MI weekly selection #227

Atmosphere found around exoplanet about size of Earth

An atmosphere has been discovered for the first time around an exoplanet a little bigger than Earth, according to findings published in The Astrophysical Journal. GJ 1132b, which circles a dwarf star about 39 light-years away, is rocky, and its atmosphere could be made up of methane or water vapor.


Shea caterpillars could help ease world’s malnutrition woes

Scientists are looking at ways to breed protein-rich edible shea caterpillars so that they are available year-round to help fight malnutrition in countries such as Burkina Faso, where the seasonal caterpillars are already part of the local diet.


Nutrition likely not reason behind ancient cannibalism

Humans don’t pack much of a nutritional punch compared with other animals, but that didn’t stop them from sometimes being on the menu during the Paleolithic Period. Evidence suggests that humans were eaten by other humans back then, but the reasons behind that are difficult for researchers to determine.

National Geographic

Giant viruses may have picked up several genes from hosts

Giant viruses may have come from small ancestors but grew larger by pilfering their hosts’ genes. Researchers say the various genes found in the recently discovered giant klosneuvirus seem to have come from many different organisms over a long time period.

New Scientist

Gene mutation could be responsible for late sleeping pattern

A gene mutation may be what makes a person a night owl. In a study of six families, a mutation in the CRY1 gene was found in people with delayed sleep phase disorder, which sets their internal clocks to stay up later and get up later than others.

Live Science

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