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(NASA, Thompson LSR, Mikhail Korochkin/iStock)

Here Are The Most Important Things That Happened in Science This Week (And a Bonus Quiz)

MICHELLE STARR
19 AUG 2018

There's amazing stuff happening every day in the wide and wonderful world of science. We're hoping you didn't miss a thing!

Just in case you did, though, or if you wanted a recap, here are some of our favourite stories of the week.

 

And for those of you who are all over the news, see how well you fare in our quiz. You'll find the answers at the bottom of the page. No cheating!

1. Blue Light Is Causing The Human Eye to Attack Itself

It turns out that blue light - like the kind we're always staring at on our screens - can cause cells to die in part of the eye.

Bonus quiz: Which part of the eye is damaged by blue light?

  1. The cornea
  2. The iris
  3. The lens
  4. The retina

2. Scientists Successfully Reversed Ageing in Lab Grown Human Cells

OK, so this is yet to be tested in an actual living human, but it's still pretty amazing since most anti-ageing studies are performed in mice.

Bonus quiz: What did the scientists add to the cells to reverse ageing?

  1. Stem cells
  2. Human telomerase enzyme
  3. Hydrogen sulphide
  4. Nicotinamide mononucleotide

3. New Horizons Found Hints of a Huge Structure at The Edge of Our Solar System

No, New Horizons hasn't reached the heliopause yet. But it sure has been looking at it!

Bonus quiz: A mysterious ultraviolet glow could be what at the edge of the Solar System?

  1. A wall of hydrogen
  2. A wall of plasma
  3. Particles from the interstellar wind and solar wind hitting each other
  4. A wall of dust
 

4. A Deadly 18th Century Disease Is Making a Comeback in Some of The World's Richest Countries

Medical science has treated a number of diseases that used to kill so many people around the world. But this one is making a comeback for a really depressing reason.

Bonus quiz: Which is it?

  1. Typhoid fever
  2. Cholera
  3. Scurvy
  4. Smallpox

5. This Is The Slightly Sad Reason So Many Men Think They're Still Single

To figure out why men think they can't find a mate, evolutionary psychologist Menelaos Apostolou turned to reddit.

Bonus quiz: What was the top factor on which men blamed their singlehood?

  1. Lack of confidence
  2. Poor social skills
  3. No desire for a partner
  4. Lack of attractiveness

6. Elephants Hardly Ever Get Cancer, And We May Finally Know Their Secret

It's true! Elephants are huge, which means they have more cells. Theoretically, this should mean their cancer chances are higher - but they're not. They are weirdly resistant to the disease, and now scientists think they know why.

Bonus quiz: What do scientists think is going on?

  1. They have a low metabolic rate
  2. They have a very high number of a cancer-inhibiting gene
  3. They have two types of cancer-fighting genes that work together
  4. They don't eat processed food
 

7. A World Land Speed Record Was Just Smashed With a 50-Year-Old Car

The Challenger 2 first attempted to break the world land speed record running on internal combustion in 1968. Now it's finally done it.

Bonus quiz: What's the new record?

  1. 448.757 mph
  2. 468.719 mph
  3. 526.277 mph
  4. 536.710 mph

Answers

1. D. The retina

It's actually a form of Vitamin A in the retina called retinal that helps the eye to see by twisting light. When exposed to blue light, retinal cells become deformed and die. This can aggravate macular degeneration. You can read the full story here.

2. C. Hydrogen sulphide

Yep! Hydrogen sulphide, a molecule produced by the body, has been implicated in previous anti-ageing studies. But it's also toxic above a certain level, so researchers had to figure out a safe delivery method! You can read the full story here.

3. A. A wall of hydrogen

The heliopause is the point at which the solar wind is no longer strong enough to push back against interstellar space. Just on the other side, neutral hydrogen atoms travelling through space should slow when they reach this point, causing a build-up. You can read the full story here.

4. C. Scurvy

This disease is SO preventable. The characteristic bleeding gums, decaying teeth, thinning hair and overwhelming fatigue are all caused by a simple lack of Vitamin C. Eat your vegetables, people. You can read the full story here.

5. D. Lack of attractiveness

Coming in at 662 comments in favour, many men just think they're too ugly to attract a partner. Whether or not that's actually the case, though, was not covered by the research. You can read the full story here.

6. C. They have two types of cancer-fighting genes that work together

The first gene, TP53, was discovered to have something to do with it in 2015. Most animals have two copies, but elephants have 20. Now researchers have discovered a leukaemia inhibitory factor, or LIF gene, which TP53 somehow directs to kill damaged cells before they can mutate. You can read the full story here.

7. A. 448.757 mph

Can you imagine going that fast in a car? Amazing! Even better was that the record was made by the son of the man who made the attempt all the way back in 1968. (All the other answers are real records, by the way - they were just made using cars running on jet and rocket propulsion.) You can read the full story here.