Top stories: Voyager 1 probes dark matter, life’s explosive origin, and monogamy’s genetic basis

Science | AAAS | 1/11/2019 | Staff
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Humanity’s most far-flung spacecraft, NASA’s 41-year-old Voyager 1, has poked a hole in a long-shot theory of dark matter. Some theorists have argued the mysterious, unseen stuff, which makes up 85% of the universe’s matter, could consist of countless black holes lingering from the big bang. But Voyager 1, which launched in 1977 and slipped out of the solar system 6 years ago, sees no signs of such hordes, a pair of theoretical physicists reports.

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An ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth, according to new evidence. Some 4.47 billion years ago—a mere 60 million years after Earth took shape and 40 million years after the moon formed—a moon-size object sideswiped Earth and exploded into an orbiting cloud of molten iron and other debris. Some scientists are now proposing that after things cooled down, simple organic molecules eventually linked up to form RNA, a molecular player long credited with sparking life.

World - Monogamy - Perks - Pairs - Animals

In the animal world, monogamy has some clear perks. Living in pairs can give animals some stability and certainty in the constant struggle to reproduce and protect their young—which may...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Science | AAAS
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