Top stories: Voyager 1 probes dark matter, life’s explosive origin, and monogamy’s genetic basis…

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(left to proper): JPL CALTECH/NASA; FRANS LANTING/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC IMAGE COLLECTION; YVA MOMATIUK AND JOHN EASTCOTT/MINDEN PICTURES

Top tales: Voyager 1 probes dark matter, life’s explosive origin, and monogamy’s genetic foundation

Aging Voyager 1 spacecraft undermines idea that dark matter is tiny black holes

Humanity’s most far-flung spacecraft, NASA’s 41-year-old Voyager 1, has poked a gap in a long-shot idea of dark matter. Some theorists have argued the mysterious, unseen stuff, which makes up 85% of the universe’s matter, may encompass numerous black holes lingering from the massive bang. But Voyager 1, which launched in 1977 and slipped out of the photo voltaic system 6 years in the past, sees no indicators of such hordes, a pair of theoretical physicists stories.

How an ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth

An historical cataclysm could have jump-started life on Earth, in response to new proof. Some 4.47 billion years in the past—a mere 60 million years after Earth took form and 40 million years after the moon shaped—a moon-size object sideswiped Earth and exploded into an orbiting cloud of molten iron and different particles. Some scientists at the moment are proposing that after issues cooled down, easy natural molecules finally linked as much as kind RNA, a molecular participant lengthy credited with sparking life.

Monogamy may have a telltale signature of gene activity

In the animal world, monogamy has some clear perks. Living in pairs may give animals some stability and certainty within the fixed wrestle to breed and defend their younger—which can be why it has advanced independently in varied species. Now, an evaluation of gene exercise throughout the brains of frogs, rodents, fish, and birds suggests there could also be a sample frequent to monogamous creatures. Despite very totally different mind constructions and evolutionary histories, these animals all appear to have developed monogamy by turning on and off among the identical units of genes.

Dog breeds really do have distinct personalities—and they’re rooted in DNA

American Kennel Club descriptions of canine breeds can learn like on-line courting profiles: The border collie is a workaholic; the German shepherd will put its life on the road for family members. Now, in essentially the most complete research of its form to this point, scientists have proven that such distinct breed traits are rooted in a canine’s genes. The findings could make clear human behaviors as nicely.

U.S. government shutdown starts to take a bite out of science

The partial shutdown of the U.S. authorities, in its third week, halted the work of tens of 1000’s of scientists. Many have been furloughed with out pay, barred from working at residence, and prohibited from checking their authorities e-mail. The shutdown can also be creating chaos for college researchers, non-public contractors, and others who collaborate with idled federal scientists, or rely on affected companies for funding, amenities, and knowledge.



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