In April 2020, astronomers have seen a confirmed magnetar flare that originated in another galaxy. Scientists have long speculated that these stellar remnants were the cause of a number of high-energy explosions in the surrounding universe, but this burst was the first one that provided concrete proof of that theory.
What Is a Magnetar
Magnetars are neutron stars or remnants of dead stars that are surrounded by very intense magnetic fields. The decay of that field is what fuels the bursts of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Most commonly, the emissions include gamma rays and X-rays. When astronomers first detected GRBs (short gamma-ray bursts), and FRBs or fast radio bursts in space, they suspected that magnetars might have been their cause. The most recent flares from April 2020 have proven that.
The Flare Was Spotted by Space Satellites
The burst that was caught in April last year was reported on by astronomers at the American Astronomical Society’s virtual meeting held in January. The blast of gamma rays and X-rays in question was picked up by five space satellites, including the Mars Odyssey orbiter and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Enough information was received to track down the source of the flare to the Sculptor galaxy which is 11.4 million lightyears away.
What the Collected Data Looked Like
GRBs are commonly attributed to colliding neutron stars or different destructive cosmic events. However, this burst didn’t look quite like a regular short GRB. Namely, it reached peak brightness within 2 milliseconds, tailed off for 50 milliseconds, and was over within 140 milliseconds. Satellites picked up fluctuations in the light that aren’t typical for a short GRB, explains astrophysicist Oliver Roberts from the Universities Space Research Association in Huntsville.
The Fermi telescope caught a gamma burst stronger than a gigaelectronvolt four minutes after the initial blast, which is also rather strange, and known sources don’t do that. This event is speculated to have been the result of a starquake and it puts several other such events into perspective for astronomers.
Plaque-Revealing Toothpaste is Reducing Inflammation All Over the Body
Plaque, the nearly invisible evil that lives in everyone’s mouth, is responsible for so much of the possible damage to oral health that fighting it is dentristy’s most common battle. But Plaque HD toothpaste was developed in 2009 by an orthodontist who wanted to create a safe and at-home plaque-reduction program for people to use. It’s a toothpaste that utilizes Targetol Technology, a gluten-free coloring agent.
With this, the plaque on the teeth will be highlighted, and it will, in turn, be easier to clean the teeth and gums. However, according to randomized trials, it is believed that Plaque HD can also reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Testing the Theory
For years, many researchers have suggested that there could be a link between oral health and some inflammatory diseases which can affect the body. This includes heart attacks and strokes. High-sensitivity C-reactive proteins (hs-CRP) are how inflammation is measured in the body. It is also how doctors can predict potential future heart attacks and strokes.
In the trial, every participant was given the same brushing protocol. The hs-CRP levels were measured by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The findings revealed that Plaque HD toothpaste significantly reduces hs-CRP.
American Adults Often Have Some Inflammation
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention was able to find that 47.2% of all American adults 30 years old and older have some kind of periodontal disease. This is a condition that causes inflammation in the gyms and tissues around the teeth. The disease can increase with age, and it affects more than 70% of the adults in the country aged 65 years and older. Studies in the past have suggested that periodontal disease can be connected to other diseases, including heart disease and stroke, along with other diseases caused by inflammation.
Further testing will be done to see whether the reduction of inflammation in the body when using Plaque HD toothpaste can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis in areas of the heart.