Science Affliction #18

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 | Comments Off on Science Affliction #18

Science Affliction #18

Some cool science news this week and I hadn’t done a science roundup in far too long anyway, so here you are!

  1. The Juno Spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4th. If you have time watch some of the videos. I just love watching space nerds celebrate. In the coming weeks and months we should get some really exciting discoveries out of the Juno team. Much excite!
  2. Scientists use tiny solar panels and bacteria to produce fuel from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide and water, with higher efficiency than plants. A huge leap for truly sustainable energy on a massive scale, and hopefully one day personal sustainable energy. I wrote a story about this one a few weeks ago, but it has so much story fodder potential I wanted to share this gem.
  3. Large scale DNA data storage is now a reality. It’s still hideously expensive and a little impractical, but it’s a step in the right direction toward true micro-computing for sure.
  4. This one is a few months old, but still cool. A 12,000 year old dog was found frozen in permafrost in Russia. The genetics of the prehistoric pup will have lots to tell us about domestication and human evolution, and how the two are intertwined.
  5. The very coolest news in teeny-tiny robots is a microscopic stingray made out of live rat heart muscle cells. Once in a while I see science news and I wonder why the heck anyone would do that. This was a case where I wondered why anyone would build a stingray out of heart cells and then I watched the video of the little thing moving on its own guided by light an I knew. The future is an awesome place.

Bonus: Here’s some eye candy of Juno’s approach to Jupiter which shows the motion of Jupiter’s moons in spectacular detail. I love seeing the moons wink out as they pass behind Jupiter’s shadow.

Many hearts and the cutest of puppies,

-C

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