MI weekly selection #175


Photos reveal possible planet-forming disk around young star

Photos taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, appear to show the birth of an alien planet similar to Earth along with other nascent worlds. The photos reveal a disk surrounding the star TW Hydrae that appears to have planets starting to form within it, scientists say.


Satellite images point to possible Viking site in Newfoundland

Infrared satellite images have led archaeologists to a site in Newfoundland that could be an ancient Viking settlement. Researchers spotted dark areas at what they’ve dubbed Point Rosee in high-resolution photos taken from space, and they have begun excavating, finding evidence of ironworking that suggests the site may be a second Viking settlement in North America.

The New York Times

Gorillas are a bit more closely related to humans than previously thought

The genetic map of the gorilla has been updated, with researchers finding that gorillas are a bit more closely related to humans than previously thought. The new research found differences between humans and gorillas in immune and reproductive systems; sensory perception; keratin production; and insulin regulation.


Smoking during pregnancy may affect infant’s DNA

A fetus’ DNA may be altered if the mother smokes during pregnancy, a new study suggests. Researchers found evidence of epigenetic changes to the DNA of newborns whose mothers smoked compared with the DNA of infants born to nonsmokers.

Live Science

Gravitational waves background noise revised upward

Assuming LIGO’s recently detected black hole merger is not unusual, researchers estimate the strength of the background noise coming from distant mergers across the Universe could be roughly 10 times stronger than previously expected.


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