Inverse Daily

Bambi has Covid-19

Plus: The origin of an ancient language.

The real-life version of Bambi in places like the state of Iowa probably has the virus that causes Covid-19. Up to 80 percent of the deer population in that Midwestern state tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a recent study.

You need not spare a thought for Bambi, though: Deer in the study didn’t show clinical signs of illness. But the likelihood of mutation in the reservoir of a deer population and subsequent reemergence of a new strain of Covid-19 back into the human population? That is concerning.

Read more on that lead story below. Also, the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases is more than 76,700 in the United States as of November 10. If you’ve not yet got your vaccine, vaccines.gov will quickly show you where to protect yourself against Covid-19. Get the shot and protect yourself, and the vulnerable people in your community.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Friday, November 12, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

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White-tailed deer study hints at a frightening new era for Covid-19

[By Tara Yarlagadda]

The transmission of Covid-19 among free-ranging wildlife is rarely observed in nature. In 2020, a single wild mink found in Utah marked the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a free-ranging, native animal in the United States.

A study on white-tailed deer posted the pre-print server bioRxiv on November 1 suggests a dramatic shift.

Read the full story.

Related:

Longji Terraces in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.Zhihong Zhuo/Moment/Getty Images

Scientists may have just uncovered the origin of an ancient language

[By Sarah Wells]

Every boring email we type or moment of small talk we have at the grocery store is part of a historic and mysterious legacy: the creation of language.

The kind of languages we speak — from Arabic to Mandarin and English — feel like immovable constants in our lives, but in reality, these languages are shifting and transforming at every moment.

While the spread of slang through apps like TikTok or WeChat may seem like a modern phenomenon, new research published in the journal Nature on Wednesday uses genetic, archaeological, and linguistic data to demonstrate that this transformation can be traced back much further — all the way to 2000 B.C.E.

Read the full story.

Related:

This image zooms in the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. It is at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.NASA

Scientists link an odd reaction to a barrier in the center of the Milky Way

[By Jon Kelvey]

At the center of our galaxy, enshrouded by molecular gas clouds, is a great barrier. Similarities to the plot of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier are purely coincidental.

Chinese researchers discovered the nonfictional barrier while studying cosmic rays, high-energy charged particles that travel through the universe at nearly the speed of light. A relatively uniform “sea” of this radiation suffuses our galaxy, scientists report in a paper published Tuesday in Nature Communications.

However, the study also found an area near the center of the Milky Way without these background cosmic rays, suggesting “the existence of a barrier that can effectively suppress the penetration of the particles from the cosmic-ray sea.”

Read the full story.

Related:

In March 2019, astronomers observed what they believed to be a clump of dark matter left behind after two massive galaxy clusters collided.NASA/ESA

Dark matter: A new twist challenges our understanding of this cosmic mystery

[By Passant Rabie]

Located deep under the Gran Sasso mountain in Italy, 25 crystals are sealed inside a copper box and surrounded by concrete made from the mountain’s rocks.

The intricate installation is a particle detector known as the DAMA experiment, which is on the hunt for the most elusive scientific mysteries of all: dark matter. And the scientists running the experiment are certain they have found it, much to the skepticism of several other groups with the same objective.

In an underground lab in South Korea, one such group went looking for the same dark matter signal and came up with nothing, ruling out DAMA’s claim of a dark matter signal detection.

Read the full story.

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SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
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