Breaching the horizons: Universal spreading laws confirmed – By extending the computational horizons from one day to the unprecedented time scales, the IBS researchers were able to confirm that a cloud of quantum particles continue to spread even when particle to particle interactions originally deemed to be the activator of the spreading, exert almost no strength. Their findings are published online in Jan. 30, 2019, in Physical Review Letters.

Source: Ihor Vakulchyk, Mikhail V. Fistul, Sergej Flach. Wave Packet Spreading with Disordered Nonlinear Discrete-Time Quantum Walks. Physical Review Letters, 2019.

Stunning fossil suggests dinosaurs lured mates with smell and vision – A reconstruction of the only fossilised dinosaur genital orifice in existence suggests the ancient animals attracted a mate using colour contrasts and musky smells

Source: Jakob Vinther, Robert Nicholls, Diane A. Kelly. A cloacal opening in a non-avian dinosaur. Current Biology, 2021.

Ancient bronze rings and ribs were some of the earliest money – Before humans minted coins, they used all sorts of odd objects as standardized money.

Source: Maikel H. G. Kuijpers, Cătălin N. Popa, Peter F. Biehl. The origins of money: Calculation of similarity indexes demonstrates the earliest development of commodity money in prehistoric Central Europe. PLOS ONE, 2021.

How some male mantises avoid getting their heads chopped off after sex – Males employ sexual coercion in order to quickly mate and flee the scene in one piece.

Source: Nathan W. Burke, Gregory I. Holwell. Male coercion and female injury in a sexually cannibalistic mantis. Biology Letters, 2021.

Canada won't receive any Pfizer shots next week — here's what you need to know about the vaccination campaign – Canada's vaccination campaign is off to a slow start — and news this week that deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech product will be dramatically reduced over the next month has further complicated the national rollout.

Source: Jerald Sadoff, et al. Interim Results of a Phase 1–2a Trial of Ad26.COV2.S Covid-19 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

Giant sand worm discovery proves truth is stranger than fiction – Simon Fraser University researchers have found evidence that large ambush-predatory worms--some as long as two metres--roamed the ocean floor near Taiwan over 20 million years ago.

Source: Yu-Yen Pan, et al. The 20-million-year old lair of an ambush-predatory worm preserved in northeast Taiwan. Scientific Reports, 2021.

This painted pig is the world’s oldest figurative art – The pig's spiky head crest and two facial warts helped identify its species.

Source: Adam Brumm, et al. Oldest cave art found in Sulawesi. Science Advances, 2021.

Feast your eyes on this 50-million-year-old assassin bug and its exquisite genitalia – The “extraordinarily well-preserved” male genitalia of the newly discovered species, named Aphelicophontes danjuddi, show similarities to those of present-day bugs, scientists reported on January 19 in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

Source: Daniel R. Swanson, Sam W. Heads, Steven J. Taylor, Yinan Wang, Conrad Labandeira. A new remarkably preserved fossil assassin bug (Insecta, Heteroptera, Reduviidae) from the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado. Papers in Palaeontology, 2021.

COVID Reduced US Life Expectancy By Over One Year and Latinos by Three Years – In Mid-October, 2020 (when the US had 215000 COVID deaths), COVID had caused a reduction in US life expectancy at birth of 1.13 y to 77.48 y, lower than any year since 2003. There was a 0.87-y reducti

Source: Theresa Andrasfay, Noreen Goldman. Reductions in 2020 US life expectancy due to COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact on the Black and Latino populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

Warmed-up lithium-based batteries could make electric vehicles cheaper – Lithium batteries that operate at a higher temperature could be cheaper and safer than other batteries for electric cars

Source: Xiao-Guang Yang, Teng Liu, Chao-Yang Wang. Thermally modulated lithium iron phosphate batteries for mass-market electric vehicles. Nature Energy, 2021.

Photos show how a tree snake makes its body into a lasso to climb and hunt prey – Snakes typically slither. But a new study shows a species of tropical tree snake can loop its body into a lasso shape to climb cylindrical objects.

Source: Julie A. Savidge, Thomas F. Seibert, Martin Kastner, Bruce C. Jayne. Lasso locomotion expands the climbing repertoire of snakes. Current Biology, 2021.