This Week in Science: Lakes on Mars, a Formula for Skipping Stones, and Rat Lingerie


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

Illustration credit: Sarah Peavey

The 96-mile-wide crater that NASA’s Curiosity rover has been exploring probably once held a vast lake. Researchers created some of the most realistic synthetic skin yet, a stretchy substance with integrated sensors that can detect pressure, temperature, and humidity. Comets probably did not bring water to Earth, according to the first analysis of data from the Rosetta mission — though not all scientists are convinced yet.

Physicists found that the best way to skip stones across a pond is to throw it so it lands at an angle of about 20 degrees with respect to the surface of the water. Baby cinereous mourner chicks mimic toxic caterpillars to fool predators. Nitrous oxide — “laughing gas” — shows promise as a treatment for depression in people who don’t respond to other forms of therapy. Two blue stars in the constellation Camelopardalis are about to merge.

A new estimate of the amount of plastic trash floating in the world’s oceans stands at 269,000 tons, broken down into 5.25 trillion pieces. Fish living off the —> Read More Here


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