Thursday, August 20, 2020

science news 20.8.2020

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.


astrobiology

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient Mars

Microbes living on air a global phenomenon
UNSW researchers have found their previous discovery of bacteria living on air in Antarctica is likely a process that occurs globally, further supporting the potential existence of microbial life on alien planets.


evolution

Lungfish fins reveal how limbs evolved


ecology

This cuttlefish is flamboyant on special occasions only!



The flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) in full flamboyant display, which it only uses on occasion (for male courtship rituals; or when males are fighting over a female; or to flash briefly at a threatening object when it approaches too close, presumably to scare it away).
Credit: Roger Hanlon Laboratory, MBL

Termite-fishing chimpanzees provide clues to the evolution of technology


nanoworld

Quest for quantum Internet gets a boost with new technique for making entanglement


biomedical

COVID-19 cytokine storms may prevent a durable immune response


humans

Partner selection ultimately happens in the woman's reproductive tract

Researchers predict deficits in female birth numbers in India over coming decades
Between 2017 and 2030, an estimated 6.8 million fewer female births will be recorded in India than would be by chance, due to sex-selective abortions, according to a new study published August 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Fengqing Chao of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and colleagues.


dystopian futures

Machine learning, meet human emotions: How to help a computer monitor your mental state
I very emphatically do not want a computer of any description to monitor my mental state.

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From the news media:

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