Nature News Headlines: Science funding lotteries, global map of Titan
Our monthly rundown of science headlines from Nature News, this time with video and podcast editor Benjamin Thompson as tour guide:
- Researchers now have at least a draft genome sequence for every butterfly species in the U.S. and Canada. The treasure trove of data is leading to new insights about butterfly evolution, including the importance of interbreeding between closely related species.
- Astronomers have assembled data from the Cassini probe into the first global map of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Titan is considered a top candidate for extraterrestrial life, and the map reveals surprisingly a diverse landscape with sand dunes, plains, and lakes of liquid methane.
- Astronomers are worried that ‘megaconstellations’ of commercial communications satellites could interfere with space observations. Strategies for balancing competing needs are emerging, some as simple as painting the Earth-facing side of satellites black.
- Some science funders are turning to lottery systems to increase diversity into the research pool.