Early Humans' Brains Were More Apelike than Modern

the-scientist.com – Impressions that ancient brains left in fossilized skulls reveal that the first human ancestors to migrate out of Africa had much more primitive brains than previously thought.

Source: Marcia S. Ponce de León, et al. The primitive brain of early Homo. Science, 2021.

Earliest known burial in Africa is that of a small, fragile child

arstechnica.com – Early humans in Kenya buried a dead child with tremendous care 78,000 years ago.

Source: María Martinón-Torres, et al. Earliest known human burial in Africa. Nature, 2021.

Dr. Fauci explains why COVID-19 vaccines work much better than natural immunity to protect you from the coronavirus

businessinsider.com – Fauci points to several new studies which show COVID-19 vaccines boost protection from concerning variants among people who've had prior infections.

Source: Catherine J. Reynolds, et al. Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection rescues B and T cell responses to variants after first vaccine dose. Science, 2021.

This is the world’s most “instagrammable bird” — and you’d never guess it

zmescience.com – Researchers looked at almost 27,000 photos on the social media network to come to this conclusion.

Source: Katja Thömmes, Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring. What Instagram Can Teach Us About Bird Photography: The Most Photogenic Bird and Color Preferences. i-Perception, 2021.

Brain's Lymphatic System Tied to Alzheimer's Symptoms in Mice

the-scientist.com – A dysfunctional lymphatic system, described as a clogging of the brain's sink, may explain why immunotherapies fail in some Alzheimer's patients.

Source: Sandro Da Mesquita, et al. Meningeal lymphatics affect microglia responses and anti-Aβ immunotherapy. Nature, 2021.

Algae-based material could revolutionize the fashion industry

zmescience.com – Soon, your future shirts or pants might be made of algae.

Source: Srikkanth Balasubramanian, Kui Yu, Anne S. Meyer, Elvin Karana, Marie‐Eve Aubin‐Tam. Bioprinting of Regenerative Photosynthetic Living Materials. Advanced Functional Materials, 2021.

Study Makes Significant Progress in the Development of Lithium-Air Battery

azom.com – Research led by the University of Liverpool, in partnership with Johnson Matthey PLC and Loughborough University is making significant progress in the development of stable and practical electrolytes for lithium-oxygen batteries.

Source: Alex R. Neale, et al. Design Parameters for Ionic Liquid–Molecular Solvent Blend Electrolytes to Enable Stable Li Metal Cycling Within Li–O 2 Batteries. Advanced Functional Materials, 2021.

PCB contamination in Icelandic orcas: a matter of diet

eurekalert.org – A new study from McGill University suggests that some Icelandic killer whales have very high concentrations of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in their blubber. But it seems that other orcas from the same population have levels of PCBs that are much lower. It mainly depends on what they eat.

Source: Anaïs Remili, et al. Individual Prey Specialization Drives PCBs in Icelandic Killer Whales. Environmental Science & Technology, 2021.

Sea level rise uncertainties: Why all eyes are on Antarctica

arstechnica.com – Latest models project a bumpy road with big risks.

Source: Robert M. DeConto, et al. The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea-level rise from Antarctica. Nature, 2021.

Two-Luminogen Hydrogel Chemosensor Detects Seafood Freshness by Changing Color

azom.com – A team of researchers from Germany and China has developed a novel artificial color-changing material that imitates the skin of a chameleon, through luminogens (molecules that cause crystals to glow) arranged into different core and shell layers of hydrogels rather than a single uniform matrix.

Source: Wei Lu, et al. A panther chameleon skin-inspired core@shell supramolecular hydrogel with spatially organized multi-luminogens enables programmable color change. Cell Reports Physical Science, 2021.

Controlled Magneto-Mechanical Processes may Lead to New Generation of Artificial Muscles

azom.com – "The overarching idea of this research project is to influence different biological processes at the cellular level by developing timely engineering applications", explains 4D-BIOMAP's lead researcher, Daniel García González from the UC3M's Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis.

Source: D. Garcia-Gonzalez, M.A. Moreno, L. Valencia, A. Arias, D. Velasco. Influence of elastomeric matrix and particle volume fraction on the mechanical response of magneto-active polymers. Composites Part B: Engineering, 2021.