Want to be more creative? Playing Minecraft can help, new study finds

arstechnica.com – Caveat: Subjects who were explicitly told to be creative in Minecraft improved the least.

Source: Jorge A. Blanco-Herrera, Douglas A. Gentile, Jeffrey N. Rokkum. Video Games can Increase Creativity, but with Caveats. Creativity Research Journal, 2019.

Humans Have Ability to Regrow Damaged Cartilage, Study Reveals

sci-news.com – According to a new study published in the journal Science Advances, cartilage in our joints can repair itself through a process similar to that used by highly regenerative animals such as axolotl, zebrafish, and bichir.

Source: Ming-Feng Hsueh, Patrik Önnerfjord, Michael P. Bolognesi, Mark E. Easley, Virginia B. Kraus. Analysis of “old” proteins unmasks dynamic gradient of cartilage turnover in human limbs. Science Advances, 2019.

Dinosaur predator with shark-like teeth found in Thailand

zmescience.com – Long before T. rex entered the picture, this agile predator dominated Southeast Asia's floodplains.

Source: Duangsuda Chokchaloemwong, et al. A new carcharodontosaurian theropod (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand. PLOS ONE, 2019.

Depression Treatment: Does Healthy Eating Really Help?

medicaldaily.com – A new study suggests that eating fruits and vegetables regularly could help young adults reduce the symptoms of depression.

Source: Heather M. Francis, et al. A brief diet intervention can reduce symptoms of depression in young adults – A randomised controlled trial. PLOS ONE, 2019.

Andromeda Galaxy Swallowed Many Dwarf Galaxies During Its Lifetime

sci-news.com – An analysis of data from the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) has uncovered two major episodes of accretion, probably separated by billions of years, in which the Andromeda galaxy, a neighbor to our Milky Way Galaxy, gobbled up several small galaxies.

Source: Dougal Mackey, et al. Two major accretion epochs in M31 from two distinct populations of globular clusters. Nature, 2019.

Alcohol Is Fertility Statistical Magic - But Not In The Way You Think

science20.com – A new review of other papers claims that unless women stopped drinking alcohol a year prior to conception they probably gave their kids future congenital heart disease.The authors are not kidding.

Source: Senmao Zhang, et al. Parental alcohol consumption and the risk of congenital heart diseases in offspring: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2019.

Salt-Rich Deposits Point to Ancient Briny Ponds in Mars’ Gale Crater

sci-news.com – According to a new paper in the journal Nature Geoscience, rocks enriched in mineral salts within the 3.7-billion-year-old Gale Crater on Mars represent evidence of shallow briny ponds that went through episodes of overflow and drying.

Source: N. H. Thomas, et al. Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 2019.

Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Could Devastate the Entire Planet

discovermagazine.com – New simulations show that a nuclear war between two countries would plunge the entire globe into a nuclear winter that could last more than a decade.

Source: Owen B. Toon, et al. Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe. Science Advances, 2019.

Lunar Water Ice May Have Multiple Sources, Researchers Say

sci-news.com – Lunar orbiters such as India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) recently detected water icy on the floor of some of the south polar craters, but no one is sure exactly when or how that ice got there.

Source: Ariel N. Deutsch, James W. Head, Gregory A. Neumann. Analyzing the ages of south polar craters on the Moon: Implications for the sources and evolution of surface water ice.. Icarus, 2019.

Planet Nine Might Be a Black Hole the Size of a Baseball

discovermagazine.com – A slew of oddly orbiting objects indicates a massive planet is hiding in the outer solar system. But one group of astronomers says it might be a tiny black hole instead.

Source: Jakub Scholtz, James Unwin. What if Planet 9 is a Primordial Black Hole?. arXiv, 2019.