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Neanderthals and Denisovans probably lived side by side for tens of thousands of years during their 300,000-year occupation of Denisova Cave in Siberia. Homo sapiens might have called the cave home, too, with evidence suggesting that modern humans moved in about 49,000 years ago. The namesake cave is where the Denisovan species was discovered in 2010, as well as the first-ever known ‘hybrid’ of two ancient-human groups, a woman whose mother was a Neanderthal and father a Denisovan.
Peace and common membership of the European Union have allowed scientists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to build a unique, cross-border research system. Brexit now risks upsetting that community by potentially bringing back a hard border between the Republic of Ireland in the EU and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. The issue also brings up painfully recent memories of conflict. “The worst Brexit outcome would be a resumption of violence,” says Tom Molloy, director of public affairs at Trinity College Dublin. But there is a bright side for the republic: Ireland would become the only English-speaking country with full access to the EU single market and EU research programmes.
Astrophysicists have for the first time calculated how individual particles of matter and antimatter swirl around a rotating black hole. The computer simulations provide crucial insight into how black holes shoot out jets of matter at nearly light speed. The results lend support to two previously proposed mechanisms for how mysterious jets are powered: turbulent currents of positrons and electrons, and particles with negative energy.
FEATURES & OPINION
First, do some great science, obviously. Next, take some advice from scientific photographer Felice Frankel and learn to take an exceptional photo with only a mobile phone or a flatbed scanner. Kelly Krause, creative director of Nature and the Nature journals, walks you through some of the stunning images and top tips from Frankel’s new book.
Two of China’s most revered physicists, Nobel laureate Chen-Ning Yang and his lifelong friend, nuclear pioneer Deng Jiaxian, saw their lives and careers diverge when they faced the call to return to “the motherland” after the Second World War. Yang became a US citizen while Deng spent time in a gulag. Particle physicist Yangyang Cheng explores how Yang and Deng navigated idealism, patriotism and politics — and says their dilemmas are not dissimilar to ones facing scientists today.
“For many of us, climate change isn’t a disaster movie. It’s a kitchen sink drama,” says climate scientist Kate Marvel, who has been watching disaster films with three other scientists for the podcast Anthropocinema. She argues for stories about how “rising temperatures upend expectations, shatter dreams, and create new worlds”.
Can you guess the animal from only its fascinating X-ray taken at a regular check-up at the Oregon Zoo? Warning: it gets way, way harder. Let me know how you do — and any other feedback — at email@example.com.
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