What’s new in science this week?
- Polling found to still be best predictor of election results: In a study from the University of Houston, researchers have found that global polling can predict up to 90% of election outcomes from around the world. Despite the views of some, in light of Donald Trump’s surprise election, the study shows that polling data is still trustworthy. To read more, click here.
- Is Ceres hiding ice volcanoes? The American Geophysical Union have discovered a solitary mountain of icy rock known as a cryovolcano that may be hiding older siblings on the dwarf planet’s surface. Using data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, scientists believe they can show that other ice volcanoes have disappeared over millions of years. To read more, click here.
- No link found between asteroid break-up and increase in biodiversity: Around 470 million years ago, in a geological time period known as the Ordovician, an asteroid collision occurred between Mars and Jupiter sending cascades of meteorites towards Earth. The heavy meteorite bombardment continued for millions of years coinciding with an increase in marine biodiversity. A study from the University of Copenhagen has shown that the rise in biodiversity started long before the collision. To read more, click here.
- Gene therapy restores hearing to deaf mice: Doctors at the Boston Children’s hospital have used gene therapy to restore rudimentary hearing to genetically deaf mice. Continued research has allowed the team to restore a much higher level of hearing, down to the level of a whisper. Further work is needed before this can be brought to patients. To read more, click here.
- Amazon was transformed 2000 years ago by ancient earthworks: Brazilian and UK experts have found evidence that the ancient people of the Amazon constructed large geometrical geoglyphs as possible places of worship. This finding challenges years of theory suggesting the rainforest ecosystem was untouched by humans. To read more, click here.
(Image courtesy of Joseph King)