See the beautiful galaxy Centaurus A in all its cosmic glory

digitaltrends.com – A stunning image of the distant galaxy Centaurus A has been captured by the Dark Energy Camera in Chile.

Source: Michael Janssen, et al. Event Horizon Telescope observations of the jet launching and collimation in Centaurus A. Nature Astronomy, 2021.

Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained

the-scientist.com – Ethologist Jan Langbein and his team trained the cattle as a way to keep solid and liquid cattle waste separate--with the goal of reducing ammonia emissions coming from livestock.

Source: Neele Dirksen, et al. Learned control of urinary reflexes in cattle to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Current Biology, 2021.

Confirmed: A duck named Ripper learned how to say “You bloody fool!”

arstechnica.com – "At first I thought, 'It's a hoax, it can't be true.' But it turned out to be true."

Source: Carel ten Cate, Peter J. Fullagar. Vocal imitations and production learning by Australian musk ducks ( Biziura lobata ). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2021.

The gene that gives tabby cats their adorable stripes

zmescience.com – Cheetahs and tigers too, most likely.

Source: Christopher B. Kaelin, Kelly A. McGowan, Gregory S. Barsh. Developmental genetics of color pattern establishment in cats. Nature Communications, 2021.

A Football-Shaped Animal Species Is Discovered In A 500-Million-Year-Old Shale

npr.org – The Titanokorys gainesi, which is now extinct, was a 1 1/2-foot-long sea animal — gigantic for its time — with a large protective shell over its head, a toothed mouth and a pair of spiny claws.

Source: J.-B. Caron, J. Moysiuk. A giant nektobenthic radiodont from the Burgess Shale and the significance of hurdiid carapace diversity. Royal Society Open Science, 2021.

2021 Ig Nobel Prizes Honor Decongestant Orgasms, Rhino Transport

the-scientist.com – A full beard can absorb nearly 40 percent of the shock from a punch to the face, according to one winning study.

Source: Leila Satari, Alba Guillén, Àngela Vidal-Verdú, Manuel Porcar. The wasted chewing gum bacteriome. Scientific Reports, 2020.

Humans were using to tools to make clothes more than 100,000 thousands years ago

upi.com – Humans living on the Atlantic coast of what's now Morocco were making clothes from animal hides between 120,000 and 90,000 years ago, according to a new study.

Source: Emily Y. Hallett, et al. A worked bone assemblage from 120,000–90,000 year old deposits at Contrebandiers Cave, Atlantic Coast, Morocco. iScience, 2021.

To Booster or Not: Scientists and Regulators Debate

the-scientist.com – President Biden's planned rollout of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses is set to begin next week, but questions remain about who should get them.

Source: Stephen J. Thomas, et al. Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine through 6 Months. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

Solar cells that last 30 years could turn buildings into power plants

futurity.org – Transparent solar cells that are highly efficient and last up to 30 years could get us one step closer to windows that generate power.

Source: Yongxi Li, et al. Non-fullerene acceptor organic photovoltaics with intrinsic operational lifetimes over 30 years. Nature Communications, 2021.

To Booster or Not: Scientists and Regulators Debate

the-scientist.com – President Biden's planned rollout of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses is set to begin next week, but questions remain about who should get them.

Source: Yinon M. Bar-On, et al. Protection of BNT162b2 Vaccine Booster against Covid-19 in Israel. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

New programmable gene editing proteins found outside of CRISPR systems

mit.edu – MIT scientists have discovered a new class of compact DNA modifying systems called OMEGAs that naturally shuffle DNA in bacteria and can be engineered to work in human cells.

Source: Han Altae-Tran, et al. The widespread IS200/605 transposon family encodes diverse programmable RNA-guided endonucleases. Science, 2021.