Behold Mortichnia, the Death Trail of an Ancient Worm – A 500-million-year-old fossil offered a rare treasure: the imprint of an animal that literally died in its tracks.

Source: Scott D. Evans, James G. Gehling, Mary L. Droser. Slime travelers: Early evidence of animal mobility and feeding in an organic mat world. Geobiology, 2019.

Simple Tool Evaluates Mask Performance at Blocking Droplets – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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. – 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 – 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’ – 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.