MI weekly selection #528

Photo: J.C. Vera Rodríguez

Human bones in Spanish cave were likely used as tools

Ancient humans excavated and modified the skeletons of their buried ancestors to possibly use as tools, according to a study from scientists studying remains at the Cueva de los Marmoles cave in southern Spain. Researchers identified the remains of at least 12 people buried between 5,000 BCE to 2,000 BCE and found “intentional post-mortem modifications to the bones,” including a tibia that was likely used as a tool.

Full Story: CNN

Monkeys turn to nonverbal communication amid city noise

Some critically endangered monkeys are increasingly communicating with scent instead of vocal calls to cope with urban noise pollution. Researchers observed groups of pied tamarins living in the wild in central Brazil, where noise from the city of Manaus disturbs the forest habitat, and discovered that as noise decibel levels rose, so did the the frequency of scent marking among the monkeys.

Full Story: The Independent

NASA prepares for biggest asteroid sample delivery

NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft is set to drop off the largest asteroid sample yet today, flying by Earth and releasing the sample capsule into the Utah desert. Scientists expect about 250 grams of materials from Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that the spacecraft reached after departing Earth in 2016.

Full Story: The Associated Press

Gene shift may underpin innate immunity in bats

A shift in type I interferon genes in bats from IFN-alpha to IFN-omega appears to enable bats to live with infections that kill other mammals. Researchers sequenced the genomes of the Jamaican fruit bat and the Mesoamerican mustached bat and gathered existing genetic information on 13 other bat species, and they compared those genomes with human, mouse and other mammal genomes. The findings could lead to new treatments for diseases or prevent another pandemic.

Full Story: Popular Science

Study links ultra-processed food intake to mortality risk

A study associated highest consumption of ultra-processed foods with a 17% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality and a 16% increase in the risk for all-cause mortality. Researchers did not find a link between eating ultra-processed foods and the risk of death from cancer.

Full Story: Healio

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