MI weekly selection #52


Hummingbird species evolved to live in oxygen-thin Andes

Some species of hummingbirds, which need lots of oxygen to survive, have evolved to thrive in the oxygen-poor heights of the Andes. Researchers sequenced 63 hummingbird species’ DNA and found that the mutations that allow the Andes birds to breathe at high altitudes occurred at the same two amino acid sites in their DNA, suggesting parallel evolution.

The Christian Science Monitor

Discovery of giant world rattles theories on planet formation

A giant planet unlike anything in our own solar system has astronomers scratching their heads. Using images from infrared cameras and the Magellan telescope in Chile, researchers have determined that the planet is about 11 times larger than Jupiter and that it orbits its star at about 650 times the distance between Earth and the Sun, calling into question many long-held theories about how planets are formed.

LA Times / Science Now

Sound-traveling malware is cause for concern

Scientists have confirmed the possibility of advanced malware that can use high-frequency sound to infect machines that are not connected to any network, marking another area of concern for businesses and governments regarding cybersecurity. The experimental Trojan — which was developed by engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics — can pass information to and from an infected computer through its audio components at a distance of up to 20 metres.

Ars Technica

Lithium–sulfur batteries ready to go the distance

The latest lithium–sulfur battery hold more than double the energy of ordinary lithium-ion batteries weight-for-weight and see little drop off in performance even after being recharged 1500 times.

Chemistry World

Dispute over Infinity Divides Mathematicians

To determine the nature of infinity, mathematicians face a choice between two new logical axioms. What they decide could help shape the future of mathematical truth

Scientific American

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