Best of Last Week – NASA heading back to moon, climate shift in North America and impact of processed food on health
It was a big week for space science as NASA announced it would be heading back to the moon soon—this time, to stay. The agency has accelerated lunar plans, and administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested that it could happen as soon as 2028. Also, LMU philosopher Erik Curiel revisited the question of the nature of black holes, noting that different researchers appear to use the term differently. And an international team of researchers asked if you like Earth's solid surface and life-inclined climate. They suggest that if so, we should all thank a massive star involved in the birth environment of our sun. Also, a team at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and the Smithsonian looked into the question of where the universe is hiding its missing mass—and they did not mean dark matter.
In Earth news, Matthew Fitzpatrick with the University of Maryland and Robert Dunn with North Carolina State University claimed that the climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation—children alive today could see local temperatures become more like locations very far south of them today. Also, another small team of researchers from Princeton University and the Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics in China reported on a massive Bolivian earthquake that revealed mountains 660 kilometers below ground.
In other news, a team at Brigham Young University announced that they had unfolded a new class of mechanical devices—a new technology that allows for building complex mechanisms into the exterior of a structure without taking up space below the surface. Also, a team led by Stoyan Dimitrov and Luciana Besedovsky from the University of Tübingen discovered that sleep can fight infection by giving immune cells the ability to attach to targets. And a team at the University of Michigan found that running an LED in reverse could cool future computers due to thermal radiation.
And finally, if you have ever had a sneaking suspicion that many modern foods may be unhealthy, you might want to check out a new French study that explores the risks of ultra-processed food—and a possible link they found to a higher risk of death.
Explore further: Researchers discover how sleep can fight infection
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