MI weekly selection #423

Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov. Image: NASA/Hubble

Scientists create beating heart organoids in lab

Researchers have grown heart organoids in the lab using stem cells, and the small structures appear to beat. The organoids will be used to study how hearts develop and how defects might form.

Live Science

How brains could adapt to prostheses

Researchers developed a third robotic thumb that communicates with the brain using sensors. Participants were able to “train” the thumb to do basic tasks, and researchers say the work could “revolutionize the concept of [prostheses], and it could help someone who permanently or temporarily can only use one hand, to do everything with that hand.”

Interesting Engineering

Extent of human-driven land transformation

Humans have contributed to more extensive land transformation since 1960 than previously thought. “Since land use plays a central role for climate mitigation, biodiversity and food production, understanding its full dynamics is essential for sustainable land use strategies,” said physical geographer Karina Winkler, lead author of the study.

Science Alert

Blood pressure-dementia link differs for men, women

Researchers studied 502,489 people in the UK and found major cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, previous stroke history, low socioeconomic status and high body fat levels were similarly associated with a higher risk of dementia among men and women, but the effect of blood pressure level differed for men and women. The study found both high and low BP were linked to higher dementia risk in men, but for women, the likelihood of dementia rose as blood pressure increased.


Gaseous nickel trailed interstellar comet as it went by

Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov leaked an atomic metal as it flew by in 2019, something that might be common to all kinds of comets. Comet 2I/Borisov trailed nickel in vapor form, according to data collected by the Very Large Telescope for the first study, while the other study, also using Very Large Telescope data, detected atomic iron and nickel coming from local comets.


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