ScientiFix, our weekly feature, offers you a summary of the top global science stories of the week, with links to the best sources to read them. It’s your fix to stay on top of the latest in science.
Turns out, plants use flowers as their ears
The more we study plants, the more we learn things about them we didn’t think they were capable of. One of the things we never thought plants could do was hear. But it turns out, plants use flowers as their ears, listening out for pollinators that buzz near them, like bees and other insects. As soon as a plant “hears” a pollinator, it starts to sweeten its nectar in an effort to attract it more. The Atlantic has details.
Mysterious radio bursts in the sky
It’s not aliens. But we keep hearing repetitive ‘fast radio bursts’ that emit more energy than the sun in the sky. More than 60 instances of these signals have been recorded and are thought to originate from celestial bodies that have very high magnetic fields. A new set of signals, thought to originate from 1.5 billion light-years away, were recorded again. But we have no idea what causes them. More on NYT.
Oceans warming faster than we thought
One of the most dangerous effects of global warming is the warming of the oceans. This is a big concern for marine ecosystems, which cause fish to move to different temperatures, corals to bleach, increased extreme water events, and affects the fishing industry. For several decades, we knew this was happening. But we’ve found out now that it is happening at 40% faster than we thought. This spells doom, as Scientific American explains.
New article stirs up debate about Feynman’s misogyny again
In his autobiography, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, the famed physicist Richard Feynman repeats several misogynistic views towards women. He plays mind games on the ones he meets, often calling them derogatory words like ‘whores’. He was also accused by one of his wives of assaulting her by choking her. A new article created a buzz among the scientific community last week, bringing up not just Feynman’s misdemeanours, but that of several men in science who exploit women sexually. Read it here.
George, the lonely snail, dies taking with him an entire species
George was a Hawaiin tree snail and the last of his species, Achatinella apexfulva. He was bred in captivity and finally died on New Year’s Day at the age of 14. For over 10 years, scientists tried to find him a mate by looking all over the world for another member of the species, but with no luck. George’s species of snail is now extinct. More on Nat Geo.
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