MI weekly selection #258

Detailed carving found on small gem in ancient Greek tomb

A detailed scene of a warrior in battle carved on an ancient gemstone about 3.6 centimeters long was uncovered in Greece by researchers after they cleaned away dirt and limestone. The so-called Pylos Combat Agate was among 1,400 artifacts found in a tomb dating back about 3,500 years ago.

National Geographic

Core of Saturn moon may create environment needed for life

Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus likely has a sandy core that allows water to heat up while flowing through it. The water may become hot enough to boil and shoot up into the moon’s ocean, a cycle that could help provide the molecules and environment necessary for life.

New Scientist

US OKs release of lab-altered mosquitoes to curb spread of diseases

The federal government has approved the release of male mosquitoes engineered to carry the Wolbachia pipientis bacterium in order to wipe out wild Asian tiger mosquito populations that transmit such diseases as the Zika virus, dengue and yellow fever. When the lab-raised mosquitoes mate with wild females, the eggs from that union die.

The Scientist

Gene expression of a person’s stress response predicted by language use

Subtle changes in a person’s speech patterns can reveal changes in gene expression due to stress better than the test subject’s conscious awareness. Researchers listened to language used by study participants and compared it to gene expression in their white blood cells, and they found that the language signals typically predicted the stress gene expression more reliably than self-reporting.

Nature

Error-detection program for quantum computers tested in pair of studies

An error-detection program for quantum computers has been tested by a pair of research teams in a step toward improving the complex machines’ reliability. The five-qubit method for detecting errors is described in the studies published in Science Advances and Physical Review Letters.

New Scientist

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