MI weekly selection #492

Source: University of Glasgow

Radioactive meteorites could have brought life to Earth

The gamma rays produced by carbonaceous chondrites, radioactive meteorites that contain water and organic compounds, could have been sufficient to spark the chemical reactions that created amino acids, the building blocks of life on Earth, researchers have concluded. The study is based on observations from bombarding chemicals found in the meteorites with gamma radiation in a laboratory.

Full Story: Live Science

Geologists monitoring 47 continuously erupting volcanoes

The Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program says 47 volcanoes are continuing to erupt around the world at this time, including Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawaii, Pavlof and Great Sitkin in Alaska, Mount Semeru in Indonesia, Stromboli in Italy, Sakurajima in Japan, Villarrica in Chile and Sheveluch in Russia. Some of the volcanoes erupt every few days, amounting to about 20 volcanic blasts on any given day, says Ed Venzke, the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network’s editor.

Full Story: United Press International

Genetic study hints at early dog breeders’ goals

While modern breeding of dogs tends to focus on physical characteristics, early breeders probably sought dogs with specific behavioral traits. Breeds that were developed with a similar purpose in mind tend to cluster into distinct genetic lineages with similar combinations of behavioral tendencies, the researchers found, and many of the genetic changes that distinguish those lineages typically predate modern breeds, and they play a key role in brain development.

Full Story: The New York Times

Moving objects with ultrasound

Researchers have developed a way to use ultrasound waves to move objects, with potential applications including contactless manipulation in manufacturing. The technique can be used to move an object forward or pull it toward a source, much like a tractor beam in science fiction.

Full Story: ScienceDaily

Research links nanoparticles to food allergy development

Inorganic nanoparticles are used in foods to ensure safety or boost function, but they may become detrimental to the development of an infant’s immune system if they cross the placental barrier or are excreted in breast milk. This is one of the conclusions of a team that has written a review on the connection between nanoparticles and food allergies. More studies are needed to determine how this occurs.

Full Story: Healio

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