Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Virgin Orbit set for historic satellite launch from Britain on Monday
The first orbital satellite to set off for space from western Europe will be launched from Cornwall in southwest England on Monday. Virgin Orbit, part-owned by billionaire Richard Branson, who founded the Virgin Atlantic airline, plans to use a modified Boeing 747 with a rocket attached under its wing for the first time outside the company’s base in the United States.
Graphite Bio pauses early-stage blood disease therapy trial
Gene therapy firm Graphite Bio said on Thursday it was pausing an early-to-mid-stage trial of its blood disease therapy due to a serious adverse event in the first patient dosed, sending its shares down nearly 48% in after hours trading. After being given Graphite’s therapy, nula-cel, the patient showed prolonged low blood cell counts and required continued transfusion of blood, which the company believes is likely related to its treatment.
Study shows how Viking age left mark on genetics of Scandinavians
The Viking age, spanning the 8th to 11th centuries AD, left a lasting mark on the genetics of today’s Scandinavians, according to scientists who also documented the outsized genetic influence of women who arrived in the region amid conquests by Norsemen in Europe. A study published on Thursday explored the genetic dynamics of people in Norway, Sweden and Denmark dating back two millennia based on 297 genomes from ancient human remains and data from 16,638 modern Scandinavian men and women.
(With inputs from agencies.)