MI weekly selection #459

Ancient asteroid may have carried life to Earth

The chemical analysis of granular samples collected from the surface of Ruygu — an asteroid several billions of years old — revealed the presence of amino acids within the rocky terrain, which researchers believe may be responsible for the foundation of the development of life on Earth. According to the scientists the samples from Ruygu are the most “pristine” to ever be collected.


An algorithm aims to understand how pigs are feeling

Researchers in Europe have devised an algorithm they say can interpret the sounds pigs are making to give farmers a way to understand the animals’ emotions. The research was done as part of an EU-sponsored initiative called SoundWel, which is tasked with improving animal welfare, and the next step could be developing an app farmers could use to detect stress among their animals.

The New York Times

Scientists look to lemurs to understand hair evolution

Researchers examined a group of wild lemurs in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of hair belonging to prehistoric man, which was similar to lemur hair. “Human hair evolution remains a mystery, largely because hair does not fossilize,” said lead author Elizabeth Tapanes.


System uses light to measure soil carbon levels

Researchers say they have developed machine learning methods of monitoring carbon levels in soil without the need for physically gathering soil samples. The system uses hyperspectral sensing technology that uses the way soil reflects light to determine the chemical makeup of the soil.

Future Farming

Molecular injection mimics fountain of youth

In a new study conducted by researchers at Salk Institute, researchers used regular injections of molecules called Yamanaka factors to reprogram the structure of aged cells to that of stem cells in adult mice. The results were faster healing times and more youthful skin patterns, according to details in the journal Nature.


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