This week the first cases of penguins dying from bird flu were observed in Antarctica, a new “blood battery” powered by haemoglobin can run for 20 to 30 days, and world-first footage shows a parrot swinging from its beak like a monkey. Finally, we ask why some champagne bottles on the Titanic never imploded.
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Nearby Super-Earth Discovered Comfortably Inside A Star’s True Habitable Zone
A planet with a radius 55 percent larger than Earth’s has been found snuggly in the habitable zone of a relatively nearby star. As far as prospects for life, this looks like one of the best so far, and it might even have a little sibling. Read the full story here
The First Penguins Have Died From Bird Flu As It Reaches Antarctica
King and gentoo penguins on islands between the Antarctic mainland and South America have been found dead from bird flu for the first time. Bird flu has been spreading across the globe, even causing the death of a polar bear in Alaska, and has now been reported to have reached the penguin colonies of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic with potentially devastating consequences. Read the full story here
“Blood Battery” Prototype Powered By Hemoglobin Unveiled In World First
Scientists at the University of Córdoba in Spain have come up with a way of incorporating hemoglobin – the key component of red blood cells – into a battery, creating a prototype that kept working for between 20 and 30 days. While it could have applications for medical devices, there are still some kinks to be ironed out. Read the full story here
Elon Musk’s Neuralink Implants First Brain Chip Into Human Subject
In a massive step forward for Elon Musk’s controversial Neuralink project, the tech billionaire announced this week that the startup has implanted a brain chip into a human subject for the first time. Revealing the news in a post on X (formerly Twitter), Musk gave little detail but did say that the recipient is “recovering well”. Read the full story here
Watch A Parrot Swing On Its Beak Like A Monkey In World First Footage
While you might hear parrots and think of them flying majestically through the trees in the Amazon – or even that one time a flightless parrot in New Zealand got up close and personal with a zoologist – your mind probably wouldn’t go to the idea of them swinging through the forest by their beaks. However, a recent study has revealed a new kind of gait for these birds: “beakiation”. Read the full story here
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Feature of the week:
Why Did Champagne Bottles On The Titanic Not Implode?
When the doomed submersible, Titan, imploded as the crew attempted to explore the wreck of the Titanic in June 2023, people began asking a lot of questions about implosions. One such question is why champagne bottles found on the Titanic did not implode. Instead, some of the bottles still appear to be largely intact, so what makes them so special? Read the full story here
PLUS, the entire season 3 of IFLScience's The Big Questions Podcast is available now.