Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Village bin man helped unearth ancient bronze statues in Tuscany
One of Italy’s most remarkable archaeological finds in decades goes on show this month – Etruscan and Roman statues pulled from the mud in Tuscany thanks in part to the intuition of a retired garbage man. About two dozen bronze statues from the third century BC to the first century AD, extracted from the ruins of an ancient spa, will go on display in Rome’s Quirinale Palace from June 22, after months of restoration.
US poet laureate dedicates ode to Europa for NASA mission to Jupiter’s icy moon
When U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limon was asked to write a poem for inscription on a NASA spacecraft headed to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, she felt a rush of excitement at the honor, followed by bewilderment at the seeming enormity of the task. “Where do you start a poem like that?” she recalled thinking just after receiving the invitation in a call at the Library of Congress, where the 47-year-old poet is serving a two-year second term as the nation’s top bard.
What makes us human? Primate genome study offers some clues
The most comprehensive genomic study ever on primates – a group whose membership includes lemurs, monkeys, apes and people – has revealed pivotal genetic traits that are uniquely human while refining the timeline for our evolutionary lineage’s split from our closest cousins, the chimpanzees and bonobos. Researchers said on Thursday they sequenced and analyzed the genomes of 233 primate species, comprising nearly half of those alive today, and surprisingly discovered that most boast greater genetic diversity – variation within a species that is vital for adaptation to changing environments and other challenges – than humans.
(With inputs from agencies.)