MI weekly selection #526

Photo: Lindsay Young / Pacific Rim Conservation

A new type of bird-like dinosaur

Scientists have studied a newly discovered fossil of a bird-like dinosaur likely between 148 to 150 million years old that may be the youngest member of the Jurassic avialans. The creature, called Fujianvenator prodigiosus, was about the size of a pheasant, had long legs that were likely used for running or wading and lived in a swampy habitat.

Full Story: CBS News

Mapping dark matter using Einstein’s theory

Astronomers have mapped the distribution of dark matter using the concept of gravitational lensing, which imagines space and time as a dynamic element under Einstein’s general relativity theory. In a new study, researchers mapped dark matter clumps around the line of sight from a quasar located 11 billion light-years away from Earth and “confirmed” the “cold dark matter” model of the universe that theorizes dark matter as consisting of slow-moving particles.

Full Story: Space

Impending solar maximum could throw whales off course

Solar storms appear to disrupt whales’ ability to navigate using Earth’s magnetic fields, and the most active phase of the sun’s cycle is approaching, meaning solar storms will become more frequent and stronger. Scientists say that could lead to more strandings, especially among grey, sperm and humpback whales, and other animals that use magnetoreception to navigate could also be affected, including migratory birds, salmon, sea turtles and some insects.

Full Story: Live Science

Assisted migration to prevent extinction

Fewer than 70 adult western swamp tortoises remain in their native wetland habitats in Australia, so last year scientists released 41 juvenile tortoises from a zoo’s captive breeding program into a national park about 330 kilometers south of their natural habitat. The field trial is one of a series of assisted migration projects designed to help endangered species survive climate change.

Full Story: Nature

Cancer rates rising sharply in people under age 50

Global cancer rates are increasing significantly in people younger than age 50. There were 1.82 million cases of early-onset cancer in 1990, and the figure rose to more than 3.26 million in 2019, a 79.1% increase. Twenty-nine cancer types were studied, and breast cancer represented the highest percentages of early-onset cases and early-onset deaths.

Full Story: CBS News

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