The “Grandmother Rule” Explains How To Wash Your Body, Hundreds Of Stars Have Vanished Without A Trace, And Much More This Week

All the biggest science news stories of the week.


Charlie Haigh


Charlie Haigh

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Charlie is the social media and marketing assistant for IFLScience, she’s currently completing a undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology.

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

All the biggest science news stories of the week.

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Image credit: Edited by IFLScience

This week the first-ever lunar farm demonstrates how plants can grow on the Moon’s surface, new research reveals “spermageddon” linked to smartphones, and it turns out starfish are made up of basically just a head. Finally, we look at the new developments in technology aiming to help rid us of dangerous space junk.

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It Turns Out The "Grandmother Rule" Of Washing Your Body Is Correct

Scientists have investigated what they call the "Grandmother Hypothesis" when it comes to washing your skin, finding that people tend to miss several key areas, and their microbiome is less healthy as a result. So, if you want to stay healthy, listen to grandma. Read the full story here


The First-Ever Lunar Farm Shows That Plants Can Grow On The Moon

Plants are not just able to survive in low gravity such as on the Moon, two new papers suggest they may prefer it. It's been more than four years since China’s Chang'e-4 lander grew the first sprout on the Moon, but important experiment results have now been released and they suggest that for all the obstacles to establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars, growing food might not be one. Read the full story here

Smartphones Linked To "Spermageddon" In New Research: What To Know

New research has signaled that smartphones may impact the sperm quality of young men. Fear not, though. While researchers in the field have praised the robustness of the study, they have noted that the findings shouldn’t spark panic and the cause of humanity’s “spermageddon” remains elusive. Read the full story here

Hundreds Of Stars Have Vanished Without A Trace. Where Did They Go?

Earlier this week we reported the story of three stars that back in July 1952 disappeared within an hour from the night sky forever. In 2019, the Vanishing and Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) project attempted to catalog how many stars have disappeared from view in the last 70 years and found around 100 missing without a concrete explanation. Read the full story here

Where Would A Starfish Put Its Hat? Anywhere You Like – They're Mostly Head

When it comes to starfish, scientists have finally answered Basement Jaxx’s most famous question, Where's Your Head At? Turns out, all over their body, to the point where their body is essentially, well, a head. “It’s as if the sea star is completely missing a trunk, and is best described as just a head crawling along the seafloor,” said Laurent Formery, lead author of the study. Read the full story here

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Feature of the week: 

Four Technologies To Prevent The Looming Space Junk Apocalypse

According to the ESA, more than 10,500 satellites are currently circling Earth, and now, experts fear that maintaining order in space may become nigh impossible in just a few years. Fortunately, engineers are already developing technologies to prevent chaos from ruining the orbital environment. Read the full story here 

More content:

Check out season 3 of IFLScience's The Big Questions Podcast, where we've asked:

Is Jurassic Park Possible?


How Is Climate Change Affecting Polar Bear Populations?

Why Is Space Junk Such A Big Deal?

Can We Save A Species On The Very Brink Of Extinction?

How Does A Quantum Computer Work And How Will They Change The World?


What Is Space Weather And How Does It Affect Us?

What Is Ancient Ice Telling Us About The Future?

Are E-Fuels The Future Of Aviation?

How Are Glaciers Changing In A Warming World?


Are We Ready For The Next Massive Solar Flare?

PLUS, have you seen our free e-magazine, CURIOUS? Issue 16 November 2023 is OUT NOW. Check it out for exclusive interviews, book excerpts, long reads, and more.


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