Best of Last Week: Our black hole is getting hungrier, electricity from the night sky and why we gain weight as we age
It was a good week for physics as an international team of researchers found evidence of towering balloon-like structures near the center of the Milky Way—they suggest the hourglass-shaped structures likely resulted from an energetic burst near the black hole that resides at the center of our galaxy. In related news, a team led by UCLA's Galactic Center Group announced that the black hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be getting hungrier—it has been eating more dust and interstellar gas. Also, a team with members affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. reported that they had detected the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time—proving another of Einstein's theories right.
And it was a good week for biology news, as well, as a team at Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that bone, not adrenaline, drives the fight or flight response—the skeleton floods the bloodstream with the bone-derived hormone osteocalcin before other reactions take place. And a team at Yale found that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diets affect your brain, not just your physical appearance.
It has also been a good week for technology development as a team at the University of San Francisco showed that it might be possible to use Spotify data to predict which songs will be hits—they found that hit songs share many similarities. And a team at MIT unveiled a system based on reusable ink—it produces objects that change colors like a chameleon. Also, a team at the University of California, Los Angeles, created a device that generates light from the cold night sky—the thermoelectric device takes advantage of radiative cooling to produce electricity for powering a light source. And a team at the University of Cambridge announced that they had developed a new augmented reality head-mounted display with an unrivaled viewing experience—and no nausea or eyestrain.
And finally, if you are one of the millions of older adults wondering why it seems so much harder to keep from packing on the pounds as you age, you might want to check out a study conducted by a team at Karolinska Institutet—they found the reason and showed why people gain weight as they get older.
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