Why ‘tight’ cultures had better COVID responses

futurity.org – Understanding cultures as loose or tight clarifies why some countries better responded to COVID-19 than others.

Source: Michele J. Gelfand. Cultural Evolutionary Mismatches in Response to Collective Threat. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2021.

Tiny moments of ‘blindness’ are key to your vision

futurity.org – New research finds that as you shift your gaze, you experience brief periods where vision is supressed and you're essentially blind.

Source: Janis Intoy, Naghmeh Mostofi, Michele Rucci. Fast and nonuniform dynamics of perisaccadic vision in the central fovea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

Why blanket travel bans won’t work to stop omicron

technologyreview.com – The aim was to stop the variant's spread, but these bans look like too little, too late.

Source: Smriti Mallapaty. Omicron-variant border bans ignore the evidence, say scientists. Nature, 2021.

Scientists use stem cells to create models of pre-embryos

nbcnews.com – The “blastoids” provide an efficient, ethical way to study human development and pursue biomedical discoveries in fertility and contraception.

Source: Harunobu Kagawa, et al. Human blastoids model blastocyst development and implantation. Nature, 2021.

The Arctic Ocean Was Invaded by Its Neighbor Earlier Than Anyone Thought

nytimes.com – The saltier Atlantic broke through layers of ice and freshwater, contributing to the Arctic’s warming.

Source: Tommaso Tesi, et al. Rapid Atlantification along the Fram Strait at the beginning of the 20th century. Science Advances, 2021.

New mineral that shouldn’t exist at Earth’s surface found trapped in a diamond

zmescience.com – Scientists never thought such a mineral could be found at the planet's surface.

Source: Oliver Tschauner, et al. Discovery of davemaoite, CaSiO 3 -perovskite, as a mineral from the lower mantle. Science, 2021.

Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link

the-scientist.com – The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.

Source: Chloe X. Yap, et al. Autism-related dietary preferences mediate autism-gut microbiome associations. Cell, 2021.

Injectable gels could help repair heart tissue and spinal cord injuries

cbc.ca – Bob McDonald’s blog: Advanced new bioengineered materials could be used to help difficult-to-repair tissues heal.

Source: Sareh Taheri, et al. Injectable, Pore‐Forming, Perfusable Double‐Network Hydrogels Resilient to Extreme Biomechanical Stimulations. Advanced Science, 2021.

Secret of tempera’s pleasing properties is how egg yolk interacts with pigment

arstechnica.com – A network forms between egg yolk proteins, water molecules, and pigment's clay particles.

Source: Agathe Fanost, et al. Connecting Rheological Properties and Molecular Dynamics of Egg‐Tempera Paints based on Egg Yolk. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2021.

Women's Heart Health Is Not Just about Hormones

sciam.com – Heart disease risk increases as women get older, but explanations that center on changes after menopause don’t tell the full story

Source: Samar R. El Khoudary, et al. Menopause Transition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Implications for Timing of Early Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2020.