Via BigThink: salmonella from Europe may have killed the Aztecs. This is based on DNA analysis on Aztec remains. The salmonella may have been carried over via livestock. The end result would not have been pretty. Salmonella can cause enteric fever, which leads to high fever and bleeding from the nose, eyes, and mouth. The death toll was 15 million.
China has a proposal to clean up space debris using pulsed lasers. The US is not amused.
Hot in science news today is a recently published paper from Nature about a newly discovered plumed dinosaur with iridescent feathers. In the past few years, we’ve had to rethink our conception of dinosaurs as giant lumbering lizards to nimble, gregarious, and feathered proto-birds.
What’s particularly exciting about this dinosaur, named Caihong (meaning ‘rainbow’), is the range of techniques brought to bear to reconstruct the colors it may have had. The scientists based these on electron microscope readings of imprints on rocks, comparing them with modern extant samples to determine their light absorbing properties.
A roundup of recent scholarly articles on K-Pop (who knew?), made especially relevant by the recent tragic death of Kim Jong-Hyun.
The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870-2015 asks (and answers):
What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns?
And what’s key here is that if the rate of return is greater than the growth of the economy, inequality is exacerbated. Findings: over the past 150 years, the rate of return has been double the economic growth.
joiningbottles.com, one of those approaches that make you ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
IoT sensors track water quality, detect intruders, and check for structural damage on the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China.