MI weekly selection #519


Stronger earthquakes after cosmic radiation

Cosmic radiation touching the Earth’s surface may lead to stronger earthquakes. Using data from the Cosmic Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory, scientists found a link between cosmic radiation and seismic activity that may be due to disruptions in the flow of matter in Earth’s core and magnetosphere.

Full Story: Space

Air quality can change child brain development

Air pollution impacts children’s brains even at levels that are considered safe. Analyzing brain scans from 9,497 children, researchers found that exposure to fine particulate matter is associated with relative increases in the brain’s functional connectivity, while exposure to nitrogen dioxide is linked to diminished connectivity.

Full Story: The Hill

Elevated CO2 could be good for crops

A study in Nature Sustainability shows that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels could benefit farmers and their crops by improving nitrogen-use efficiency and reducing the need for fertilizer applications.

Full Story: Nature

Astronauts’ immune systems slow down in space

Astronauts in space experience lower gene expression in white blood cells than when on Earth, which may explain why astronauts are vulnerable to infections during missions. The study of 14 astronauts who traveled to the International Space Station revealed that activity in 247 genes in leukocytes was approximately a third of normal levels while in space, but the genes returned to typical levels within around a month of being back on Earth.

Full Story: Reuters

Monarch butterflies’ wing colors may help them fly

The white spots on monarch butterflies’ wings may help them fly long distances when migrating by altering the temperature on the wing which impacts air flow. Researchers examined almost 400 monarch wings from sites along the species’ migration route and found that the butterflies that reached their destination in Mexico had a higher amount of white on their wings.

Full Story: National Public Radio

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