Roasted arabica coffee (Photo courtesy Joe Proudman / UC Davis)

In recent days at the 25th Plant and Animal Genome Conference held in San Diego the details of the sequencing of the DNA of arabica coffee – species Coffea arabica – were presented. Among the species of coffee it’s the dominant one making up about 70% of the drink’s production. A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) made the first public sequencing in order to contribute to improving its quality and develop varieties adapted to climate change.

Image from the simulation of the climate changes the followed the asteroid impact (Image courtesy Potsdam Institute für Climate Impact Research (Pik))

An article published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters” describes a research on the climate consequences of the impact caused by the large asteroid that struck the Earth about 66 million years ago. A team of researchers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) created computer models to simulate these events and concluded that the atmospheric dispersion of sulfuric acid droplets may have darkened the planet’s skies resulting in the surface cooling.

Asgard archaea in the tree of life (Image courtesy Eva Fernandez-Caceres)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of new microorganisms that provide more information on the evolution of eukaryotic organisms, the ones formed by complex cells. The new species discovered are archaea that were called Thor, Odin and Heimdall, simpler organisms that however have some characteristics found only in eukaryotes and together with another archaea family called Loki whose discovery was announced in September 2015, form a group that was called the Asgard archaea.

The Green Brain by Frank Herbert

The novel “The Green Brain” by Frank Herbert was published for the first time in 1966. It’s the expanded version of a novelette titled “Greenslaves” published in 1965 in the magazine “Amazing Stories”.

To try to remedy the overpopulation, nations such as China and Brazil are looking to expand their habitable areas in the jungle. Among the work needed there’s the total elimination of insects with actual weapons but that causes a series of unexpected consequences.

Joao Martinho and his team are supposed to clean up an area of ​​Mato Grosso in Brazil but are hampered by insects that seem immune to elimination attempts. Giant insect sightings seem just nonsense or fraud but even the assistance of the Chinese scientist Chen-Lhu and entomologist Rhin Kelly bring no progress. The insects seem to be under the control of an intelligence but who or what can it be?

Haplophrentis carinatus reconstruction (Image courtesy Danielle Dufault/ROM)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on Haplophrentis carinatus and in general of the group of hyoliths, animals that lived during the Cambrian period, starting from about 530 million years ago. A team of researchers from the University of Toronto found evidence that these animals are related to the brachiopods (phylum Brachiopoda), marine invertebrates that existed at the time of which some species still exist today.