Scientific claims in 2019 could be a big deal if they’re true

Finds needing further evidence include fossils of dinosaurs from the sun that hit a giant asteroid on Earth and shooting star jets

Discoveries about the death knell of dinosaurs, a watery exoplanet, a new species of hominids, and more keep us on the edge of our seats. However, these reports require more proof before they can earn a spot on our list of the best articles of the year.

Apocalyptic dino

When an asteroid hit the ground around 66 million years ago, it triggered a massive earthquake. A North Dakota fossil site records fighting within hours of impact, scientists from the National Academy of Science Proiding reported. More interesting, however, is what the researchers may have left behind in their scientific work. Robert DePalma, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas at Lawrence and author of the article, told The New Yorker that the team found fossilized dinosaurs, pterosaurs and even feathers there (SN: 4/27/19 , p. 10). . With very few dinosaur fossils before their discovery, some scientists believe the animals are extinct. If there are fossil dinosaurs there, further evidence that the asteroid effect is to blame.

Wet sky

Water vapor, discovered in the air by an exoplanet 110 light years from Earth, told astronomers that K2 18b was the first known planet to orbit a distant star that could contain liquid water (SN: 10 / 12/19 & 10/26 / 19, p. 6). Scientists suggest that K2 18b may contain water and rain clouds. Observations with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2021, can help determine whether and to what extent K2 18b liquid water is considered a key component of life. But even if the exoplanet is flooded with wet matter, that does not mean that the planet can be inhabited (SN Online: 04.10.19).

What is below

A cache of tiny animal carcasses has been dredged from the ice-covered Mercer Sea in Antarctica, scientists said this year. Surprisingly, this extreme environment is considered only favorable to microbes (SN: 02/16/19, p. 11). Residential boundaries may be narrower than previously assumed. But it’s also possible that debris – along with tardigrades, crustaceans, spiders and worms – were carried to the lake of ice or water.

Hello, homo luzonensis

Fossils unearthed in a Philippine cave suggest that an unknown species of hominid roamed the island of Luzon even 50,000 years ago. The proposed new species, called Homo luzonensis, lived around the same time that tiny hominids were roaming around the Indonesian island of Flores. The shape and size of some fossils correspond to the corresponding bones of well-known homo species. But the combination of features is unique, say the researchers. If H. luzonensis is confirmed as a separate species, it will be the latest addition to the tree of human evolution. The results also indicate that many gay groups were living in East Asia and islands in Southeast Asia when people reached southern China, which made it difficult for scientists to see the development. hominids in Asia (SN: 5). / 11/19 and 5/25/19, p. seven).

sixth Sense

Like birds and fish, humans can see the earth’s magnetic field, as brainwave analysis suggests (SN: 04/13/19, p. 6). In laboratory tests, humans have shown a unique pattern of brain waves when exposed to a strong magnetic field in the earth. However, the pattern is only formed when the field points and moves in a certain way. Even if confirmation is confirmed, it is not clear what we will do in the “sixth sense” or how we will know the signal.

To clean the way

Flashing lights and clicks improve memory in rats with signs of Alzheimer’s. Light and noise stimulate gamma waves in the brain, as if to clear the plaques that cause disease (SN: 04/13/19, p. 9). The treated rats had fewer beta amyloid plaques in areas of the brain normally affected by disease and fewer harmful versions of the tau protein. The plaque-eating immune cells are put into a binge eating, scientists report. If the treatment works in humans (trials are continuing) it will open up a new way to fight degenerative diseases. However, many treatments that reduce the symptoms of the disease in rats do not have the same effect in humans.

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