A family tree of sea cows suggests that the dugong traversed an ocean to reach its present habitat.
Ground-based robots have potential for helping in the construction industry, but they are limited by their height. In this week’s issue, Mirko Kovac, Robert Stuart-Smith and their colleagues introduce highly manoeuvrable aerial robots that can perform additive 3D construction tasks. Inspired by natural builders such as wasps and bees, the researchers created BuilDrones (as shown on the cover) that can work in an autonomous team to perform 3D printing tasks using foam- or cement-based materials. They also created ScanDrones to assess the quality of the structures
being built. The team hopes that this approach of ‘aerial additive manufacturing’ could help to build structures in difficult to access areas.
Seasonal monsoon rainfall replenishes groundwater reserves in the Bengal basin of Bangladesh thanks to the region’s seemingly counterintuitive intensive dry-season irrigation practices, a new Science study finds.
On this week’s show: The U.S. government is partnering with academics to speed up the search for more than 80,000 soldiers who went missing in action, and how humans create their own “oxidation zone” in the air around them.
First up on the podcast this week, Tess Joosse is a former news intern here at Science and is now a freelance science journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. Tess talks with host Sarah Crespi about attempts to use environmental DNA—free-floating DNA in soil or water—to help locate the remains of soldiers lost at sea. Also featured in this segment:
University of Wisconsin, Madison, molecular biologist Bridget Ladell Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution marine biologist Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser
Also this week, Nora Zannoni, a postdoctoral researcher in the atmospheric chemistry department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, talks about people’s contributions to indoor chemistry. She chats with Sarah about why it’s important to go beyond studying the health effects of cleaning chemicals and gas stoves to explore how humans add their own bodies’ chemicals and reactions to the air we breathe. In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for Custom Publishing, interviews Benedetto Marelli, associate professor at MIT, about winning the BioInnovation Institute & Science Prize for Innovation and how he became an entrepreneur.