Tuesday, January 29, 2019

science news 29.1.2019

Today's round-up of science stories. Links are normally to press releases on EurekAlert (at the bottom end I may also add a couple of newspaper stories). I include quotes from the summary (using quotation marks) in cases where the title alone doesn't reveal what the story is about.


astrobiology

Missing link in planet evolution found
"For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the solar system. Kilometer-sized bodies like the one discovered have been predicted to exist for more than 70 years. These objects acted as an important step in the planet formation process between small initial amalgamations of dust and ice and the planets we see today."


This is an artist's impression of the newly discovered object.
Credit: Ko Arimatsu


behaviour

How do fish and birds hang together without colliding? Researchers find the answer is a wake with purpose
"Fish and birds are able to move in groups, without separating or colliding, due to a newly discovered dynamic: the followers interact with the wake left behind by the leaders. The finding offers new insights into animal locomotion and points to potential ways to harness energy from natural resources."


climate change

Study: Climate change reshaping how heat moves around globe


conservation

For endangered lemurs, internet fame has a dark side
"A ring-tailed lemur named Sefo became an internet sensation in 2016 when a video of him demanding back scratches from two boys was viewed 20 million times in a week. Now, a new study of Twitter activity shows that viral videos of seemingly cuddly endangered animals can have a dark side too -- by fueling demand for them as pets."


Haiti's first-ever private nature reserve created to protect imperiled species
"In a race against time, an American professor and a Haitian CEO have teamed up to establish private nature reserves to protect Haiti's disappearing species. Now, with funding from Global Wildlife Conservation and Rainforest Trust, the first such park has been purchased: Grand Bois, a mountain in the southwest of Haiti with rare and endangered plants and animals."


evolution

Molecular analysis of anchiornis feather gives clues to origin of flight

Birds-of-paradise genomes target sexual selection


humans

Brexit could lead to thousands of extra heart disease and stroke deaths
"Thousands of extra deaths from heart disease and stroke might become a reality in England over the next decade if Britain presses ahead with Brexit on March 29, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open."



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