Month: May 2020

Ancient genomes link subsistence change and human migration in northern China

While recent advances in ancient DNA analysis have established the major patterns of prehistoric human migration in western Eurasia, the population history of eastern Eurasia remains little understood. Northern China is of particular importance, as it harbored two of the world’s earliest agricultural centers for millet farming: the Yellow and West Liao River basins. Both basins are famous for their rich archeological cultures and their influence on nearby regions. However, little is known about their genetic interactions and how these affected the dispersal of millet farming over northern China and surrounding regions.

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New sunspots potentially herald increased solar activity

On May 29, 2020, a family of sunspots—dark spots that freckle the face of the sun, representing areas of complex magnetic fields—sported the biggest solar flare since October 2017. Although the sunspots are not yet visible (they will soon rotate into view over the left limb of the sun), NASA spacecraft spotted the flares high above them.

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Nanoparticles can make home refrigeration more accessible for low-income households

Power consumption of a home refrigerator can be cut by 29% while improving cooling capacity. Researchers replaced widely used but environmentally unfriendly R134a refrigerant with the more energy-efficient R600a dosed with multi-walled carbon nanotube nanoparticles (MWCNT). This drop-in refrigerant replacement can be deployed in the field by trained technicians, says an engineer from the University of Johannesburg.

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