Best of Last Week – Sun may determine lifespan, super-insulated clothing and a new kind of diet pill

(—It was a good start to the New Year, particularly for space exploration. Researchers studying images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover noted potential signs of ancient life on Mars—sedimentary rock on the Red Planet looked strikingly like structures made here on Earth by microbes. Meanwhile another team of astronomers announced that eight new planets were found in the “Goldilocks” zone—doubling the number of known small planets to exist in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Also, another team in Norway found that the Sun may determine lifespan at birth—they found a connection between the amount of solar activity occurring when people are born and how long they live. And in somewhat related news, a pair of scientists tackled the mystery of an ancient astronomical device—James Evans and Christian Carman reported on an analysis of a dial on the Antikythera Mechanism believed to have been used to calculate lunar and solar eclipses, and why they believe it sets the date for creation of the machine at around 205 B.C. —> Read More Here


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