Who Will Get the Coronavirus Vaccine First?

nytimes.com – A C.D.C. advisory panel will decide on its recommendations on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what we expect, along with answers to other questions about the new shot.

Source: Meredith Wadman. Fever, aches from Pfizer, Moderna jabs aren’t dangerous but may be intense for some. Science, 2020.

Fossil burrows suggest large predatory worms colonized the Eurasian seafloor 20 million years ago

upi.com – One-of-a-kind fossilized burrows unearthed in Taiwan suggest giant predatory worms colonized the Eurasian seafloor during the Miocene, some 20 million years ago.

Source: Yu-Yen Pan, et al. The 20-million-year old lair of an ambush-predatory worm preserved in northeast Taiwan. Scientific Reports, 2021.

Stunning fossil suggests dinosaurs lured mates with smell and vision

newscientist.com – A reconstruction of the only fossilised dinosaur genital orifice in existence suggests the ancient animals attracted a mate using colour contrasts and musky smells

Source: Jakob Vinther, Robert Nicholls, Diane A. Kelly. A cloacal opening in a non-avian dinosaur. Current Biology, 2021.

Ancient bronze rings and ribs were some of the earliest money

zmescience.com – Before humans minted coins, they used all sorts of odd objects as standardized money.

Source: Maikel H. G. Kuijpers, Cătălin N. Popa, Peter F. Biehl. The origins of money: Calculation of similarity indexes demonstrates the earliest development of commodity money in prehistoric Central Europe. PLOS ONE, 2021.

Canada won't receive any Pfizer shots next week — here's what you need to know about the vaccination campaign

cbc.ca – Canada's vaccination campaign is off to a slow start — and news this week that deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech product will be dramatically reduced over the next month has further complicated the national rollout.

Source: Jerald Sadoff, et al. Interim Results of a Phase 1–2a Trial of Ad26.COV2.S Covid-19 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

How some male mantises avoid getting their heads chopped off after sex

zmescience.com – Males employ sexual coercion in order to quickly mate and flee the scene in one piece.

Source: Nathan W. Burke, Gregory I. Holwell. Male coercion and female injury in a sexually cannibalistic mantis. Biology Letters, 2021.

This painted pig is the world’s oldest figurative art

arstechnica.com – The pig's spiky head crest and two facial warts helped identify its species.

Source: Adam Brumm, et al. Oldest cave art found in Sulawesi. Science Advances, 2021.

COVID Reduced US Life Expectancy By Over One Year and Latinos by Three Years

nextbigfuture.com – In Mid-October, 2020 (when the US had 215000 COVID deaths), COVID had caused a reduction in US life expectancy at birth of 1.13 y to 77.48 y, lower than any year since 2003. There was a 0.87-y reducti

Source: Theresa Andrasfay, Noreen Goldman. Reductions in 2020 US life expectancy due to COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact on the Black and Latino populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

Feast your eyes on this 50-million-year-old assassin bug and its exquisite genitalia

popsci.com – The “extraordinarily well-preserved” male genitalia of the newly discovered species, named Aphelicophontes danjuddi, show similarities to those of present-day bugs, scientists reported on January 19 in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

Source: Daniel R. Swanson, Sam W. Heads, Steven J. Taylor, Yinan Wang, Conrad Labandeira. A new remarkably preserved fossil assassin bug (Insecta, Heteroptera, Reduviidae) from the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado. Papers in Palaeontology, 2021.

Photos show how a tree snake makes its body into a lasso to climb and hunt prey

businessinsider.com – Snakes typically slither. But a new study shows a species of tropical tree snake can loop its body into a lasso shape to climb cylindrical objects.

Source: Julie A. Savidge, Thomas F. Seibert, Martin Kastner, Bruce C. Jayne. Lasso locomotion expands the climbing repertoire of snakes. Current Biology, 2021.

Warmed-up lithium-based batteries could make electric vehicles cheaper

newscientist.com – Lithium batteries that operate at a higher temperature could be cheaper and safer than other batteries for electric cars

Source: Xiao-Guang Yang, Teng Liu, Chao-Yang Wang. Thermally modulated lithium iron phosphate batteries for mass-market electric vehicles. Nature Energy, 2021.