Jupiter now has 69 moons — In addition to being the biggest, oldest planet in the solar system, it turns out Jupe has been hiding two moons from us all these years. Recently, a group of astronomers spotted the pair of wayward satellites, bringing the number of Jupiter’s known moons to 69. They are very small — perhaps only one or two kilometres across.
~ Well, we still like our single moon, so there.
Space gives a flatworm two heads — Researchers at Tufts University sent flatworms to the International Space Station (ISS). Microgravity seems to have impacted the creepy-crawlies, even turning one worm into a double-headed, googly-eyed monster.
~ These worms can regenerate themselves when bisected.
Chinese satellite relays a quantum signal — One night at the end of last year, a green dot appeared on the horizon near the Chinese-Myanmar border. “It was like a very bright green star,” says physicist Chao-Yang Lu. Lu, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, saw it from an observing station on the outskirts of the Chinese city of Lijiang. The team made up of researchers from multiple science institutions in China locked their telescope onto the green laser in search of the real prize within: delicate, single infrared photons produced by a special crystal on the satellite. Filtering out the green light, they latched on to their quarry, a quantum signal the likes of which has never been sent.
~ What will they do with it? Give it to a mechanic?
Designers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed a foldable fabric that could pull triple duty during outer space missions — Researchers at JPL spent the last two years developing a metallic space fabric made of interlocking stainless steel squares. It looks like chain mail, but unlike the ancient armor, NASA’s fabric isn’t welded together. Instead a 3-D printer extrudes stainless steel as a continuous sheet of material with different properties on each side.
CRISPR controversies thanks to unintended side effects — Researchers found that when they had used CRISPR to cure blindness in mice, it had resulted in not just a few but more than a thousand, unintended off-target effects. But the technique has already been used in two human trials in China, and next year one is slated to kick off in the US. Their finding kicked off a battle for CRISPR’s honour, with some researchers speaking out to question the study’s methods while others piped up to agree that CRISPR is not yet ready for people.
~ Dang, there goes that promise.
11-dimension brain maths — Kathryn Hess, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is one of the world’s leading thinkers in the field of algebraic topology – in super simplified terms, the mathematics of rubbery shapes. It uses algebra to attack the following question: If given two geometric objects, can you deform one to another without making any cuts?
~ The answer, when it comes to bagels and coffee mugs, is yes – they both have one hole.
If our world was just 100 people — Under the hypothetical scenario of the world’s population being just 100 people, 14 would understand Mandarin and only 13 would understand English. A whopping 40 people don’t have access to a toilet. And one person is starving. When it’s put that way, it doesn’t sound too unreasonable.
RealLifeLore is one of the most dependable YouTube channels around. If you just want to a big ol’ data dump accompanied by infographics, it has few rivals. The channel’s latest dive into the numbers that define our planet gives us a look at how the world’s population is divided up on numerous topics.
~ Then you realise that means 70 million people are starving. That’s shameful.
Secret message found on ancient pot — Those who live vicariously through Indiana Jones will be glad to know that a team of Israeli archaeologists has uncovered a cryptic message left on a 3000-year-old pottery shard. The ink-on-clay piece of pottery, called an ostracon, was originally discovered in the 1960s, in a city west of the Dead Sea called Tel Arad. Now, using new technology in multispectral imaging, researchers at Tel Aviv University have been able to illuminate text that’s been hiding on the ostracon all these years.
~ And guess what? The hidden inscription begins with a request for wine …