We’ve hacked the Curiosity rover to learn how mountains form on Mars

newscientist.com – Hacking the Curiosity rover let researchers measure the density of the rocks it was driving over, revealing that Martian mountains may not form how we thought

Source: Kevin W. Lewis, et al. A surface gravity traverse on Mars indicates low bedrock density at Gale crater. Science, 2019.

Ancient fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life far older than previously thought

eurekalert.org – Newly discovered fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life could be 1.5 billion years older than previously thought, according to a new study by an international team of researchers including scientists at the University of Alberta.

Source: Abderrazak El Albani, et al. Organism motility in an oxygenated shallow-marine environment 2.1 billion years ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

NASA finds a second huge impact crater beneath Greenland’s ice sheet

zmescience.com – Our planet has received its fair share of visitors along the years. This one has been hiding under Greenland's thick ice.

Source: Joseph A. MacGregor, et al. A Possible Second Large Subglacial Impact Crater in Northwest Greenland. Geophysical Research Letters, 2019.

Researchers Trace the Origins of Thousands of Ancient European Megaliths

discovermagazine.com – New research suggests the idea of stone megaliths was spread by a mysterious seafaring culture from northwest France.

Source: B. Schulz Paulsson. Radiocarbon dates and Bayesian modeling support maritime diffusion model for megaliths in Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

Oxytocin And Vasopressin - An Experiment Tackles The Chemistry Of Love And Altruism

science20.com – Love is a complex topic. You love your dog differently than you love chocolate. There are times when you might put your dog, or a loved one, ahead of yourself, but you would never jump in front of a moving car to save chocolate.

Source: Bianca P. Acevedo, Michael J. Poulin, Lucy L. Brown. Beyond romance: Neural and genetic correlates of altruism in pair-bonds.. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2019.

A Better Pill—Internal Delivery Devices May Help Patients Take Their Medicine

sciam.com – A tortoise and a puffer fish inspire technology to overcome the multibillion-dollar nonadherence problem

Source: Alex Abramson, et al. An ingestible self-orienting system for oral delivery of macromolecules. Science, 2019.

Orangutans make complex economic decisions about tool use

sciencedaily.com – Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists found out that the apes carefully weighed their options. To do so the apes considered the details such as differences in quality between the two food rewards and the functionality of the available tools in order to obtain a high quality food reward.

Source: Isabelle B. Laumer, Alice M. I. Auersperg, Thomas Bugnyar, Josep Call, Darrell A. Worthy. Orangutans (Pongo abelii) make flexible decisions relative to reward quality and tool functionality in a multi-dimensional tool-use task. PLOS ONE, 2019.

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

digitaltrends.com – What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS. Antbot uses an optical compass that detects polarized light to determine its heading.

Source: Julien Dupeyroux, Julien R. Serres, Stéphane Viollet. AntBot: A six-legged walking robot able to home like desert ants in outdoor environments. Science Robotics, 2019.

Photosynthesizing artificial leaf may be the air-cleaning tool we’ve dreamed of

digitaltrends.com – Engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have invented an artificial leaf which promises to be up to 10 times more efficient than the real thing when it comes to carrying out photosynthesis. The results could both clean up our air and provide a cost-effective type of fuel.

Source: Aditya Prajapati, Meenesh R. Singh. Assessment of Artificial Photosynthetic Systems for Integrated Carbon Capture and Conversion. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2019.

Meet Mnyamawamtuka: The New Tanzanian Titanosaur

discovermagazine.com – New giant plant-eating dinosaur Mnyamawamtuka hails from Tanzania, where it lived about 100 million years ago.

Source: Eric Gorscak, Patrick M. O’Connor, Ulrich Joger. A new African Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation (Mtuka Member), Rukwa Rift Basin, Southwestern Tanzania. PLOS ONE, 2019.

A Hormone Produced When We Exercise Might Help Fight Alzheimer's

discovermagazine.com – Irisin, a hormone released by our muscles during physical activity, offers protection against Alzheimer's disease.

Source: Mychael V. Lourenco, et al. Exercise-linked FNDC5/irisin rescues synaptic plasticity and memory defects in Alzheimer’s models. Nature Medicine, 2019.