Findings, by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi

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“Bodega, East 110 Street, NYC” and “Vila’s Barber Shop, NYC,” photographs by Roger Cabán from the exhibition En Foco: The New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973–74 © The artist. Courtesy the Collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York. Gift of En Foco, Inc.

“Bodega, East 110 Street, NYC” and “Vila’s Barber Shop, NYC,” photographs by Roger Cabán from the exhibition En Foco: The
New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973–74 © The artist. Courtesy the Collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York. Gift of En Foco, Inc.

Transcranial stimulation of the temporoparietal junction was found to make subjects fish more sustainably in a video game, leading researchers to suggest that feelings of sympathy could be boosted in people visualizing future victims of climate change. “Applying brain stimulation to the general public,” said the study’s lead author, “is out of the question, of course.” Plant engineers demonstrated that alteration of tobacco genes can eliminate crop-yield losses—as high as 50 percent in the Southern United States—that occur when temperatures rise and plants mistakenly metabolize oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. Doctors in Varanasi reported a case of criminally motivated home mummification using air-conditioning, clarified butter, and turmeric. Human DNA was successfully extracted from the cement left by lice on the heads of mummies, and widespread human milk tolerance was found to have arisen in Britain a millennium before it did in Central Europe. Regions of the former Soviet Union to which the intelligentsia were exiled in the twentieth century have since experienced high rates of economic development. Cobalt mining was driving Congolese into Zambia in search of food. The Himba of northern Namibia are more intuitive, religious, and happy, but less utilitarian, than the French. Both new and old residents of gentrifying areas become more open-minded, and the gentrification of Los Angeles neighborhoods improves the health of all residents. The galaxy AGC 114905 appears to contain no dark matter.

Astronomers called for Pluto and more than one hundred other celestial bodies to be granted planetary status. A new sleeping bag for astronauts sucks bodily fluids toward the feet, preventing squished eyeballs. Neurologists proposed manipulating the phase offsets of memory retrieval to repair the corrupted memories of schizophrenics. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were linked to protein-coding regions in recently evolved parts of the dark genome. Use of Viagra reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s by 69 percent. Niceness can be inferred by children from other children’s faces, but shyness cannot. Cryogenically frozen fecal samples from gay men in 1984 showed that the guts of those who later contracted HIV contained an abundance of Prevotella stercorea. Microplastics are more abundant in the feces of those with inflammatory bowel disease. Engineers created a system to differentiate between popping plastic bags and gunshots.

Shark proteins can defeat bat coronaviruses. More than 1,300 cases of paralysis caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus were reported in communities with low vaccination levels. Macaques in India initiated a revenge massacre of hundreds of dogs, kidnapping puppies and dropping them from high places, then attacking humans who came to be seen as allies of the dogs. Georgia researchers sought to “provide knowledge of wild pig movements at a temporal scale.” Korean scientists evaluated the visual components of pork consumers’ preference for Boston butt. A Spanish company planned to launch the world’s first commercial octopus farm. The Marine Biological Laboratory’s cephalopod mariculture team declared success in breeding the pygmy zebra octopus as a new lab animal. “The sky’s the limit for what people want to do,” said one zoologist. Researchers in Australia announced the discovery of the first true millipede, with 1,306 legs. Virginia police responding to a report of an injured owl encountered a large mushroom. A baby girl was found to have been buried ten thousand years ago with an eagle owl talon, signifying grief. Divorce rates among black-browed albatrosses are driven by poor breeding outcomes and warm sea surface temperature anomalies. A tardigrade cooled to near absolute zero and treated as a dielectric cube became the first animal to exist in a state of quantum entanglement, then was revived and allowed to resume its normal life.

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