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This Week in Science: Pluto’s Close-Up, Pentaquarks, and Lazy Pandas

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(The Week of July 13, 2015)

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

After its unprecedented flyby, the New Horizons spacecraft started to send back the closest-ever views of Pluto and its moons.

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have spotted signs of the pentaquark, a rare particle made from five quarks that should help researchers understand how the components of atomic nuclei stay stuck together.

Nightmares might actually be good for you.

Some pitcher plants are shaped to attract bats, but don’t eat the little critters—just their poop.

A newly discovered exoplanet 200 light-years away is surprisingly similar to Jupiter.

In Antarctica, researchers stumbled across the oldest fossilized animal sperm ever—a 50-million-year-old deposit from an ancient worm-like creature.

Human hands haven’t changed very much over the last 6 million years, but chimp hands have changed radically in that time, with their fingers growing much longer.

Infrared cameras revealed black leopards actually have spots.

The biggest winged dinosaur ever discoveredZhenyuanlong suni, a six-and-a-half-foot-long cousin of Velociraptor—was unearthed in China.

Rudeness in the workplace is contagious.

A newly discovered species of black coral can live to be more than 4,000 years old.

Scientists found two genetic markers linked to major depressive disorder.

Pandas could eat meat, but they are able to survive on bamboo, thanks to being incredibly lazy.

No, the Earth is not about to enter a “mini ice age.”

Image: Roxanne Palmer


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