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.
Synthesis of prebiotic peptides gives clues to the origin of life on Earth
MAVEN maps electric currents around Mars that are fundamental to atmospheric loss
Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets
Chromosomal speciation in wild house mice
... large-scale chromosomal rearrangements play an important role in speciation.
Musical rhythm has very deep evolutionary roots and is present in some animals
Warming climate is changing where birds breed
Neotropical migrants, such as this Indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea), have experienced massive population declines in recent years. Researcher Clark Rushing and colleagues at USGS wanted to know if climate change was responsible.
Credit: Clark Rushing
Nanodevices show how cells change with time, by tracking from the inside
Kirigami/origami: Unfolding the new regime of advanced 3D micro-/nanofabrication with 'folding'
Dementia gene raises risk of severe COVID-19
specifically, this is about the ApoE gene, which is linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Beware of false negatives in diagnostic testing of COVID-19
Study reveals substantial quantities of tyre particles contaminating rivers and ocean
Why are we still failing to stop deforestation?
Ear infections discovered in remains of humans living in levant 15,000 years ago
Women with Neandertal gene give birth to more children
One in three women in Europe inherited the receptor for progesterone from Neandertals -- a gene variant associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy and fewer miscarriages.
Study investigates sexual activity in lockdown
New research indicates that only four in 10 UK adults have been sexually active during the COVID-19 lockdown - a finding that could have important physical and mental health implications.
From the news media:
The man in the iron lung - very scary long read about a survivor of the 1950s polio epidemic.