cbc.ca – Trash thrown illegally from cargo ships is the likely source of thousands of plastic bottles washing up on a remote island in the South Atlantic, says a new study. That suggests more focus on littering at sea may be needed to tackle the ocean plastics problem.
Source: Peter G. Ryan, Ben J. Dilley, Robert A. Ronconi, Maëlle Connan. Rapid increase in Asian bottles in the South Atlantic Ocean indicates major debris inputs from ships. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.
sci-news.com – Four West African populations -- Yoruba, Esan, Mende, and Gambian -- derive 2 to 19% of their genetic ancestry from a yet-undiscovered species of archaic hominin that diverged before the split of modern humans and the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans, according to new research from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Source: Arun Durvasula, Sriram Sankararaman. Recovering signals of ghost archaic introgression in African populations. Science Advances, 2020.
upi.com – The remains of an extinct giant turtle species suggest the reptile exhibited sexual dimorphism, with males boasting horned shells and females growing hornless shells.
Source: E.-A. Cadena, et al. The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. Science Advances, 2020.
npr.org – Scientists say certain brain wave patterns can predict whether a person is likely to respond to a common antidepressant, or would do better with non-drug therapy.
Source: Wei Wu, et al. An electroencephalographic signature predicts antidepressant response in major depression. Nature Biotechnology, 2020.
sci-news.com – Snorkelers in mangrove forest waters inhabited by the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana report discomfort due to a sensation known as ‘stinging water.’
Source: Cheryl L. Ames, et al. Cassiosomes are stinging-cell structures in the mucus of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana. Communications Biology, 2020.
Source: W. M. Grundy, et al. Color, composition, and thermal environment of Kuiper Belt object (486958) Arrokoth. Science, 2020.
Source: J. R. Spencer, et al. The geology and geophysics of Kuiper Belt object (486958) Arrokoth. Science, 2020.
Source: W. B. McKinnon, et al. The solar nebula origin of (486958) Arrokoth, a primordial contact binary in the Kuiper Belt. Science, 2020.
geek.com – Bumblebee species are declining in Asia, Europe, and North America. A new study from the University of Ottawa found that in the course of a single human generation, the likelihood of a bee …
Source: Peter Soroye, Tim Newbold, Jeremy Kerr. Climate change contributes to widespread declines among bumble bees across continents. Science, 2020.
science20.com – We know the left and right side of our brain are specialized for cognitive abilities like language (left hemisphere) and the right hand. That functional lateralization is reflected by morphological asymmetry too. The left and right hemispheres differ subtly in brain anatomy, distribution of nerve cells, connectivity and even neurochemistry.
Source: Simon Neubauer, Philipp Gunz, Nadia A. Scott, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Philipp Mitteroecker. Evolution of brain lateralization: A shared hominid pattern of endocranial asymmetry is much more variable in humans than in great apes. Science Advances, 2020.
eurekalert.org – How Did Dinosaur Parents Know When Their Kids Had a Fever? Prehistoric egg shells provide clues to dinosaurs' evolution from cold- to warm-blooded creatures.
Source: Robin R. Dawson, et al. Eggshell geochemistry reveals ancestral metabolic thermoregulation in Dinosauria. Science Advances, 2020.