Aug 1, 2017

Scientists may know what the first flower looked like

A 3D recreation of the possible first flowerHervé Sauquet & Jürg Schönenberger / University of Paris-Sud

Researchers have discovered what the first-ever flower may have looked like, according to Science Magazine.

How it worked: Scientists used the eFLOWER project to create a massive database of flowers, including 13000 data points going back to 1783. They "tested millions of configurations of how flowers may have changed through time" to decide what the original flower may have looked like.

What they found: Scientists originally thought the first flower had petals arranged in spirals. However, the flower these researchers came up with had petals organized "in concentric circles in groups of three." This discovery "is reflective of hundreds of millions of years of later evolution to their specific environments." The paper was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Why it matters: The rapid evolution of flowers mystified Charles Darwin. Knowing the structure of the earliest flowers can help us understand how they spread across the globe.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.