Vampire bats bond by grooming first to build trust before sharing blood

arstechnica.com – The study validates a 1998 game theory model known as "raise the stakes."

Source: Gerald G. Carter, et al. Development of New Food-Sharing Relationships in Vampire Bats. Current Biology, 2020.

Researchers highlight racial bias in speech recognition systems

engadget.com – Researchers have identified significant racial disparities in speech recognition systems from five of the world's biggest tech companies. According to a study from Stanford University, systems from Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft make far more errors with users who are black than those who are white.

Source: Allison Koenecke, et al. Racial disparities in automated speech recognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Remember When Japan Blasted an Asteroid? Here’s What We Learned

nytimes.com – The Hayabusa2 spacecraft’s explosive encounter reveals that a space rock called Ryugu looks extremely young for its age.

Source: M. Arakawa, et al. An artificial impact on the asteroid 162173 Ryugu formed a crater in the gravity-dominated regime. Science, 2020.

Fish used for sushi now carry 283 times more parasites than in 1980s

newscientist.com – Between 1978 and 2015, the number of parasitic Anisakis worms found in fish increased 283 times – which means sushi could be more likely to be infected, as are marine mammals such as dolphins and whales

Source: Evan A. Fiorenza, et al. It’s a wormy world: Meta-analysis reveals several decades of change in the global abundance of the parasitic nematodes Anisakis spp. and Pseudoterranova spp. in marine fishes and invertebrates. Global Change Biology, 2020.

Study reveals where marine species are moving as oceans warm

upi.com – The distribution and abundance of hundreds of marine species has changed significantly during the past century in response to rising ocean temperatures, a new survey shows.

Source: Reuben A. Hastings, et al. Climate Change Drives Poleward Increases and Equatorward Declines in Marine Species. Current Biology, 2020.

COVID-19 Cure: WHO to Conduct Global Megatrial of Coronavirus Treatments

hngn.com – No more records are needed, and the patient gets the medicine, after the trials whether they make it or not is noted on the hospital records. All details of the treatment will be recorded for research data.

Source: Kai Kupferschmidt. WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments. Science, 2020.

In Coronavirus, Industry Sees Chance to Undo Plastic Bag Bans

nytimes.com – Backers of single-use plastic bags, battered by a series of bans nationwide, are using the health scare to argue their bags are cleaner and safer.

Source: Neeltje van Doremalen, et al. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.

Here be dragons: Analysis reveals new species in Smaug lizard group

eurekalert.org – Smaug, the deadly dragon in J.R.R Tolkien's 'The Hobbit,' has a newly discovered living relative. With dense, alligator-like armor, this small, real-life dragon lizard, Smaug swazicus, is a rock-crevice recluse confined to mountaintops in southern Africa.

Source: Michael F. Bates, Edward L. Stanley. A taxonomic revision of the south-eastern dragon lizards of the Smaug warreni (Boulenger) species complex in southern Africa, with the description of a new species (Squamata: Cordylidae). PeerJ, 2020.