Best of Last Week – A comet landslide, evading Heisenberg principle and using natural brain opioids to combat anexiety

March 27, 2017 by Bob Yirka recap
OSIRIS NAC image of the Aswan cliff taken on 26 December 2015 at 77.05 km far from the 67P nucleus. The spatial scale of the image is 1.41 m/pixel. The white arrow shows the bright Aswan cliff with the water ice exposed. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

(ScienceX)—It was a good week for space science as a team working on data sent back to Earth in 2015 discovered that the Rosetta comet orbiter had filmed a deep-space landslide on the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—over 2000 tons of rubble fell off a cliffside. Also, it appears Curiosity might night not be able to move much longer as a team at NASA found breaks in the Mars rover wheel treads—the rover has driven nearly 10 miles since landing in 2012. Another team at NASA reported that a Mars volcano and Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time—about 50 million years ago. Also, a team at Goddard Space Flight Center studying data from the Hubble Telescope reported on observations of a gravitational wave kicking a monster black hole out of a galactic core—it was the largest black hole ever observed to have been booted from its central home.

In other news, a at the University of Wisconsin reported that they created double filters that allow for tetrachromatic vision in humans—they developed a pair of glasses that allowed the wearer to see more colors in the blue range. Also, a team of engineers at the University of Utah developed a non-toxic material that generates electricity through hot and cold—perhaps paving the way for generating enough electricity to power a body sensor through jewelry. A team at the University of New South Wales unveiled a giant leap for anti-aging—a way to make a drug that could reverse aging and repair DNA. They believe they have found a major part of the molecular process that allows cells to fix damaged DNA. And a team at the Institute of Photonic Sciences headquartered in Spain found a way to evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle—they developed a new technique to hide quantum uncertainty that could improve the sensitivity of instruments such as MRIs and atomic clocks. Also, a team at UC Davis offered a new twist on the sofa problem that stumps mathematicians and furniture movers—they used mathematics and 3-D printing to find solutions for the largest sofa that can be turned 90 degrees in a hallway.

And finally, if you are someone who feels anxious all the time, there may be help on the way as a team at the University of Sydney has found that boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety—rather than giving people drugs to combat the disorder itself.

Explore further: Double filters allow for tetrachromatic vision in humans