MI weekly selection #146


Could we instantly I.D. pathogens by their glow?

It can take days to identify pathogens by swabs and cultures. A new technique uses spectroscopy to see immediately the light bacteria emit.


Old, distant galaxy baffles scientists

A galaxy described as the oldest and most distant to be observed has perplexed scientists, and may cause them to rethink theories about how the universe evolved. EGS8p7, spotted using the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, formed about 13.2 billion years ago. “We expect that most of the radiation from this galaxy would be absorbed by the hydrogen in the intervening space. Yet we still see Lyman-alpha from this galaxy,” said astrophysicist Adi Zitrin.

Wired (UK)

Grains on ancient pestle suggest hunter-gatherers made oatmeal

Traces of oat grains found on a stone pestle dating 32,000 years suggests that Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers may have eaten oatmeal, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The pestle was found in a cave called Grotta Paglicci in southeast Italy. Researchers note there is no evidence the oats were later cooked into oatmeal, though they say it’s possible.


Scientists look for clues about Milky Way by studying Andromeda

Scientists are learning more about the Milky Way galaxy by studying stars in its neighbor Andromeda, using images from NASA’s Hubble space telescope and the help of citizen scientists working with The Andromeda Project. Scouring about 8,000 images to determine the Initial Mass Function, or percentage of stars within a particular mass, the researchers found that thousands of star clusters were uniform, despite their varying ages and sizes.

The Christian Science Monitor

Drugs to improve hearing

For decades, the only remedies for hearing loss were devices such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Now, the first pharmaceutical treatments may be on the way.

The Scientist

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