Friday, June 05, 2020

science news 5.6.2020

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.


earth

New study reveals cracks beneath giant, methane gushing craters
250-million-year-old cracks in the seafloor feed greenhouse gas methane into giant craters in the Barents Sea. More than 100 craters, presently expelling enormous amounts of the greenhouse gas into the ocean, are found in the area.


ecology

Alien frog invasion wreaks havoc on natural habitat
Indiscriminate feeding by an alien population of the carnivorous spotted-thighed frog -- could severely affect the native biodiversity of southern Australia according to a new study by the University of South Australia.


conservation

Revealed from ancient sediment: Mangrove tolerance to rising sea levels
The growth and decline of mangrove forests during the final stages of Holocene deglaciation offers a glimpse into how the ecosystems will respond to the rapidly rising seas projected for the future, according to a new study.
For a more drastic conclusion from the same paper, consult this PR:

Mangrove trees won't survive sea-level rise by 2050 if emissions aren't cut




Mangroves in Tampa, Florida.
Credit: Kerrylee Rogers/University of Wollongong


nanoworld

Showtime for photosynthesis
Using a unique combination of nanoscale imaging and chemical analysis, an international team of researchers has revealed a key step in the molecular mechanism behind the water splitting reaction of photosynthesis, a finding that could help inform the design of renewable energy technology.

UCF's butterfly-inspired nanotech makes natural-looking pictures on digital screens


biomedical

Use loss of taste and smell as key screening tool for COVID-19, researchers urge


humans

Analysis of ancient genomes suggests Caribbean settled by three colonization events

Study shows some infants can identify differences in musical tones at six months


dystopian futures

'Artificial chemist' combines AI, robotics to conduct autonomous R&D
As a chemist, I don't like the sound of that (even though I don't do any R&D any more).

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From the news media:

Vitamin K protects you from Covid-19, apparently. Oh, and it's contained in blueberries, so I'm good.

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