Round up of the week: hope on climate change,cults, AI and DNA.

We’re overwhelmed with candidates for round up, and we know that busy readers have to be selective. All we could do was to say “we think this will still be relevant in five years’ time.” So come back on April 10 2026 and find out.

Hope on Global warming. It’s not just carbon dioxide; lurking perilously in the background is methane, which has 80 times the warming power of CO2. We need to soak it up fast, and these Australian researchers may have found a bacterium which does just that. Thanks to The Conversation and Nature Communications

https://theconversation.com/we-found-methane-eating-bacteria-living-in-a-common-australian-tree-it-could-be-a-game-changer

Opening closed minds. What’s it like to come back from a cult? Can you? Here’s Buzzfeed with a fascinating piece on the reactions of Q Anon followers to the dashing of their hopes back in January. Don’t expect one dimensional responses.

We thank Mr P Seymour of Hertfordshire for this lead

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/scaachikoul/qanon-believers-turning-away-from-trump?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

AI might be good! Mention AI and everyone goes into meltdown about “the machines are taking over.” Maybe they’ve been watching too many Terminator movies. We’ve long advocated using AI for medical research. Now a team in California are showing how it can be used to map, predict, and who knows, maybe even prevent natural disasters like wildfires. And-remember our piece on Goethe and the tyranny of specialisation? (LSS 6 April 2021) AI may even let us rebuild multidisciplinary teams again. Has to be worth a look.

We thank Mr G Herbert of Buckinghamshire for this lead

https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2021/04/01/spaceml-taps-satellite-images-to-help-model-wildfire-risks/

Who’s the Daddy now? We wrote to Nature Briefings demanding more articles on early humans. Looks like they’ve obliged. This is cutting edge stuff, implying that humans and Neanderthals may be very mixed,and we expect a lot more turn ups for the book in the next five years:

Scientists have sequenced the oldest Homo sapiens DNA on record, which showed that many of Europe’s first humans had Neanderthals in their family trees. All present-day people whose ancestry isn’t solely African carry Neanderthal DNA, but there are questions about when and how the genetic mixing occurred. Three individuals found in Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria, dated to between 45,900 and 42,600 years old, had “huge chunks” of Neanderthal DNA and probably had Neanderthal ancestors as recently as the past six or seven generations. A woman found in the Zlatý kůň cave in the Czech Republic is thought to be well over 45,000 years old and has Neanderthal ancestry going back considerably longer: 70–80 generations. None of the individuals are related to later Europeans, but the Bacho Kiro people shared a connection with contemporary East Asians and Native Americans. The research adds to growing evidence that modern humans mixed regularly with Neanderthals and other extinct relatives.Nature | 5 min read

Devilish Bacteria resist antibiotics-again. Long standing readers will know of our obsession with antibiotic resistance and how it will kill us all unless something is done. Here’s a Conversation piece about how they do it. It’s interesting to compare the survival tricks of the two organisms. Humans thinkwith their brains. Bacteria “think” with numbers. Numbers usually win in the long run.

https://theconversation.com/bacteria-shuffle-their-genetics-around-to-develop-antibiotic-resistance-on-demand-156439?

A message to the people of Northern Ireland: While you’re busy throwing stones at each other over your petty little differences, people like those mentioned above are creating the real future. Isn’t there a danger you are going to get left behind? Here’s a clue- you can do AI research whether you’re a Protestant or a Catholic.

#AI #DNA #Neanderthal #humans #disasterpredictions #northernireland #globalwarming #climatechange #antibiotics #cult #qanon #catholic #protestant

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