Agriculture began in Eurasia earlier than scientists thought

upi.com – According to a new survey of isotopic data from Eurasia, agriculture began in the region earlier than scientists thought.

Source: Alicia R. Ventresca Miller, Cheryl A. Makarewicz. Intensification in pastoralist cereal use coincides with the expansion of trans-regional networks in the Eurasian Steppe. Scientific Reports, 2019.

Here’s what happened in the impact crater the day it did in the dinos

arstechnica.com – Rock core allows researchers to create an incredible timeline.

Source: Sean P. S. Gulick, et al. The first day of the Cenozoic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

Thermoelectric Device Generates Light from ‘Darkness of Space’

sci-news.com – A thermoelectric generator device developed by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford University harnesses the cold darkness of space without active heat input, generating electricity that powers LEDs at night.

Source: Aaswath P. Raman, Wei Li, Shanhui Fan. Generating Light from Darkness. Joule, 2019.

MIT engineers develop “blackest black” material to date

mit.edu – Made from carbon nanotubes, the new coating is 10 times darker than other very black materials.

Source: Kehang Cui, Brian L. Wardle. Breakdown of Native Oxide Enables Multifunctional, Free-Form Carbon Nanotube–Metal Hierarchical Architectures. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019.

Ecologists Say Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments Give Birds Anorexia

science20.com – A team of ecologists exposed Zonotrichia leucophrys (white-crowned sparrows) to the seed treatment known as imidacloprid (in the class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids) and say the measured weight mass declined in just a few hours, which led to the birds delaying migration.

Source: Margaret L. Eng, Bridget J. M. Stutchbury, Christy A. Morrissey. A neonicotinoid insecticide reduces fueling and delays migration in songbirds. Science, 2019.

Two New Species of Electric Eels Discovered

sci-news.com – The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) has long been assumed to be one species, but an international team of scientists has now discovered there are actually three separate ones.

Source: C. David de Santana, et al. Unexpected species diversity in electric eels with a description of the strongest living bioelectricity generator. Nature Communications, 2019.

Banging, Zooming, Ringing, and Raining

sciam.com – Explosions on Titan, cometary visitors, a black hole merger, and water in an exoplanetary atmosphere

Source: Valerio Poggiali, et al. High-Resolution Topography of Titan Adapting the Delay/Doppler Algorithm to the Cassini RADAR Altimeter Data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2019.

A Newly Identified Protein May Be the Key to Vanquishing the Common Cold

sciam.com – Inactivating this protein in human cells and mice provided immunity to a range of viruses, but an effective treatment is still a long way off

Source: Jonathan Diep, et al. Enterovirus pathogenesis requires the host methyltransferase SETD3. Nature Microbiology, 2019.