Friday, February 08, 2019

science news 8.2.2019

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.


astro

Liberal sprinkling of salt discovered around a young star
"New ALMA observations show there is ordinary table salt in a not-so-ordinary location: 1,500 light-years from Earth in the disk surrounding a massive young star."

Hubble reveals dynamic atmospheres of Uranus, Neptune


nanoworld

First transport measurements reveal intriguing properties of germanene
That's the germanium analogue of graphene, see this feature on 2D materials of various elements.


evolution

Study shows unusual microbes hold clues to early life
Specifically, hydrothermoarchaeota.

DNA provides insights into penguin evolution and reveals two new extinct penguins


mosquitoes

Who's listening? Mosquitos can hear [wing-beating noises] up to 10 meters away
I added the detail in [] because the emphasis on the distance wouldn't make sense if we were talking about sound in general - turn it up louder and it transmits further.


Putting female mosquitoes on human diet drugs could reduce spread of disease



fish

Do fish recognize themselves in the mirror?
Now that would be very surprising if they really did.



A cleaner wrasse interacts with its reflection in a mirror placed on the outside of the aquarium glass. Note that the mirror itself cannot be seen in this photo because the aquarium glass itself becomes reflective at the viewing angle of the camera, according to Snell's law. This is not the case for the fish itself, which sees the aquarium glass as transparent because of its direct viewing angle.
Credit: Alex Jordan



humans

Studies lend support to 'grandmother hypothesis,' but there are limits


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science in Google doodles

today's doodle honours Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who isolated caffeine from coffee beans.

Today is also Mendeleev's birthday - he got his doodle in 2016.



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