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“The End no. 1,” “Mountain and Valleys no. 71,” and “A View no. 121,” photographs by Chuck Kelton © The artist. Courtesy Sasha Wolf Projects, New York City

“The End no. 1,” “Mountain and Valleys no. 71,” and “A View no. 121,” photographs by Chuck Kelton © The artist. Courtesy Sasha Wolf Projects, New York City

Biologists who captured ninety-nine sea snakes off Costa Rica and offered them a drink found that 80 percent of the snakes accepted water late in the dry season but only 13 percent drank after the start of the rainy season. Swifts, during the months they spend continuously aloft, sleep while gliding at high altitude. For the bushbuck, Mozambique’s civil war created a “landscape of fearlessness.” Wallace’s giant bee, unencountered since the early 1980s, was found. Foreign bees are stealing prime resources from native bees in San Diego. US counties that have historically taken in more immigrants have higher incomes and less unemployment, and counties with higher income inequality have higher rates of firearm homicide. The income level beyond which additional money does not affect Americans’ happiness is more than twice Europeans’ level. American children aged five to eight see nationality as biological. Unemployed white Christian men are highly associated with watching Islamic State beheadings. Among random subjects tested for sadism, 38 percent enjoyed grinding live bugs, and 24 percent ground more bugs than recommended. Female Tenebrio molitor beetles prefer mating with males immunocompromised by fungus. The healing soil of alkaline grasslands in Northern Ireland, used in traditional medicine, was found to contain bacteria effective against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Paleo dieters show generally positive psychological tendencies. The sex of a dead person dating from around 5300 bc onward can now be determined by a single tooth. Sex determined from cremated remains generally corresponds with the sex indicated by gendered grave goods at Iron Age Italian necropolises. An eleventh-century woman unearthed in Luxembourg with lapis lazuli in her dental plaque was suspected of having illuminated manuscripts. Medieval inks containing pomegranate peel, vitriol, and gall can be re-created. Some men in ancient Panama had surfer’s ear. The clam gardens of the Pacific Northwest arose at least 3,500 years ago. A large number of Neolithic dog sacrifices occurred in Catalonia. Archaeologists studying a fifteenth-century Peruvian site found evidence of a large-scale sacrifice of llamas and children. Foxes were domesticated in the Bronze Age. The Silver Spoon Effect is lifelong in mongooses. Burmese mahouts are becoming younger and are rotating elephants rather than developing long-term bonds. The rate of atmospheric carbon release is now an order of magnitude higher than it was during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. Researchers can turn CO2 back into coal. The RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft test-fired a harpoon designed to clean up orbital garbage. The Milky Way is mostly dark matter. There is a stellar stream in the southern sky.

Scientists synthesized squid proteins that can replace certain plastics, tested a small insulin-injection system that can be swallowed in tablet form and whose shape is modeled on the shell of the leopard tortoise, and explored the concentration of Japanese eel DNA in river water. DMT microdosing improves anxious and depressive behaviors in rats but makes the males gain weight and the females’ brains atrophy. Gut bacteria in mammals can control the host animal’s DNA. Dusty food worsens chimps’ chewing. Aspirational thinking has spurred Indian farmers to buy genetically modified seeds. The source of citrus sourness was found. The inventor of the supersweet onion and the maroon Beta Sweet carrot, who early in his career bred a firmer cucumber, died. Old stars fade away more slowly than previously thought.

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June 2024

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