Curious scientists collection of papers / la collection d’ articles du petit scientifique curieux

The full references for each item are indicated in the downloadable files.

A universal equation for the shape of an egg
It’ s called oomorphology. Defining pear-shaped eggs used to be a nightmare, but this has now been solved. Mathematicians, engineers, biologists and egg technologists can finally relax…Egg
Ancient genomes reveal hidden history of
human adaptation
If you think humans are no longer evolving and adapting to their environment, think again!
Selective sweep
Volcanic activity and low ocean oxygen events linked to climate
warming and rapid ice melt during last ice age
I have always been fascinated by the potential interactions between atmosphere and lithosphere. The paper shows some large-scale effects; its not only snow melt in Alaska and the resulting changing pressure on the ground that links volcanoes to weather.Glaciers-volcanoes-ocean
Writing on the hand

L’écriture sur la main
A bronze hand from pre-Roman Spain appears to be engraved in the ancestor of the Basque language.

Une main de bronze datant de l’ Espagne pré-romaine porte un texte en basque.

Large parts of Europe are warming twice as fast as
the planet on average
Climate results from the interaction of several factors. Aerosol particle concentrations led to cooling in Central and Eastern Europe over the past four decades. But now aerosol reductions result in the April–September period increasing by around 1°C.Europe warms fast
How do microplastic particles differ across the Atlantic Ocean?Ocean currents sort microplastic particles: The plastic wrapping of your latest Amazon order and the old paint you have removed from your shutters won’ t stay together!MIcroplastic diversity
Optical role of diatom shellThe beautiful silica diatom shells serve a purpose beyond protecting the one-celled alga that lives inside: it also increases the light available for photosynthesisDiatom shells
The 2022 Global witchcraft inventoryWitchcraft is the art of remotely affecting other people. You’ ll be surprised to find how many people believe in it. See comments below for an amazing confirmation From the NY Times about Argentinian Football.Witchcraft
Breeding plants to cooperateIt seem that plants can be bred to cooperate and share rather that fight for environmental resources such as water.plants cooperate
2,000-year-old shipwreck
reveals complex trade network
If you need tin to turn soft copper into more resistant bronze, you’ ll go to great lengths to get it. This is what people did thousands of years ago, bringing the metal from central Asia to the Mediterranean.
Original article: Tin from Uluburun shipwreck shows small-scale commodity exchange fueled continental
tin supply across Late Bronze Age Eurasia
Rapid warming linked to
leap in tropical seasonality
Climate warming is not so well-behaved as we would like: two warming events around 14,700 and 11,700 years ago had spectacular temperatures jumps by up to 10° C over just a few years to decades. This may be triggered by short-term (seasonal) variations.
Original article: Rapid warming linked to leap in tropical
ocean seasonality
Tropical seasonality
Landslide risk remains years after even a
weak earthquake
Based on Italian data, the paper shows that landslides may be long-term consequences of short-lived earthquakes.
Original article: Triggering and recovery of earthquake
accelerated landslides in Central Italy revealed by satellite radar observations
Landslides from eartquakes
Domestication of catsCat genes reveal how invention of agriculture first bonded cats with people in ancient Mesopotamia. From then on, cats migrated with humans all over the world.
Original article: Genetics of randomly bred cats support the cradle of cat domestication being in the Near East
Assessing El Nino ‘flavors’ to unravel past
variability, future impact
No two El Nino events are the same. This has been going on for ages… and can help us understand tomorrow’s event.
Original article: Holocene hydroclimatic variability in the tropical Pacific explained by changing ENSO diversity
El Nino flavours
Milankovitch is backMilutin Milankovitch is that immense Serbian scientist who developed the astronomical theory of palaeoclimates. Read his biography (included in the file)
Original article: Astrochronology of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on the Atlantic Coastal Plain
Eifel Megafauna succumbed to forest increaseIf you think that our Neanderthal or sapiens ancestors ate the last mammoth, think again: it seems that mammoth and bison could not adapt to the forests that developed after glaciers retreated.
Original article: Thresholds for the presence of glacial megafauna in central Europe during the last 60,000 years
Eifel megafauna extinction
Drought driven HunsIt seems that climate, which appear to be one of the ultimate drivers of our societies, has been driving Attila’ s Huns too.
Original article: The role of drought during the Hunnic incursions into central-east Europe in the 4th and 5th c. CE
Drought driven Huns
(Very) Early American settlersThe window for the migration of humans into the Americas is narrowing…
Original article: Bering Land Bridge formed surprisingly late during last ice age
Peopling of the Americas
Alfred Russel WallaceI have always liked him, simply because he’ s more likable than Darwin… They knew each other well, and even “collaborated”, but Darwin nevertheless forgot to mention Wallace in the first edition of the Origin of species
Original article: Shipwrecked science
Alfred Russel Wallace
Viking geneticsThere have been some interesting recent publications. As always, we seem to have forgotten the women! Also read the October 2022 Scientific American article on The
Power of Viking Women!

Original article: The genetic history of Scandinavia from the Roman Iron Age to the present
Viking genetics
The extraordinary durability
of Roman concrete
The secret of Roman concrete finally revealed!
Also check the post: L’ extraordinaire durabilité du béton romain.
Original article: Hot mixing: Mechanistic insights into the durability of ancient Roman concrete
Roman concrete
Cat locomotionUnderstanding how cats manage to “always” land on their feet, no matter how they fall
Original article: Sensory Perturbations from Hindlimb Cutaneous Afferents Generate Coordinated Functional Responses in All Four Limbs during Locomotion in Intact Cats
Cat locomotion
Why does life use just 20 amino-acids?4 (5) DNA bases are assembled in 3-letter codons that correspond to one of just 20 amino acids. Why so few? This paper has the beginning of an answer.Only 20 AAs
Simple rules outsmart
Starting with John Conway’ s Game of life, we have learned that the application of simple rules can often lead to amazingly complex systems. There has been a recent flurry of research on the subject.Original article: Multi-scale organization in communicating active matterSpontaneous complexity
The hard right and climate catastrophe are intimately linked. This is how
La droite dure et la catastrophe climatique sont intimement liées. Voici comment
A June 2023 Guardian feature by George Monbiot followed by a Nature article
La traduction française d’ un article du Guardian de juin 2023 par George Monbiot, suivi d’ un article de Nature
Hard right and climate
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