Voynich Manuscript Finally Decoded: Mysterious Book is Written in Proto-Romance Language

sci-news.com – The Voynich manuscript, sometimes described as the ‘world’s most mysterious text,’ uses proto-Romance, a language that arose from a blend of spoken Latin (Vulgar Latin) and other languages across the Mediterranean during the early Medieval period following the collapse of the Roman Empire and subsequently evolved into the many Romance languages.

Source: Gerard Cheshire. The Language and Writing System of MS408 (Voynich) Explained. Romance Studies, 2019.

Study: Bonobo Mothers Play Strong Role in Helping Adult Sons Find Mate

sci-news.com – A new study, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that adult bonobo males have higher paternity success when their mother is living in the group.

Source: Martin Surbeck, et al. Males with a mother living in their group have higher paternity success in bonobos but not chimpanzees. Current Biology, 2019.

Sea levels could rise by up to 2 metres by 2100, new study finds

cbc.ca – Sea levels could rise by as much as two metres by 2100 in a worst-case scenario involving melting ice caps and high CO2 emissions, new research suggests.

Source: Jonathan L. Bamber, Michael Oppenheimer, Robert E. Kopp, Willy P. Aspinall, Roger M. Cooke. Ice sheet contributions to future sea-level rise from structured expert judgment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

Seeing Red in the Fossil Record

nytimes.com – A discovery in a fossilized mouse could help scientists work out the true colors of dinosaurs and other creatures from prehistory.

Source: Phillip L. Manning, et al. Pheomelanin pigment remnants mapped in fossils of an extinct mammal. Nature Communications, 2019.

Billion-Year-Old Fossil Fungi, Oldest Known, Revises Broader Evolution Timeline

discovermagazine.com – Microfossils from the Canadian Arctic, earliest known fungus, point to a much earlier evolutionary timeline not just for fungi, but for animals as well.

Source: Corentin C. Loron, et al. Early fungi from the Proterozoic era in Arctic Canada. Nature, 2019.

Room Temperatures Set for Men's Comfort May Disadvantage Women, Study Finds

discovermagazine.com – A German study found that women perform tasks best in warm rooms, while men's performance marginally improved at cooler temperatures.

Source: Tom Y. Chang, Agne Kajackaite, Valerio Capraro. Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance. PLOS ONE, 2019.

Thin Insulation Layer May Prevent Pluto's Underground Ocean From Freezing

discovermagazine.com – New research suggests Pluto hides an ocean beneath a thin insulating layer that keeps its ocean wet and its ice crust cold.

Source: Shunichi Kamata, et al. Pluto’s ocean is capped and insulated by gas hydrates. Nature Geoscience, 2019.

Processed Foods, Regardless Of Nutrition, Still Cause Weight Gain

discovermagazine.com – A diet of ultra-processed food causes weight gain even when it doesn't have more sugar, fat, or carbs, according to a new intensive study at the NIH.

Source: Kevin D. Hall, et al. Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake. Cell Metabolism, 2019.

China's Lunar Rover Finds Ancient Rocks in Moon's Biggest Crater

discovermagazine.com – China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover found material dug up from deep under the moon’s surface that could help explain our satellite's origins.

Source: Chunlai Li, et al. Chang’E-4 initial spectroscopic identification of lunar far-side mantle-derived materials. Nature, 2019.

Bedbugs survived the impact event that wiped out the dinosaurs

upi.com – Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Not even the fiery asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs could rid Earth of its bedbug infestation.

Source: Steffen Roth, et al. Bedbugs Evolved before Their Bat Hosts and Did Not Co-speciate with Ancient Humans. Current Biology, 2019.