MI weekly selection #509

Scientists use AI to sharpen first black hole image

Scientists have used artificial intelligence to refine the first image of a black hole taken in 2019. The picture reveals a skinnier doughnut-shaped ring and darker center than the original image.

Full Story: The Associated Press

Volcanic eruptions led to 2 ancient extinctions

Carnivores died in mass extinctions around 259 million and 262 million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions that deprived oceans of oxygen and destroyed the food chain. Scientists, who studied uranium isotope profiles of marine samples from the South China Sea, say the research may help them predict how today’s global warming affects the ocean’s food chain.

Full Story: PhysOrg

Hibernating bears stop producing clotting protein

Hibernating brown bears lay still for months but don’t develop blood clots because they produce less HSP47 protein in the winter than in the summer. The protein sits on the surface of platelets, where it attracts and binds to neutrophils as part of the clotting process. The findings might lead to new anticoagulant medicines.

Full Story: Science

Warming air increasing threat of “flash droughts”

“Flash droughts,” which come on more quickly than droughts caused by a lack of precipitation and can take farmers by surprise, are occurring more frequently as climate change makes hot, dry air conditions increasingly common. Recent flash droughts in China and the US have played a role in the devastation caused by wildfires.

Full Story: The Associated Press

Earth’s oceans may have formed from chemical reactions

Chemical reactions with hydrogen that occurred during the Earth’s formation may have produced the planet’s water, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Researchers applied insights of rocky exoplanet formation to Earth, finding that reactions between hydrogen atmospheres and magma oceans could produce enough water to create the world’s oceans.

Full Story: Ars Technica

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