Best of Last Week – A warped Milky Way, the ocean to change color and the impact of marijuana on sperm count
It was a good week for space science as a team at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that the Milky Way is warped—they report that our galaxy becomes increasingly twisted in its outer regions. And Andrew Hsu, at the University of California, led a Hubble team that found revealed the dynamic atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune—they found a dark storm on Neptune and a long-lived storm circling Uranus's northern pole.
In Earth news, an international team of ocean researchers announced that project MERMAID has revealed secrets from below the ocean floor—they released nine submerged seismometer robots that surfaced periodically to broadcast records of seismic activity below the seafloor. Also, a team from West Virginia University announced that they had unearthed an ice age in the African desert—they found land formations in Namibia that resembled drumlins, which are usually formed by glaciers, and report additional evidence to show that the region was once covered in ice. And a team at MIT found that much of the surface ocean will shift in color by end of the 21st century—due to shifts in plankton population levels.
In technology news, a team at Wuhan University developed a new hierarchical CNN-based method for crack segmentation called DeepCrack—a neural network-based approach to detecting cracks in materials. And a team at Telecom ParisTech developed a new approach to protecting data from key exposure—a method that reveals all or nothing. Also, a team with members from several institutions in the U.S. discovered a new type of magnet—a singlet-based magnet that has fields that pop in and out of existence. They believe it might prove useful for data storage applications. And a team at Duke University developed a breakthrough device that lures aggressive brain tumor cells out of the patient—they call it the Tumor Monorail.
And finally, if you are one of the millions of men around the world who smoke marijuana, you might want to check out a report by a team working at the Fertility Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital—they found evidence linking marijuana smoking with higher sperm concentrations.
Explore further: Hubble reveals dynamic atmospheres of Uranus, Neptune
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