The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

digitaltrends.com – A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. It would be expected that helium hydride would still be present in some parts of the universe. But strangely enough, it has never been detected in space before now.

Source: Rolf Güsten, et al. Astrophysical detection of the helium hydride ion HeH+. Nature, 2019.

How to Make a Mouse Hallucinate

sciam.com – A real-time capture of brain-circuit activity shows how simple it is to change what an animal sees

Source: James H. Marshel, et al. Cortical layer–specific critical dynamics triggering perception. Science, 2019.

Aerogels Could Be Used to Build Terraforming Domes on Mars

discovermagazine.com – Domes made of a high-tech substance called silica aerogel could protect crops on Mars and make the Red Planet more habitable.

Source: R. Wordsworth, L. Kerber, C. Cockell. Enabling Martian habitability with silica aerogel via the solid-state greenhouse effect. Nature Astronomy, 2019.

Facebook and Google Trackers Are Showing Up on Porn Sites

nytimes.com – A new study scanned 22,484 pornography sites and found them riddled with trackers from major technology companies.

Source: Elena Maris, Timothy Libert, Jennifer Henrichsen. Tracking sex: The implications of widespread sexual data leakage and tracking on porn websites. arXiv, 2019.

West Antarctic ice collapse may be prevented by snowing ocean water onto it

eurekalert.org – The ice sheet covering West Antarctica is at risk of sliding off into the ocean. While further ice-sheet destabilisation in other parts of the continent may be limited by a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the slow, yet inexorable loss of West Antarctic ice is likely to continue even after climate warming is stabilised. A collapse might take hundreds of years but will raise sea levels worldwide by more than three meters.

Source: Johannes Feldmann, Anders Levermann, Matthias Mengel. Stabilizing the West Antarctic Ice Sheet by surface mass deposition. Science Advances, 2019.

Army game-theory research better allocates military resources, fight cancer

eurekalert.org – US Army game-theory research using artificial intelligence may help treat cancer and other diseases, improve cybersecurity, deploy Soldiers and assets more efficiently and even win a poker game.

Source: Noam Brown, Tuomas Sandholm. Superhuman AI for multiplayer poker. Science, 2019.

Contaminated Land

scienceblog.com – Ancient submerged volcanoes Rise up from the ocean floor, Their tips littering the landscape As tremendous shadows of the past Cast a barely visible film of filth Across this false Pacific paradise…

Source: Maveric K. I. L. Abella, Monica Rouco Molina, Ivana Nikolić-Hughes, Emlyn W. Hughes, Malvin A. Ruderman. Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

Image of the Day: Digital Adaptation

the-scientist.com – A bird leg with one super-long toe is something paleontologists say they’ve never seen before.

Source: Lida Xing, et al. A New Enantiornithine Bird with Unusual Pedal Proportions Found in Amber. Current Biology, 2019.

210,000-year-old skull in Greece is earliest sign of modern humans in Europe or Asia

latimes.com – A 210,000-year-old skull in Greece is the earliest evidence for modern humans in Eurasia and suggests they left Africa earlier than previously thought.

Source: Katerina Harvati, et al. Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia. Nature, 2019.

"Metronome" Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains

sciam.com – Brain cells that tick at regular intervals may coordinate neural activity like the conductor of an orchestra

Source: Hyeyoung Shin, Christopher I. Moore. Persistent Gamma Spiking in SI Nonsensory Fast Spiking Cells Predicts Perceptual Success. Neuron, 2019.

This is what quantum entanglement looks like

zmescience.com – The first images of spooky action at a distance.

Source: Paul-Antoine Moreau, et al. Imaging Bell-type nonlocal behavior. Science Advances, 2019.