The best from science journals: flying spiders and plaster for mouth ulcers

Here is a look at some of the most interesting research recently published in reputed scientific journals from across the world.

Who let the dogs out?

Published in Science

Now, Americans have the complete history of their canine buddies. The study titled “evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas” shows that the first pet dogs of America were not domesticated wolves, but were another species that originated in Siberia and migrated to America along with their owners via an ancient land bridge that once connected Siberia and Alaska. The study also says that this ancient dog lineage disappeared after European colonisation, indicating some catastrophe such as disease or some sort of genocide.

Tickets to Kepler?

Published in The Astronomical Journal

At a time when people on earth have stopped seeing a stable climate, scientists have found two exoplanets that may have regular seasons and proper climate for human habitation. But it would take a long journey as they are hundreds of lights years away. Using simulation studies, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA have reported that Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f have stable axial tilt like Earth’s, making them ideal hosts.

Electric spiders

Published in Current Biology

 

Wingless spiders carry themselves through the air by releasing silk trails and then propel themselves upwards using the wind. But even on windless days, they seem to fly away, or as scientists say “balloon” away. A group of researchers from the University of Bristol found that these spiders rely on the electric field in the atmosphere to fly. The report says that atmospheric electricity might also be playing key roles in the lives of many arthropods.

Another cup of coffee?

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine

Rejoice coffee lovers, because a new study has shown that coffee can be part of a regular healthy diet. The study examined the lifestyle and genetic data of about 500,000 people in the U.K. and found that coffee drinkers — whether their choice is instant, ground, or decaffeinated — were less likely to die of cardiovascular diseases than non-drinkers. They write that gene variations altered only the speed of coffee metabolism but not its effect. More studies are needed to get an understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

Sticky mouth ulcer patch

Published in Biomaterials

Next time you get a mouth ulcer, all you would have to do is stick a band-aid like patch inside your mouth. Scientists from the University of Sheffield, UK have developed a new mucoadhesive plaster, using new polymers that that can stick even to the moist inside wall of the mouth. The patch can administer steroids directly to ulcers and also form a protective barrier till it heals.

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