Wednesday, January 09, 2019

science news 9.1.2019

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.

(Categories are still evolving. Don't really want to put stuff in boxes, but have to have some kind of structure here.)


astrobiology

Nature's magnifying glass reveals unexpected intermediate mass exoplanets

Space microbes aren't so alien after all
How bacteria adapt to life on the ISS.


behaviour

Giant singers from neighboring oceans share song parts over time
"Singing humpback whales from different ocean basins seem to be picking up musical ideas from afar, and incorporating these new phrases and themes into the latest song, according to a newly published study in Royal Society Open Science that's helping scientists better understand how whales learn and change their musical compositions."
see also my feature on whale cultures now in the open archive.


earth

Future of planet-cooling tech: Study creates roadmap for geoengineering research


ecology

The first case of a Portuguese beetle living exclusively in groundwater

Study shows algae thrive under Greenland sea ice

Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators
"A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, performed a study on the Big Island and found viruses associated with the varroa mite, a parasite of honeybees, have spilled over into the western yellowjacket, a honeybee predator and honey raider. The result is a hidden, yet remarkable, change in the genetic diversity of viruses associated with the larger pathogen community of the mite and wasp, with repercussions yet to be understood."


insects

Finding an elusive mutation that turns altruism into selfish behavior among honeybees

How locusts switch colors in different settings
Locusts also appear in my feature on bugs, out this week.



A green solitary locust (left) sits alongside black/brown sociable (or 'gregarious') locusts.
Credit: Yang, Wang, Liu et al., eLife, 2019




sustainability

The new green alternative for drug production
Using manganese as earth-abundant catalyst


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