🐒 Smart Lemurs, Greener Oceans, Designer Proteins
Lemurs with better cognitive skills have higher chances of survival, global warming made oceans greener, and an AI tool will design custom proteins with potential medical applications.
Smart lemurs live longer
Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Primate Research found that wild gray mouse lemurs with improved cognitive skills and a more explorative nature had better survival odds. Lemurs who used their cognitive abilities to gather accurate information lived longer. Similarly, more explorative primates also enjoyed longer lives. These findings might illuminate how our ancestors developed their cognitive abilities.
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Oceans became greener
Global warming has caused over half of the world's oceans to turn greener in the past 20 years. Using data from NASA's Aqua satellite and ocean light wavelength measurements, researchers from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton discovered notable colour changes in 56 per cent of the oceans, mostly in tropical and subtropical waters. These areas typically have stable colour throughout the year, making long-term changes more noticeable.
The shift is likely linked to nutrient distribution due to climate change. As the ocean's surface warms, it becomes more stratified, making it harder for nutrients to rise. This favours smaller phytoplankton over larger ones, leading to changes in the water's colour.
AI designs proteins
Researchers from the University of Washington developed RFdiffusion, an AI tool for designing custom proteins, a previously challenging and often unsuccessful endeavour. These proteins have potential applications in vaccines, therapeutics, and biomaterials. RFdiffusion particularly excels in creating proteins that bind to specific targets, such as those involved in cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other health conditions.
Tired: using AI to create pictures to illustrate this newsletter. Wired: using AI to design proteins capable of curing cancer.
Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney.