Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Japan PM's meddling in science panel a 'dangerous direction': scholars
Scholars excluded from Japan's top science advisory panel said the move was unconstitutional and a dangerous sign of how newly installed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will wield power. Suga broke precedent in rejecting membership to six scholars to the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), a body set up after World War Two to provide independent scientific input for policy-making.
NASA probe leaking asteroid samples after hearty collection
The U.S. probe that collected a sample from an asteroid earlier this week retrieved so much material that a rock is wedged in the container door, allowing rocks to spill back out into space, NASA officials said on Friday. The robotic arm of the probe, OSIRIS-REx, on Tuesday night kicked up a debris cloud of rocks on Bennu, a skyscraper-sized asteroid some 200 million miles (320 million km) from Earth and trapped the material in a collection device for the return to Earth.
Wildfire smoke may help virus spread, mouthwash helps curb it
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Wildfire smoke likely helped to spread COVID-19