Small comets have been detected orbiting an alien bright-yellow dwarf star, according to findings scheduled to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The tiny comets circled KIC 3542116 about 800 years ago and have been detected by the Kepler Space Telescope in much the same way that it finds exoplanets.
An ancient new species of arachnid that lived about 100 million years ago has been found encased in amber from Myanmar, helping to clarify the fossil record. Chimerarachne yingi looks similar to modern spiders except for its long tail and is described in two papers published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Dinosaurs' spread throughout the world may have put them in decline well before the asteroid that wiped them out hit Earth, according to findings published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. "They'd filled the Earth, there was nowhere to move to and they were really specialized in their habitat so they couldn't produce new species," said study author Ciara O'Donovan.
Cheetahs can keep their heads still as they run to catch their prey with help from their unique inner ears, a study published in Scientific Reports suggests. "This distinctive inner ear anatomy reflects enhanced sensitivity and more rapid response to head motions," said study co-author John Flynn.
Placental cells and cancer cells affect the immune system in similar ways, according to scientists. Researchers are hoping to figure out what's behind the similarities to create better ways to detect and treat cancer.
A study in Pediatrics showed that infants ages 28 days or younger had increased white blood cell counts and protein concentrations, but significantly lower glucose concentrations in their cerebrospinal fluid, compared with those ages 29 days to 60 days. The findings suggest that CSF reference values and centile curves can help interpret the results of lumbar puncture for bacterial meningitis in babies 60 days of age or younger.
Startup Lightmatter has raised $11 million in Series A funding to continue its work making super-fast photonic chips to improve performance of artificial intelligence. "At Lightmatter, we are augmenting electronic computers with photonics to power a fundamentally new kind of computer that is efficient enough to propel the next generation of AI," said company CEO Nick Harris.
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