MI Weekly selection #90
Spitzer detects proto-planetary collision near new star
Evidence of a proto-planetary collision 1,200 light-years away has been seen near a young sun-like star by NASA’s Spitzer infrared space telescope. Scientists detected a significant change in the infrared radiation emissions from dust around the 35-million-year-old star, known as NGC 2547-ID8, in the constellation Vela.
Bacterium living in cicada cells splits into separate species
A bacterium living tightly packed inside the cells of cicadas has split into two distinct species. Scientists say the split of the bacterium called Hodgkinia occurred randomly in a case of sympatric speciation.
Paleo-Eskimos that mysteriously vanished were not Inuit ancestors
New genetic analysis shows that a group of Paleo-Eskimos known as the Dorset, who disappeared from the Arctic 700 years ago, did not mix with the neighboring Thule tribe and are not ancestors of the modern Inuits. Researchers still don’t know why the Dorset suddenly vanished after thriving in isolation for more than 4,000 years.
Spinal cord stem cells produced in the lab for the first time
Scientists have generated human neuromesodermal progenitor cells, which are capable of developing into spinal cord, bone and muscle tissue. This represents a step forward in the quest for regenerative treatments for spinal illnesses and injuries.
Airship design may one day carry modern science into the stratosphere
Sophisticated stratospheric airships may one day hover 65,000 feet, or nearly 20,000 meters, above the ground carrying telescopes to give scientists a sky-high view into space and back to Earth. Stratospheric airships could give us spacelike conditions from a spacelike platform, but without the spacelike costs. Capable airships could be developed soon, and NASA is considering sponsoring a contest to bring more ideas to the table.