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This Week in Science: Cannibal Shrimp, Ice on Mercury, and Why to Turn Off Food TV

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Seven days, lots of science in the news. Here’s our roundup of some of the week’s most notable and quotable items:

A huge geomagnetic storm struck the Earth, causing auroras to appear far further south than normal.

A total solar eclipse happened—but unless you live in a tiny group of island between Scotland and Norway, you probably didn’t get a great view. (Still, The Guardian has a pretty good collection of readers’ photos showing the partial eclipse in Britain.)

New pictures of the surface of Mercury from the Messenger spacecraft are the best images of the scorched planet yet, revealing ice lingering in permanently shadowed craters, staircase-like ridges, and recently created hollows.

Fifty years ago this week Alexei Leonov became the first human to walk in space. In this interview the first spacewalker recalls that momentous achievement.

Looks like we humans are not the only ones who cup our mouths with our hands to boost our sound: Orangutans appear to “use hands as megaphones” too.

Shrimp infected with the parasite Pleistophora mulleri turn into ravenous cannibals.

480 million years ago Aegirocassis benmoulaea, a 7-foot-long creature resembling a shrimp-lobster hybrid, patrolled the seas.

Scientists identified two new species of vampire crabs.

Conservationists are trying to reintroduce the lynx back to the British Isles.

Scientists believe they have found the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish writer who created the literary masterpiece Don Quixote.

The melting of Antarctica is getting worse. Meanwhile, the maximum extent of Arctic sea ice this year was the lowest ever recorded.

The Amazon rainforest’s ability to pump the brakes on climate change is fading; the forest is storing much less carbon dioxide than it did in the 1990s, thanks to extensive tree deaths.

A rise in nearsightedness in East Asia is likely tied to the fact that kids are spending more and more time indoors.

Breast biopsies are useful for detecting cancer, but not all that great at identifying other kinds of breast abnormalities.

Cooking show enthusiasts beware—women who made the recipes from food TV shows tend to weigh more than those who watch Paula Deen but don’t try to recreate her All-Butter Surprise.

Illustration by Sarah Peavey


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