This Week in Science: Dark Matter Map, Zombie Worms, Popping Knuckles


Seven days, lots of science in the news. Here’s our roundup of some of the week’s most notable and quotable items.

Illustration by Sarah Peavey

Humans evolved pointier chins than other animals as our faces got smaller–not as a way to cope with the strain of chewing, a new study claims.

This year’s Time 100 includes five influential women doctors and scientists.

A gray whale named Varvara just set the record for longest mammal migration, at 14,000 miles, from Russia to Baja California.

Scientists released a new map of dark matter in the universe or, rather, 0.4 percent of what we can see of the universe.

SpaceX successfully delivered supplies to the International Space Station this week via a Falcon 9 rocket and a Dragon capsule, and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti successfully grabbed the cargo with the space station’s robotic arm. Among the deliveries is a special ISSpresso maker. A second attempt to land the first stage rocket booster on a ship in the Atlantic again came close to making it.

The sound of your knuckle cracking comes from a bubble forming in the fluid of the finger joint–not from the bubble popping, as previously thought.

Ocean waves are the culprit behind Earth’s mysterious vibrations.

Winds blowing across the Pacific Ocean may be contributing to the global warming “hiatus” seen in the past 15 to 20 years (a slowdown of the pace of warming, not a reversal or pause of warming).

Researchers are planning to drill into the Chicxulub crater, thought to be created by the impact of the asteroid that helped exterminate most dinosaurs.

A newly developed mesh that separates water and oil could revolutionize environmental cleanups.

The oldest stone tools ever found, dating back 3.3 million years, were unearthed in Kenya.

Deep sea bone-eating “zombie worms” may —> Read More