MI weekly selection #395

How long ago were Denisovans on the Tibetan Plateau?

Denisovans were present on the Tibetan Plateau as far back as 100,000 years ago, according to mitochondrial DNA found in layers of cave sediment. Other sediment samples dating back approximately 60,000 to possibly 30,000 years ago could suggest the Denisovans were in the region when humans arrived there about 40,000 years ago.

Science News

Potential rogue planet spotted

An exoplanet candidate that may be smaller than Earth but larger than Mars has been detected by Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment scientists using data gathered by the Las Campanas Observatory based in Chile. The candidate is classified as a rogue planet, meaning it isn’t tethered to stars.


These spiders can hear without ears

Ogre-faced spiders can hear both high- and low-frequency sounds even though they don’t have ears. These arachnids, known for their powerful eyesight, sense sounds through receptors in their legs and use those cues to snatch prey out of the air.


Synthetic surfaces mimic human tongue

Mechanical engineering teamed with food colloid science, soft matter physics, dentistry and computer science to produce the first soft synthetic surfaces that accurately mimic the surface of the human tongue. The surfaces are 3D printed from optical models of 15 human tongues for the purpose of advancing research in fields such as food processing, nutritional technologies and pharmaceuticals.

University of Leeds

Amazon group’s body temperature on the decline

The body temperatures of the indigenous Tsimane of the Bolivian Amazon have dropped roughly half a Celsius degree over a 16-year period. The drop is similar to that seen in residents of the US, but the researchers note that the reasons may differ for these changes.


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