The Most Amazing Science Images of the Week, April 16-20, 2012

In this week's roundup, we say goodbye to the space shuttle Discovery, hello to a bright purple crab, "yes please" to laser-cut nori, and "good god get that thing away from me" to an orb-weaver spider. More amazing images from the past week in the gallery below.

Click to launch the gallery.

Into the Sunset

We already saw a ton of beautiful shots of the space shuttle Discovery riding atop its Boeing 747 transporter to its new home in the Smithsonian. This might be one of the more poignant.NASA/Lorne Mathre

Laser-Cut Nori

Japanese ad agency I&SBBDO--maybe; it's easier to remember in Japanese--was tasked with selling nori, a popular and essential product, but not necessarily an exciting one. So they used a laser cutter to cut the sheets of seaweed into beautiful patters. [via JeannieJeannie]I&SBBDO

Midnight Snack

Our pals at Pop Photo just put up a gallery of macro photos of insects taken by their (almost threateningly) talented readers. The whole gallery is amazing, but this shot of an orb-weaver spider about to dig in to a meal of a moth really gave us the shivers.Matt Smith

Robot Server, Circa 1983

The robot waiters of yesteryear seem way funnier and less competent than ours. Said the Miami News back in 1983: "The pair at the Two Panda Deli, a fast-food Chinese eatery in Pasadena, tend to blur their words drunkenly when their 12-volt power cells run down, and they've been known to drop food and spin in circles when police radios operate nearby. They're programmed to be nice to customers — 'Will there be anything else?' and 'See you tomorrow' — in Japanese, English and Spanish. Patrons whose commands confuse the pair get the response: 'That's not my problem,' accompanied by a short blast of disco music to which the bubbleheads dance back and forth." Read more here.Lowell Georgia

"Elephant Walk"

To commemorate D-Day, the U.S. Air Force set up a procession called an "elephant walk," involving 70 F-15E Strike Eagles, wing to wing. Read more here.U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Elizabeth

Brain Gloves

Earlier this week, we featured a story about the designers of human-tissue-inspired body armor at MIT's Media Lab. These brain-like gloves--being worn by an alien from the movie Avatar?--have been haunting us ever since. Read more here.Neri Oxman in collaboration with W. Craig Carter

Penguins (Seen) From Space

A joint project between the University of Minnesota's Polar Geospatial Center and the British Antarctic Survey showed that there are twice as many emperor penguins in the Antarctic than previously thought. And they did it by examining high-resolution photos from a satellite. Read more here.Michelle LaRue, University of Minnesota

IKEA Uppleva

IKEA, purveyors of inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing home furnishings to college students and twentysomethings throughout Western Europe and North America, just announced their first foray into electronics--the Uppleva. It's a TV built into a chunk of furniture, basically, with a built-in DVD/Blu-ray player and a single remote, in a few different sizes. We kind of like it, actually! It's nice-looking and a good change from the current trend to make TVs look like free-hanging rectangles of image. Watch an adorably Swedish video about it here.IKEA

Purple Crab

Nobody is really sure why this crab, newly discovered and named Insulamon palawanense after its home on the Philippine island of Palawan, is so brightly colored purple. Sure is festive, though! Read more here.Hendrik Freitag

Sniper Practice

Taken at the ISSF Shooting Cup in London, this shooter wears an eyeshield while preparing for a shot. For more photos like this, check out American Photo.Stefan Wermuth/Reuters