MI weekly selection #147


A predicted collision between pair of black holes

The prediction late last year of a collision between a pair of supermassive black holes in a galaxy about 3.5 billion light-years from Earth has gotten support from a new study by scientists at Columbia University. Last year, scientists noticed a flickering pulse from the galaxy’s quasar, leading them to conclude the black holes were on a collision course that will result in a blast so violent it would create space-time gravitational waves. The new study, published in Nature, measured pulsing light from the quasar, adding evidence the cataclysmic merger will happen.

The New York Times

No pause in global warming

Two new studies suggest that there has been no pause in global warming, a subject of recent debate. One study, published in Climate Change, used a new statistical approach to measure global temperatures and compare them with four hypotheses of a global hiatus, finding that a pause is not occurring. A second study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society came to the same conclusion after presenting the climate statistics to a group of economists who were told the information was global agricultural output and not temperatures. The economists said there was no pause.

The Washington Post

Vestigial lung found in coelacanth

Researchers have found a vestigial lung in the coelacanth, a living relative of the first fish to climb out of the water and onto land more than 400 million years ago. The lung is present in the coelacanth embryo, but the organ stops growing as the huge fish matures, according to scientists who created 3D models of the fish at different ages.

New Scientist

Cancer drug activates latent-HIV cells

Researchers reported that a treatment with romidepsin, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that is used in treating cancer, was associated with the reactivation of latent-HIV cells among patients, potentially removing the main obstacle to curing HIV. The study team revealed that the drug reactivated the cells without affecting the body’s immune system response.

The conversation

Report finds substantial rise in use of antibiotics globally

Use of antibiotics around the world rose 30% between 2000 and 2010, and continues to rise, according to a comprehensive study by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. In addition to charting antibiotic use, the report also looks at the rate of antibiotic resistance worldwide and the use of antibiotics in livestock.


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