide lost killer whale back to sea

A plan has been drawn up to guide a killer whale adrift in the French Seine towards the sea – using the sounds of orcas, local officials said on Friday. Following a meeting with national and international scientists, including marine mammal specialists, the local prefecture said it would monitor the killer whale remotely with a drone while emitting orca communications in an attempt to guide it out to sea.

Archaeologists discover an ancient Mayan city at a construction site

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city filled with palaces, pyramids and plazas at a construction site of what will become an industrial park near Mérida, in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The site, called Xiol, has features of the Puuc Maya architectural style, according to archaeologists, which is common in the southern Yucatan Peninsula but rare near Mérida.

Bacteria with antibiotic resistant genes found in Antarctica, scientists say

Bacteria in Antarctica have been discovered with genes that give them natural resistance to antibiotics and antimicrobials and have the potential to spread outside the polar regions, according to Chilean scientists. Andres Marcoleta, a University of Chile researcher who led the study in the journal Science of the Total Environment in March, said these “superpowers” that have evolved to withstand extreme conditions are contained in fragments of mobile DNAs that can easily be transferred to other bacteria.

Breakthrough infections may be less contagious; vaccine protection declines more rapidly in cancer patients

Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that deserves further study to corroborate the findings and that has not yet been certified by peer review. Breakthrough infections may be less contagious

(With agency contributions.)

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