MI weekly selection #185


Newly found form of CRISPR can break apart RNA

Researchers have found that a mouth bacterium can make a form of CRISPR that breaks apart RNA rather than DNA. The finding could have applications for adjusting proteins in cells or targeting cancer cells.

The New York Times

Photons’ quantum properties could be used to send uncrackable messages

Satellites may be able to one day send secret quantum messages that can’t be cracked, a new technique outlined recently demonstrates. Scientists used a special telescope to send photons to a satellite, then measured their quantum properties as they returned to Earth. The technique could pave the way for stealthy new communication by sending encryption keys to secure information.

Science News

Ancient European farmers linked with Stone Age migrants from Aegean Sea

Stone Age farmers migrated from the Aegean Sea to Europe about 8,000 years ago, sharing their agricultural knowledge by mixing with hunter-gatherers there, a new DNA study suggests. Researchers looked at genetic samples from ancient populations in Greece, Turkey, Germany, Hungary and Spain, finding a genetic link between those in Europe and those in the Aegean Sea areas.

The Washington Post

Strange deep-sea mushroom is a part of a siphonophore

Scientists have traced the origins of a strange deep-sea mushroom-shaped creature first found in 1986 near Tasmani. Dendrogramma belongs to the siphonophores, a grouping that also includes the Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish, and the bodies are actually short-lived parts of another bigger creature. “We know it’s part of something. But what our actual animal looks like in real life is still a mystery,” said researcher Tim O’Hara.


Archerfish demonstrate ability to discern specific human faces

Fish can recognize human faces. Scientists worked with archerfish because they spit at specific targets, making their choices clear. The researchers showed the animals images of human faces and trained them to spit at a specific picture. The fish were able to pick specific faces from up to 44 others with a high degree of accuracy.


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