Thursday, February 20, 2020

science news 20.02.2020

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.


Himalayan wolf discovered to be a unique wolf adapted to harsh high altitude life

This is the Himalayan Wolf - Geraldine Werhahn.
Credit: Geraldine Werhahn


Researchers discover new mechanism for the coexistence of species
Researchers from AMOLF (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Harvard University (USA) show how the ability of organisms to move around plays a role in stabilizing ecosystems. In their paper published Feb. 19, 2020, in Nature, they describe how the competition between 'movers' and 'growers' leads to a balance in which both types of bacteria can continue to exist alongside each other.

Global relationships that determine bird diversity on islands uncovered


New 3D chirality discovered and synthetically assembled
Multi-layer 3D chirality of C2-symmetry has been revealed and enantioselectively synthesized. This chirality is a new addition to the family of known chirality consisting of element central, axial/helical, spiro and double planar types. In this 3D chiral framework, the top and bottom layers restrict each other from free bond rotation. These chiral 3D molecules showed strong luminescence of various colors under UV irradiation in both solution and solid phases, and displayed strong aggregation-induced emission (AIE).


Breakthrough in coronavirus research results in new map to support vaccine design
Researchers have made a critical breakthrough toward developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus by creating the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells. Mapping this part, called the spike protein, is an essential step so researchers around the world can develop vaccines and antiviral drugs to combat the virus. The paper is publishing Wednesday, Feb. 19 in the journal Science.

The Lancet: Egypt, Algeria and South Africa estimated to be at highest risk of new coronavirus cases in Africa


What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning


Methane emitted by humans vastly underestimated, researchers find


Ancient gut microbiomes shed light on human evolution

Communicating science can benefit from scientists 'being human'

dystopian futures

How to deflect an asteroid


From the news media:

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