A few brief reports about international science and technology from Guatemala to Australia, including one about the first recorded tornado in Nepal.
Hi, I’m Scientific American podcast editor Steve Mirsky. And here’s a short piece from the July 2019 issue of the magazine, in the section called Advances: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science, Technology and Medicine.
The article is titled Quick Hits, and it’s a rundown of some science and technology stories from around the globe, compiled by editorial contributor Jim Daley.
Guatemala: Archaeologists unearthed the largest known Mayan figurine factory. The more than 1,000-year-old workshop mass-produced intricate statues that were likely used in diplomacy as gifts to allies.
Nepal: Researchers confirmed the nation’s first recorded tornado, which occurred during a devastating storm in March. The team relied on satellite imagery and posts on social media to make the identification.
Antarctica: Emperor penguins have abandoned one of their biggest breeding colonies, possibly because of sea-ice loss. Biologists found that the population, which reached about 25,000 breeding pairs of birds in 2010, collapsed in 2016 and has not rebounded since.
China: The Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau began operating in April. Located some 4,400 meters above sea level, the observatory will study high-energy cosmic rays.
Australia: The government announced it will not regulate gene-editing technology provided it does not introduce new genetic material to target sites in the genome. Editing human embryos used for reproduction is still banned, however.
Kenya: Paleontologists have identified a fossil jawbone in the Nairobi National Museum that came from a previously unknown giant carnivore, which roamed Africa 22 million years ago. The predator was likely larger than a polar bear and had banana-sized fangs.
That was Quick Hits, by Jim Daley.