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.

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.

Enigmatic Skull Found in Greece Suggests Early Homo sapiens Reached Europe 210,000 Years Ago

sci-news.com – A 210,000-year-old partial skull found in southern Greece about four decades ago has been identified as the earliest example of anatomically modern Homo sapiens discovered outside the African continent.

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

Thin Layer of ‘Frozen Smoke’ Could Sustain Life on Mars

geek.com – Earth is the only home we’ve got—for now. Scientists are working to turn Mars into “plan[et] B.” A team from Harvard University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the University of Edinburgh have …

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

Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo Has Upped His Game, Study Finds

discovermagazine.com – The bird learned new dance moves on his own, researchers find, a novelty in the animal world.

Source: R. Joanne Jao Keehn, John R. Iversen, Irena Schulz, Aniruddh D. Patel. Spontaneity and diversity of movement to music are not uniquely human. Current Biology, 2019.

Anorexia not just a psychiatric problem, scientists find

theguardian.com – Discovery of metabolic causes opens door to new treatments for dangerous eating disorder

Source: Christopher Hübel, et al. Genomics of body fat percentage may contribute to sex bias in anorexia nervosa. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 2018.

Fossil Friday: bird encased in amber has an unique, “extreme” toe

zmescience.com – The bird's hyper-elongated third toe is longer than its whole lower leg, the authors report.

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

Satellite imaging used to spot the largest seaweed bloom in the world

zmescience.com – The record-breaking belt of brown algae stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: Mengqiu Wang, et al. The great Atlantic Sargassum belt. Science, 2019.

Ejected moons could help solve several astronomical puzzles

upi.com – Runaway moons could explain several astronomical mysteries, according to a new study.

Source: Mario Sucerquia, Jaime A. Alvarado-Montes, Jorge I. Zuluaga, Nicolás Cuello, Cristian Giuppone. Ploonets: formation, evolution, and detectability of tidally detached exomoons. arXiv, 2019.

This solar-powered device produces energy and cleans water at the same time

sciencenews.org – Someday, the two-for-one machine could help curb electricity and freshwater shortages.

Source: Wenbin Wang, et al. Simultaneous production of fresh water and electricity via multistage solar photovoltaic membrane distillation. Nature Communications, 2019.

Earth Has Room For 1 Trillion More Trees

the-scientist.com – Researchers who provide that estimate believe this is the best and cheapest way to combat global warming.

Source: Jean-Francois Bastin, et al. The global tree restoration potential. Science, 2019.