23 April 2020: Denisovan DNA in modern Europeans, and the birth of an unusual celestial object

This week, evidence of ancient hominin DNA in modern human genomes, and the origin of a snowman-shaped object at the edge of the solar system.

In this episode:

00:45 Intermixing of ancient hominins

By combing through the DNA of over 27,000 modern day Icelanders, researchers have uncovered new insights about the ancient hominin species who interbred with Homo sapiensResearch Article: Skov et al.

08:05 Research Highlights

The scent of lemur love, a hidden Viking trade route, and ‘gargantuan’ hail. Research Highlight: Lemurs’ love language is fragranceResearch Highlight: Vikings’ lost possessions mark a long-hidden early trade routeResearch Highlight: Enormous hailstones inspire a new scientific size category: ‘gargantuan’

11:44 The origin of Arrokoth

In 2019, the New Horizon Spacecraft took images of Arrokoth - an unusual, bi-lobal object found in the Kuiper belt. Now, researchers believe they’ve figured out how it formed. Research Article: Grishin et al.

17:29 Pick of the Briefing

We pick some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This week we discuss why the Universe may be lopsided, and why water could actually be two different liquid states. Scientific American: Do We Live in a Lopsided Universe?Chemistry World: The weirdness of water

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