Tuesday, June 23, 2020

science news 23.6.2020

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 in italics in cases where the title alone doesn't reveal what the story is about. My own thoughts appear without italics if I have any.


Life in the galaxy: maybe this is as good as it gets?
Researchers have found that rocky exoplanets which formed early in the life of the galaxy seem to have had a greater chance of developing a magnetic field and plate tectonics than planets which formed later. As both these conditions are considered favourable to the development of life, this means that if life exists in the Galaxy, it may have developed earlier than later, and that planets formed more recently may have less chance of developing life.

Evidence supports 'hot start' scenario and early ocean formation on Pluto


Undergraduate student discovers 18 new species of aquatic beetle in South America


Helping to protect the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world
i.e. pangolins:

This is a pangolin.
Credit: Tim Wacher, ZSL

food and drink

Not so robust: robusta coffee more sensitive to warming than previously thought


Study: Planting new forests is part of but not the whole solution to climate change

When planting trees threatens the forest

New study reveals use of antibiotics on crops is more widespread than previously thought

Human-derived mercury shown to pollute the world's deepest ocean trenches

Research in land plants shows nanoplastics accumulating in tissues


Climate change and the rise of the Roman Empire and the fall of the Ptolemies
The assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.E. triggered a 17-year power struggle that ultimately ended the Roman Republic leading to the rise of the Roman Empire. To the south, Egypt, which Cleopatra was attempting to restore as a major power in the Eastern Mediterranean, was shook by Nile flood failures, famine, and disease. A new study reveals the role climate change played in these ancient events.

A man who can't see numbers provides new insight into awareness


From the news media:

Smelly durian fruit forces evacuation of Bavarian post office, reports the Guardian

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