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Black Gum, a photographic triptych by Christian Thompson AO, from the series Australian Graffiti. Courtesy the artist and Michael Reid, Sydney

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Researchers who reviewed data from 95 million U.S. traffic stops found that black drivers are pulled over less frequently at night, when a “veil of darkness” obscures their skin color. People are bad at identifying others’ false memories. The Sans Forgetica typeface does not make text easier to remember. A longitudinal study of adolescent Arizonans found that successful psychopaths develop more pronounced conscientiousness as an impulse-control mechanism. Prospect theory was found to be sound, scarcity makes consumers less price-sensitive, and women are likelier than men to be jealous of a partner’s realistic sex robot. Australian psychologists linked social isolation and emotional deprivation among female university students to drunkorexia. Virus particles from the feces of non-obese mice decrease obesity in obese mice. Baloxavir keeps ferrets with influenza from infecting healthy ones. Vampire bats who are strangers will groom one another before sharing blood via regurgitation. Six new coronaviruses were discovered in bats. Falling levels of tourist trash during pandemic lockdowns was found to have caused rat infighting, and macaques were reported to have attacked a lab assistant in Delhi and stolen vials of COVID-19-infected blood, which at least one monkey then tried to eat. In Maine, a loon stabbed a bald eagle through the heart.

Rising population density, poor hygiene, and cold, moist weather led to a spike in ear infections in the Levant around 4000 bc, and postwar atmospheric nuclear testing led to increased cloud thickness and rainfall in the Shetland Islands. A period of global coolness 4,200 years ago accelerated the diversification of japonica rice. Ostrich-shell beads indicating the onset of the Initial Upper Paleolithic were found to have reached Shuidonggou by 39000 bc, and strontium isotope levels revealed the social exchange of ostrich-shell beads during the Late Quaternary in the Karoo Supergroup. Interviews with reptile poachers in southwestern Balochistan indicated that the Caspian cobra, the desert monitor, the Iranian mastigure, Maynard’s longnose sand snake, the Persian spider gecko, and the Tartar sand boa were being captured for use by snake charmers. Herpetologists inventoried the scars of snakes found in the Danube Gorge. Half of Algeria’s marine turtle strandings are inexplicable. Hemotoxic snakebite may be treatable with a heavy-metal chelator. The mating calls of male Panama cross-banded tree frogs are synchronized to confuse bats and midges. Arson dogs’ noses remain better than lab equipment at detecting certain accelerants. CBD improves quality of life in arthritic elderly dogs. Finnish scientists identified the genomic region associated with fearfulness in Great Danes.

The decreasing transpiration of plants, a result of rising carbon dioxide levels, was partly to blame for recent heat waves in northern latitudes. Peatlands, which now store roughly as much carbon as Earth’s forests or its atmosphere, can hold more carbon if exposed to low-intensity fires. Inland waters are emitting previously unaccounted-for levels of carbon dioxide, and freshwater insects are flourishing even as terrestrial insects are dying off. Ocean acidity can now be predicted five years ahead of time. Green snow is spreading across Antarctica. The deepest octopus observed to date was photographed in the Java Trench. Terrestrial bacteria can grow on extraterrestrial nutrients; the black hole nearest Earth was discovered in the constellation Telescopium; and X-ray experiments conducted at the European Synchrotron indicated that moisture is destroying The Scream. A fungal parasite that afflicts the reproductive organs of millipedes was named in honor of Twitter.

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August 2020