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Friday, October 19, 2018

Why tropical forests are so ecologically diverse

The population of a tropical tree increases mostly in places where it is rare, a new study found.

Eating with your eyes: Virtual reality can alter taste

Humans not only relish the sweet, savory and saltiness of foods, but they are influenced by the environment in which they eat. Food scientists used virtual reality to show how people's perception of real food can be altered by their surroundings.

Best use of wildflowers to benefit crops on farms

For the first time, a new study of strawberry crops on New York farms tested this theory and found that wildflower strips on farms added pollinators when the farm lay within a ''Goldilocks zone,'' where 25 to 55 percent of the surrounding area contained natural lands. Outside this zone, flower plantings also drew more strawberry pests, while having no effect on wasps that kill those pests.

Fast, accurate estimation of the Earth’s magnetic field for natural disaster detection

Researchers have applied machine-learning techniques to achieve fast, accurate estimates of local geomagnetic fields using data taken at multiple observation points, potentially allowing detection of changes caused by earthquakes and tsunamis. A deep neural network (DNN) model was developed and trained using existing data; the result is a fast, efficient method for estimating magnetic fields for unprecedentedly early detection of natural disasters. This is vital for developing effective warning systems that might help reduce casualties and widespread damage.

Did mosasaurs hunt like killer whales?

Researchers have examined the youngest-ever specimen of tylosaur ever found. Like orcas, mosasaurs might have used their bony noses to strike prey.

An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity

New research shows that a versatile RNA molecule may be a key player in human cells' frontline defenses against viruses.

New mechanism for how animal cells stay intact

Watching the movement of every cell in an adult animal all at once, researchers discovered ultra-fast cellular contractions. This research suggests a new role for cellular contractions in tissue cohesion, which could be the basis of a new material.

Smallest ever Tylosaurus fossil sheds light on species

The smallest Tylosaurus mosasaur fossil ever found has been revealed in a new study, and surprisingly it lacks a trademark feature of the species.

Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery

Changing the way microbes are classified can reveal similarities among mammals' gut microbiomes, according to a new study that proposes an alternative method for classifying microbes to provide insight into human and environmental health.

Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems

Are human disturbances to the environment driving evolutionary changes in animals and plants? A new study finds that, on average, human disturbances don't appear to accelerate the process of natural selection. While the finding may seem reassuring, this unexpected pattern could reflect the limited number of species for which data were available.

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With no proof, Trump accuses Democrats of supporting migrant caravan

At a rally in Missoula, Montana, the president accused Democrats – without evidence – of supporting a caravan of about 3,000 migrants heading for the U.S. border. The president threatens to mobilize the U.S. military and shut down the southern border to stop those migrants from entering the U.S. Chip Reid reports.

If Turkey has proof Khashoggi was killed, it’s apparently not sharing

Hours after Mike Pompeo refutes claim he's heard audio of Jamal Khashoggi's alleged murdered, Turkey backs him up, but keeps its secret

Turkey says it hasn’t shared any audio of alleged Khashoggi murder

Turkey's top diplomat confirms his government has not given the U.S. any recordings of the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already denied hearing tapes or seeing transcripts. President Trump moved closer to acknowledging the Saudis may have played a role. Weijia Jiang reports.