Abstracts: Fake News, Habitat Loss, and More


• Maryam Mirzakhani, the only female mathematician ever to win the prestigious Fields Medal, died on Saturday at age 40. A professor at Stanford University, she was also the only Iranian to win the award. (New York Times)

A recent study found that Ethiopian wolves and five other large carnivores are being pushed out of their historic habitat. Visual: Richard Mortel/Flickr

• Exposure to too much information and online content makes encountering fake news inevitable, according to a study published in Nature. Because of this information overload, people are unable to filter through every piece of news they see, even if they are very good at spotting false stories. (Scientific American)

• Six species of large carnivores worldwide — Ethiopian wolves, red wolves, tigers, lions, African wild dogs, and cheetahs — have lost more than 90 percent of the habitat they once roamed, according to a new study. Researchers also identified 15 more carnivores that have lost over half of their historic ranges. (BBC)

• More countries and world leaders are recognizing the national and international security threats posed by climate change. Often referred to as a “threat multiplier,” climate change exacerbates refugee crises, food insecurity, and resource scarcity, among other global issues. (Wired)

• A new book about Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes “pathological friendliness,” explores the challenges facing those living with the disease and discusses new research findings. (National Geographic)

• Two female scientists have sued the Salk Institute for Biological Studies over alleged systemic gender discrimination. The scientists are two of the four tenured female professors at the institute; the remaining 28 tenured professors are men. (Science)

• The Cook Islands, a tiny Pacific Island nation, has started one of the largest marine sanctuaries on earth. The Marae Moana sanctuary is one example of the growing number of marine preserves created by small island nations to buffer their resources in the face of climate change. (Pacific Standard)

• And finally, the descendants of the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study victims are seeking any remaining money from an earlier $9 million legal settlement. The government study began in 1932 when hundreds of poor black men suffering from syphilis in Tuskegee, Alabama were denied treatment for 40 years so that doctors could study the disease. (The Associated Press)