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.

Simple Tool Evaluates Mask Performance at Blocking Droplets

the-scientist.com – A proof-of-concept study finds some commonly used facial coverings may perform worse than no mask at all.

Source: Low-cost measurement of facemask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech. Science Advances, 2020.

Red bricks can be charged, store energy

upi.com – Chemists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a method for converting red bricks, the ubiquitous building material, into "smart bricks" that can be charged and store energy like a battery.

Source: Hongmin Wang, et al. Energy storing bricks for stationary PEDOT supercapacitors. Nature Communications, 2020.

Claims of 'Ocean' inside Ceres May Not Hold Water

sciam.com – Final results from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft suggest a brine reservoir exists within the dwarf planet, but some experts remain unconvinced

Source: M. C. De Sanctis, et al. Fresh emplacement of hydrated sodium chloride on Ceres from ascending salty fluids. Nature Astronomy, 2020.

Genomic analysis suggests climate change caused the extinction of wooly rhinos

upi.com – New genomic analysis suggests the decline of the wooly rhinos across ancient Siberia was triggered by climate change, not by overhunting.

Source: Edana Lord, et al. Pre-extinction Demographic Stability and Genomic Signatures of Adaptation in the Woolly Rhinoceros. Current Biology, 2020.

Astronomers have found our Milky Way’s galactic twin

digitaltrends.com – Astronomers have spotted an oddity from the ancient universe: An extremely distant young galaxy which looks unexpectedly similar to our Milky Way.

Source: F. Rizzo, et al. A dynamically cold disk galaxy in the early Universe. Nature, 2020.

Humans have been cremating the dead since at least 7,000 B.C.

upi.com – Cremation is a truly ancient practice. New research suggests humans have been turning the dead to ashes for at least 9,000 years.

Source: Fanny Bocquentin, et al. Emergence of corpse cremation during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Southern Levant: A multidisciplinary study of a pyre-pit burial. PLOS ONE, 2020.

Pheromones rally locust swarms, but they could also be used against them

zmescience.com – Locust swarms threaten food security for millions of people. But the same biology that makes them so dangerous could be used against them.

Source: Xiaojiao Guo, et al. 4-Vinylanisole is an aggregation pheromone in locusts. Nature, 2020.

Making Sense of ‘One of the Most Baffling Animals That Ever Lived’

nytimes.com – Important mysteries have been solved about a reptile with a giraffe-like neck that hunted prey 242 million years ago.

Source: Stephan N.F. Spiekman, et al. Aquatic Habits and Niche Partitioning in the Extraordinarily Long-Necked Triassic Reptile Tanystropheus. Current Biology, 2020.