Overnight News Digest: Firefly spooky synergy, shy raccoon IQ, cyborg roaches, Neptune & more


This week’s science news collection reports on


the collective beat emerging from spooky synergy of many lightning bugs gathered together,


cyborg cockroaches and builder drones inspired by bees and wasps,


climate consequences of the Tonga Volcano eruption,


native and non-native plants phenological adaptations to climate change,


how the Mexican earthquake affected the desert pupfish 1,500 miles away,


new images of Neptune,


the relative smarts of shy versus bold raccoons,


and more.


Researchers have created the most comprehensive global dataset yet of SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals — and a dashboard to help navigate it. In this screenshot, it shows 2,007 infections and exposures, confirmed by laboratory tests, in animals including white-tailed deer (pink), dogs (blue), cats (orange) and mink (dark green).



The data are open access, and researchers have committed to updating it weekly for at least one year. “Although animals do not appear to play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19 among people currently, One Health tools that enable the integrative analysis and visualization of SARS-CoV-2 events are critical,” says Amélie Desvars-Larrive, an epidemiologist and veterinary researcher who led the work. (Complexity Science Hub Vienna press release | 3 min read)
Reference: Scientific Data paper (CSH/Vetmeduni/WCS Collaboration)