Best of Last Week—Reclassifying Earth, a device that identifies cancer and some benefits of a fatty diet

September 11, 2017 by Bob Yirka recap
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

(ScienceX)—It was a good week for space science as a team with members from the University of Idaho and Wellesley College conducted a study of Uranus and found evidence that some of its moons are on a collision course, mostly due to the gravitational pull of Cressida, one of its moons. Also, another team with members from the U.S. and Germany offered a new classification of planets that places Earth's Anthropocene era in an astrobiological context, suggesting it should be listed as a hybrid planet.

In technology news, a team with members from the U.S. and China announced the development of electronic devices that can degrade and physically disappear on demand—by building them on films that degrade when exposed to high humidity levels. And a group with members from several institutions in the U.K. announced that they had created a medical camera that sees through the body by making use of light from an endoscope. And a team at Stanford University debuted a cooling system that works without electricity on the roof of a campus building. It is based on a mirror-like optical surface.

In other news, a team with members from Uppsala University and Stockholm University found the first genetic proof that some Viking warriors were women in the Swedish Viking town of Birka. The remains of an ancient warrior surrounded with weaponry were found to be female. Also, an international team of researchers found evidence showing that massive Antarctic volcanic eruptions can be linked to abrupt Southern hemisphere climate changes due to deglaciation. And a team at the University of Texas at Austin announced that they had developed a new device that identifies cancer in mere seconds during surgery. Also, a team of engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales announced that they had invented a radical new quantum computing design—a flip-flop on qubits that could possibly lead to a way to make quantum chips cheaper to manufacture.

And finally, if you are like millions of other people who enjoy eating fatty foods but worry about what it might be doing to your health, you might be assuaged by a mouse study done by a team at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine—they found that a high fat diet increased longevity and strength.

Explore further: First genetic proof that women were Viking warriors