Tuesday, February 12, 2019

science news 12.2.2019

Today's selection of science news. 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. My own thoughts appear without quotation marks, if I have any.


earth

NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice

Arctic sea ice loss in the past linked to abrupt climate events


evolution

Scientists discover oldest evidence of mobility on Earth
"Ancient fossils of the first ever organisms to exhibit movement have been discovered by an international team of scientists."


ecology

The widow next door: Where is the globally invasive noble false widow spider settling next?
The noble false widow spider, Steatoda nobilis, native to Madeira and the Canary Islands, conquering the world.


How drenched spittlebugs cope in "cuckoo spit"
Note that this is nothing to do with poor old cuckoos. The liquid in question is produced by the bugs themselves to protect the nymph, see also my recent feature on bugs.

Termites shape and are shaped by their mounds
just like us ...


life on the edge

Study of Arctic fishes reveals the birth of a gene -- from 'junk'
This is about anti-freeze glykoproteins, but also exciting for the recycling of non-coding parts of the genome.

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters
... including this cutie:



Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish, largely confined to deep water. Their closest living relatives are sharks, though their last common ancestor with sharks lived nearly 400 million years ago.
Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute


humans

New model predicts how ground shipping will affect future human health, environment

Pitch perfect: Brain differences behind a rare musical ability

Learning a second alphabet for a first language
Sounds a bit scary, but if insights help convincing people that it's not completely impossible to learn Russion, Arabic, Chinese et al., it's all good.

Beyond romance: Neural and genetic correlates of altruism in pair-bonds.
A bit of seasonal science ...

Why Mr. Nice could be Mr. Right
... and a bit more ...


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From the news media:

invasion of the polar bears,


plus some cheering news from the lost property department:

USB stick recovered from seal poo - still working fine ...



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