MI weekly selection #403

G1GCGF Map of mid Atlantic ridge and volcanoes, Casa de los Volcanes volcanic study centre, Lanzarote, Canary island, Spain

Levant may have experienced tsunami 10K years ago

Archaeologists examining sediment cores have found clues that a massive tsunami may have once hit the coast of the Levant about 10,000 years ago. The clues consisted of seashells within sediment cores they are collecting along a beach in Israel, which was much farther inland at the time of the possible tsunami.


NASA shares animation of planned Perseverance landing

NASA has released an animation of how it expects its new Perseverance rover to land on Mars in February. If all goes well when it arrives on Feb. 18, Perseverance will study the Jezero crater in an effort to find clues about life that may have once existed there.


Drop in plate movement linked to ancient cooling

Seafloor spreading and ocean crust production started slowing down about 15 million years ago, corresponding with a drop in temperatures and the growth of ice sheets, according to findings presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting. Researchers, who studied ships’ magnetometer data and put together a high-resolution Pacific Ocean record, say the reduction in plate movement could have lowered seafloor volcanism, carbon dioxide emissions, sea levels and heat flow.


Rhesus monkey genomic data a boon to researchers

An extensive reference assembly of the rhesus macaque genome and the identification of nearly 86 million single-nucleotide variants is likely to be a valuable resource for researchers and help scientists develop a more accurate genetic model of human disease, says study co-author Evan Eichler. “We’re now studying and actually testing gene therapy and stem cell therapies in macaques without having to create the disease model ourselves, … taking advantage of a naturally occurring model,” said co-author Jeffrey Rogers.


Quality of these male birds not conveyed by plumage

The brightly colored plumage of male superb fairy-wrens doesn’t necessarily signal their mating quality to females. Researchers monitored the colors produced by the males after they shed their brown winter colors and found that all of the male birds produced the same striking bright blue and black breeding colors, no matter the quality, but those that were preferred by females produced the colors earlier than the less-desirable males.


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