Best of Last Week – A shake in the Milky Way, giving octopuses ecstasy, and cell stress and bacteria causing cancer
It was a big week for space science as an international team reported that Gaia had detected a shake in the Milky Way—data from the satellite revealed previously unknown structures in our galaxy. Also, a trio of researchers from the U.S. and Canada created a simulation that showed nuclear pasta was 10 billion times harder to break than steel—the humorously named structures that exist beneath the surfaces of neutrons stars. And a team in the U.K. reported the first detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light in the galaxy PG1211+143. Also, in a NASA-led effort, researchers found that the closest planet ever discovered outside the solar system could be habitable with a dayside ocean—they found that Proxima b likely has enough water to support life. And a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology ran a simulation that allowed them to look back in time to watch for a different kind of black hole—a type that develops during the birth of a galaxy.
In other news, a pair of researchers made headlines with their study about how octopuses given the mood drug ecstasy revealed a genetic link to the evolution of social behaviors in humans—the study run by Gül Dölen and Eric Edsinger showed an ancient link between humans and the sea creatures that plays a role in social behavior. Also, a team at Northwestern University found new data that suggested humans have four personality types: average, self-centered, reserved and role model. And a team of geoscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reported that they had found an unexpected 'deep creep' near the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults—offering a possible explanation regarding why they move in different ways than would be expected. Also, officials in Germany announced that the country had begun running the world's first hydrogen powered train—a zero emission train built by French TGV-maker Alstom.
And finally, if you, like millions of others, experience frequent stress in your life, you might want to check out a report by a team at Technical University Munich—they found that colon cancer is caused by bacteria and cell stress.
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