Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
Climate Change on the Moon?
There is a decades-old mystery at NASA: Why did the moon's temperature suddenly rise nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) right after the first astronauts planted their flags there? When scientists first encountered this puzzle in the early 1970s, they knew that lunar dust — or regolith — could give astronauts a fever; was it possible that astronauts were giving the moon a fever right back? [Read more about the warming.]
Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in the past 25 years, and that ice loss has accelerated rapidly over the last five years.
For the new study, the scientists combined data from three types of satellite measurements to track changes in ice over time, study co-author Andrew Shepherd, a professor of Earth observation with the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds in the U.K., told Live Science. [Read more about the losses.]
Black Holes and Wormholes
When two wormholes collide, they could produce ripples in space-time that ricochet off themselves. Future instruments could detect these gravitational "echoes," providing evidence that these hypothetical tunnels through space-time actually exist, a new paper suggests. [Read more about the concept.]
Big for a Little Thing
Giant viruses may invent genes and proteins found nowhere else on Earth, new research suggests. [Read more about the creations.]
Being a child psychologist and a father, Randy Kulman is no stranger to video games popular among kids. But a few months ago in his office, after four teenagers in a row mentioned "Fortnite," he started wondering if he was dealing with something new this time. [Read more about the addiction.]
If you had a hole drilled through your skull in historical times, the odds of surviving the ordeal were far better in the ancient Inca Empire of South America than they were in North America during the American Civil War, a new study finds.
Trepanation is thousands of years old and, historically, was done to suppress headaches, seizures and mental illness, as well as to oust perceived demons. Given that the Inca Empire existed a good 300 years before the American Civil War, it's impressive that Inca trepanation patients had twice the survival rate of Civil War patients, Kushner said. [Read more about the process.]
Rituals and Ceremonies
More than 3,000 years ago in what is now the lower Chao Valley in Peru, ancient people created five geoglyphs out of angular rocks, forming designs that may have shown heavenly constellations. [Read more about the geoglyphs.]
Human sperm cells are well-studied, so scientists were completely surprised to find a previously unknown structure in the little swimmers. And perhaps more surprising, this newfound structure may contribute to infertility, miscarriages and birth defects, the investigators said.
However, the newfound centriole has a slightly different structure than the previously known one, so the researchers are calling it atypical in shape. [Read more about the structure.]
Some of us carry a security blanket to feel more comfortable when we are far away from home. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly carries a security toilet. [Read more about the john.]
Born to Kill
If you could dip your head into the oceans of Earth as they appeared 500 million years ago, you might see what looked like a spiny, disembodied claw cruising through the depths while trying to stuff an unfortunate piece of prey into its circular, fang-filled mouth. If you were lucky, you might even see a teeny-tiny baby claw bobbing along behind it.
The baby killer's built-in hunting gear provides further evidence that the spurt of biodiversity seen during the Cambrian explosion may have been driven partially by the sheer number of predators popping up throughout the seas. [Read more about the monster.]