Tuesday, November 17, 2020

science news 17.11.2020

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

SwRI scientists expand space instrument's capabilities
A new study by Southwest Research Institute scientists describes how they have expanded the capabilities of the prototype spaceflight instrument Chemistry Organic and Dating Experiment (CODEX), designed for field-based dating of extraterrestrial materials. CODEX now uses two different dating approaches based on rubidium-strontium and lead-lead geochronology methods. The instrument uses laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LARIMS) to obtain dates using these methods.
This is essentially about DATING on MARS - the PR people could have shown a bit more enthusiasm ...

earth

Scientists discover a new mineral
The research team headed by Stanislav Filatov, Professor at the Department of Crystallography at St Petersburg University, has discovered a new mineral species in Kamchatka - petrovite. The scientists named the find in honour of Tomas Petrov, an outstanding crystallographer and Professor at St Petersburg University. He together with his students Arkady Glikin and Sergei Moshkin, was the first in the world to create a technology for growing jewellery malachite.

Petrovit
Credit SPbU

evolution

Henderson island fossils reveal new Polynesian sandpiper species
Fossil bones collected in the early 1990s on Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn Group, have revealed a new species of Polynesian sandpiper. The Henderson Sandpiper, a small wading bird that has been extinct for centuries, is formally named Prosobonia sauli after Cook Islands-based ornithologist and conservationist Edward K Saul.

ecology

When temperatures rise, dog ticks more likely to choose humans over canines

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches

conservation

Seafood mislabeling is having negative impacts on the marine environment

sustainability

Biochar from agricultural waste products can adsorb contaminants in wastewater

humans

Making the best decision: Math shows diverse thinkers equal better results

dystopian futures

Could robots for sex, friendship improve our aging society?

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From the news media:

Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, reports the Guardian.

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