MI weekly selection #179
Nonhuman primates may be involved in Zika transmission
Scientists who collected biological samples from 15 wild marmosets and eight pet capuchin monkeys plus one free-ranging capuchin in Brazil found four marmosets and three capuchins had been infected with the Zika virus.
Cosmic-particle technology opens window into Bent Pyramid
New cosmic-particle technology has allowed researchers to see the internal structure of Egypt’s Bent Pyramid for the first time. The Bent Pyramid is the first of four monuments to be examined using the muon-based technology through the ScanPyramids project.
Lizards have humanlike sleep cycles
Lizards exhibit sleep cycles similar to those of humans and birds, suggesting the pattern likely emerged in a distant ancestor and possibly even occurred in dinosaurs. Scientists monitored the brain activity of sleeping bearded dragons and observed patterns of eye movement and deep, slow-wave sleep, similar to what humans experience, but in faster, more regular rhythms.
A nearly pure methane sea on Saturn’s Titan
Saturn’s moon Titan has a sea made up mostly of methane, according to researchers working with eight years’ worth of data collected by the Cassini spacecraft. Scientists previously thought Titan’s seas were mostly ethane, but the Cassini data show that’s not the case with Titan’s second-biggest sea, Ligeia Mare.
The air pollution to cancer mortality and premature birth risks connection
Two studies have linked fine-particle air pollution to serious health consequences. A study found that every additional 10 micrograms per cubic meter of particle pollution translates to a 22% greater risk of dying from any kind of cancer, a 42% higher mortality risk for upper digestive tract cancer and an 80% higher mortality risk for breast cancer. In another study, researchers found that exposure to air pollution can increase the risk that pregnant women will develop intrauterine inflammation, which can cause premature birth.