135 articles from MONDAY 2.5.2022

Using 'counterfactuals' to verify predictions of drug safety

Scientists rely increasingly on models trained with machine learning to provide solutions to complex problems. But how do we know the solutions are trustworthy when the complex algorithms the models use are not easily interrogated or able to explain their decisions to humans?

Precipitation helped drive distribution of Alaska dinosaurs

Precipitation more than temperature influenced the distribution of herbivorous dinosaurs in what is now Alaska, according to new research. The finding discusses the distribution of hadrosaurids and ceratopsids -- the megaherbivores of the Late Cretaceous Period, 100.5 million to 66 million years ago.

Discovery about coral-algal symbiosis could help coral reefs recover after bleaching events

Although photosynthesis by algae is a key part of the symbiotic relationship it is not required to initiate symbiosis. The discovery adds to the little-understood relationship between cnidarians and algae at the molecular level and offers insight into how to jump start the symbiotic relationship between the two organisms after a bleaching event. It could also lead to strategies that might prevent...

Park rangers use butterflies to take planet's pulse in a biodiversity hotspot

In 2017, a group of scientists raised alarm bells by showing that flying insects had declined in Germany by more than 70% in the three preceding decades. Studies before and since then have shown similar patterns in insects on a global scale. But with 1 million known species—and conservative estimates indicating there are millions more awaiting discovery—there aren't nearly enough entomologists...

Highly valuable Asian rosewood trees face a host of threats to survival

Safeguarding native tree diversity through improved conservation and restoration efforts is at a critical juncture in Southeast Asia, as many tree species face threats from habitat loss, fire and climate change, among other human-caused threats. A new study has used a spatially explicit framework to identify species-specific priority areas for conservation and restoration among rosewood species in...