The Art Of Anatomy
This mildly terrifying CT scan of a pigeon is a candidate in this year’s Welcome Images contest for best scientific and medical images. And guess what? You can vote too, right here. In this image, scientists injected the pigeon with the contrast agent BriteVu prior to being scanned. This made every blood vessel and capillary in its body visible.
Be like Rita Levi-Montalcini. Don’t let fascist rulers hinder your research.
Another Welcome Images entry depicts Italian neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909–2012), who under Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s rule, was barred from pursuing an academic career. But that didn’t stop her. She built a secret lab in her home, and after WWII, she traveled to the United States to continue her work. While in America, she discovered the nerve growth factor (NGS) with her colleague Stanley Cohen, which earned the pair a Nobel Prize.
Preparing For Mars
NASA’s Orion spacecraft is designed to take astronauts to deep space—and then bring them back home. This week, NASA engineers successfully tested the last leg of the journey, which involves safely descending through the sky, en route to an ocean landing. This test, however, happened in the desert. Three massive parachutes were deployed, easing the Orion crew capsule to the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
A Little Ugly, But Absolutely Endangered
This week, PopSci staff writer Kendra Pierre-Louis noted that although some endangered animals are cuter than others, they are all equally important—even if some will probably never win any beauty pageants. For example, the strange-looking northern bald Ibis disappeared from Europe 300 years ago. Today, just a few hundred remain in the wild elsewhere in the world.
If you can’t figure out what that image above is, here’s a hint: Its water droplets spewing bacteria into the air. A new study suggests that rain drops do the same thing when they bounce off porous surfaces, like dirt. Once floating through the air, bacteria can survive for up to an hour. In some places, researchers estimate that up to 25 percent of atmospheric bacteria take to the air from raindrops. Happy breathing.