05/08/2015

The Oldest Bird, a Distant Galaxy, and the Beard Microbiome

12:15 minutes

A reconstruction of the Archaeornithura meemannae, a specialized wading bird from the Early Cretaceous of China. Photo by Zongda Zhang
A reconstruction of the Archaeornithura meemannae, a specialized wading bird from the Early Cretaceous of China. Photo by Zongda Zhang

In this week’s news roundup, Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post tells us about the oldest-known specimen in the modern bird lineage, a seagull-like creature called Archaeornithura meemannae that lived some 130 million years ago in what is today northeastern China. Plus, the most distant galaxy known to astronomers. And a critical look at a fearmongering study on the beard microbiome.

After the news roundup, it’s “Good Thing, Bad Thing.” You’ve heard the term “filter bubble”—the idea that website algorithms customize the online experience to weed out viewpoints we disagree with. But just how “filtered” is your Facebook news feed? Mashable.com science editor Andrew Freedman weighs in on a new study that attempts to answer that question.

Segment Guests

Rachel Feltman

Rachel Feltman is Science Editor at Popular Science in New York, New York.

Andrew Freedman

Andrew Freedman is science editor at Mashable.com in New York, New York.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.