Here’s what we learned this week, plus some important news from other sites around the web:
- Will it be possible to cool circuits with beams of light in the near future? It’s already been done with atoms, but new experiments suggest it could be done on larger objects.
- The closest star system in the universe has at least one planet, suggesting that planets are quite common. Not only that, but this BBC article explains how yet another planet was discovered in a system with four stars.
- Cognitive stimulation at the age of four causes the human brain to develop faster, with effects lasting into at least the late teens.
- A special repressive white blood cell can be cultured, and could be used to treat autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.
- This academic study suggests that “sleeping on it” really does allow you to make better decisions, at least in cases where the problem is complex.
- A traditional Chinese herb, “thunder god vine,” has been shown to knock out tumors in mice.
- Scientists may have identified one trait that had to evolve in fish before they could breathe.
- A much cheaper and more durable catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells has been developed as an alternative to platinum.
Popular Science Book This Week:
The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity