MI weekly selection #563

Photo: NIAID

Seahenge may have been built to combat climate change

Seahenge, an ancient timber monument discovered on an English beach, may have been built to counteract climate deterioration, according to a study in GeoJournal. The research suggests that Seahenge and the nearby Holme II were ritual structures aimed at bringing warmth during periods of severe cold. Originally constructed on a salt marsh, Seahenge’s timbers were preserved by peat and are now displayed at the Lynn Museum in the UK.

Smithsonian Magazine

Urban areas can help conserve biodiversity

Despite urbanization being a major driver of biodiversity loss, a study published in PLOS ONE reveals that cities can still support native species. Analyzing over 500,000 observations from the iNaturalist application, the study found that certain species, such as slugs and snails, are more prevalent in urban areas, while others, like butterflies and mammals, are less common.

Full Story: Popular Science

Genetic basis for curiosity in fish

Researchers identified a genetic basis for curiosity in cichlid fish, which plays a role in biodiversity. Researchers focused on 57 species from Zambia’s Lake Tanganyika, revealing that bulkier fish showed more curiosity, a finding that could offer insights into human personality traits as well.

Full Story: ScienceAlert

AI identifies potential new antimicrobial targets

Researchers used a machine learning algorithm to catalog and study antimicrobial peptides from the global microbiome, identifying new potential targets for antibiotics. The data is being offered freely for research. “The importance of this research is that it successfully harnesses widespread microbial genomic data, uses machine learning to identify candidate antimicrobial peptides and extensively studies those predicted peptides computationally and experimentally to show why they are valuable.”

Full Story: The Guardian

Flapping of wings boils down to a simple formula

A simple equation predicts the wingbeat frequency of flying and swimming animals. The equation, which relates wingbeat frequency to body mass and wing area, has been validated across a wide range of species, including birds, insects, bats and even whales. This universal relationship suggests that despite the vast differences in size and flying styles, these animals have evolved in a way that maintains a consistent proportionality.

Full Story: Physics World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *