A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work

sciencenews.org – Human gene editing needs responsible regulation, but a ban isn’t the way to go, says Nobel laureate David Baltimore.

Source: Eric S. Lander, et al. Adopt a moratorium on heritable genome editing. Nature, 2019.

Ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans Interbred with ‘Superarchaic’ Hominin

sci-news.com – A new study by researchers from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah shows that over 700,000 years ago, the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans interbred with their Eurasian predecessors -- members of a ‘superarchaic’ population that separated from other humans about 2 million years ago.

Source: Alan R. Rogers, Nathan S. Harris, Alan A. Achenbach. Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestors interbred with a distantly related hominin. Science Advances, 2020.

Dinosaurs Were Warm-Blooded, Study of Fossil Eggshells Suggests

sci-news.com – Using a novel technique called clumped isotope paleothermometry, an international team of paleontologists analyzed eggshell fossils representing three major dinosaur groups and found that these creatures were characterized by warm body temperatures.

Source: Robin R. Dawson, et al. Eggshell geochemistry reveals ancestral metabolic thermoregulation in Dinosauria. Science Advances, 2020.

Three New Studies Provide More Complete Picture of Physical Nature of Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth

sci-news.com – On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Arrokoth -- provisional designation 2014 MU69, previously nicknamed ‘Ultima Thule’ -- at a distance of 3,538 km (2,200 miles). In three new studies published in the journal Science, researchers analyzed new data and images from the historic flyby.

Source: J. R. Spencer, et al. The geology and geophysics of Kuiper Belt object (486958) Arrokoth. Science, 2020.

Three New Studies Provide More Complete Picture of Physical Nature of Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth

sci-news.com – On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Arrokoth -- provisional designation 2014 MU69, previously nicknamed ‘Ultima Thule’ -- at a distance of 3,538 km (2,200 miles). In three new studies published in the journal Science, researchers analyzed new data and images from the historic flyby.

Source: W. B. McKinnon, et al. The solar nebula origin of (486958) Arrokoth, a primordial contact binary in the Kuiper Belt. Science, 2020.

Bumblebees can recognize objects across different senses

upi.com – According to a new study, published Friday in the journal Science, bumblebees can learn about an object using one sense and recognize it later using another.

Source: Cwyn Solvi, Selene Gutierrez Al-Khudhairy, Lars Chittka. Bumble bees display cross-modal object recognition between visual and tactile senses. Science, 2020.

Three New Studies Provide More Complete Picture of Physical Nature of Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth

sci-news.com – On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Arrokoth -- provisional designation 2014 MU69, previously nicknamed ‘Ultima Thule’ -- at a distance of 3,538 km (2,200 miles). In three new studies published in the journal Science, researchers analyzed new data and images from the historic flyby.

Source: W. M. Grundy, et al. Color, composition, and thermal environment of Kuiper Belt object (486958) Arrokoth. Science, 2020.

‘Air-Gen’ Device Generates Electric Power from Ambient Humidity

sci-news.com – A thin-film device made from nanometer-scale protein wires harvested from the microbe Geobacter sulfurreducens can generate continuous electric power in the ambient environment, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

Source: Xiaomeng Liu, et al. Power generation from ambient humidity using protein nanowires. Nature, 2020.

West Africans Carry DNA from Mysterious Archaic Hominin

sci-news.com – Four West African populations -- Yoruba, Esan, Mende, and Gambian -- derive 2 to 19% of their genetic ancestry from a yet-undiscovered species of archaic hominin that diverged before the split of modern humans and the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans, according to new research from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Source: Arun Durvasula, Sriram Sankararaman. Recovering signals of ghost archaic introgression in African populations. Science Advances, 2020.

Study reveals how low oxygen levels in the heart predispose people to cardiac arrhythmias

eurekalert.org – Low oxygen levels in the heart have long been known to produce life-threatening arrhythmias, even sudden death. Until now, it was not clear how. New findings, in a study led by Steve A. N. Goldstein, MD, PhD, vice chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of California, Irvine, and distinguished professor in the UCI School of Medicine Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology & Biophysics, reveal the underlying mechanism for this dangerous heart disorder.

Source: Leigh D. Plant, Dazhi Xiong, Jesus Romero, Hui Dai, Steve A.N. Goldstein. Hypoxia Produces Pro-arrhythmic Late Sodium Current in Cardiac Myocytes by SUMOylation of NaV1.5 Channels. Cell Reports, 2020.