MI weekly selection #126


Diagram shows newly-found giant magma reservoir underneath Yellowstone

A huge reservoir of mostly solid hot rock has been found underneath a magma chamber beneath Yellowstone National Park, part of the vast volcanic plumbing of the area diagrammed in a study published in Science. This system has been there for about 17 million years, and scientists are keeping an eye on it because an eruption there would be unlike anything ever witnessed by humans.

The Washington Post

Ancient teeth may be evidence humans played role in Neanderthals’ demise

An ancient pair of teeth found in Italy belonged to a modern human and may be evidence that humans played a role in the extinction of Neanderthals. The finding puts modern humans in Western Europe about 41,000 years ago, around the time Neanderthals are believed to have disappeared.

Live Science

Complete genome of woolly mammoth sequenced

The complete genome of the woolly mammoth has been sequenced. The genome is providing researchers with information about the massive creatures and what may have contributed to their extinction, including the possibility that inbreeding played a role.


Researchers see exoplanet’s visible-light spectrum for the first time

The visible-light spectrum of an exoplanet has been detected directly for the first time. Researchers looked at the light spectrum of 51 Pegasi b with the HARPS instrument at the La Silla Observatory in Chile in a new technique that could used to gain more knowledge about other alien worlds. This type of detection allows to measure the planet’s real mass and orbital inclination, which is essential to more fully understand the system.


Experiments with “invisibility” could improve prostheses

Scientists are exploring such body-morphing illusions as making test subjects feel they are invisible or shrinking in part to help create improved prostheses that would feel more like the users’ actual bodies.

Gory Details / National Geographic

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