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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockMay 14 2021, 12:44 UTC
This week in science IFLScience

Animals To Be Recognised As Sentient Beings In New UK Laws 

The UK Government has published a new action plan for animal welfare, aiming to introduce legislation to improve the treatment of animals in the country. The Government will now have to consider all animals as sentient beings, and aims to introduce mandatory pet microchipping and fairer space requirements for farm animals. The report also calls for ceasing the import of the products of trophy hunting, export of live animals, and keeping primates as pets. 

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Astronomers Catch "Spaghettified" Star As It Wraps Around Black Hole For First Time  

Astronomers have reported the first direct observation of a spaghettified star. This is when a star gets too close to a supermassive black hole, getting stretched out into a thin noodle-like filament and ripped apart. This is the first observation of the filament itself. Material was seen wrapped around the black hole before disappearing into it, which the researchers compared to spooling a ball of yarn. 

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Scientists Program Mice To Be Friends Using Neuron Stimulating Brain Implants 

Using wireless light-emitting brain implants to stimulate neurons, researchers have increased social bonding between mice. The implant is fitted between the skull and the skin, with an LED filament extending into the brain next to the target neurons. This experiment is part of a field known as optogenetics. When the brains of mice unfamiliar with each other were stimulated simultaneously, they engaged in social behaviour such as grooming and sniffing. 

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Ground-Breaking Hologram Technology Brings Sci-Fi Battles To Life 

Scientists have developed a method to make a 3D hologram display appear out of thin air. This technique has been used to bring tiny scenes based on Star Wars and Star Trek to life. The technique, called optical trap display, involves a particle trapped in the air and moved in the desired shape. The path of the particle is illuminated by a laser to form the image. 

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A France-Sized Area Of Forest Has Regrown Since 2000 Worldwide 

A new analysis has shown that across the world, an area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally since the year 2000. This is enough to store around 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than the US emits annually. The analysis was informed by over 30 years of satellite imaging from 29 countries. This restoration is due to many different factors, including better forest management and regeneration after forest fires. 

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Featured: Nobel Prize Winner Spiked His Own Food With Radioactive Material To Prove His Landlady Was Serving Old Meat 

Hungarian radiochemist George de Hevesy won a Nobel Prize for his work using isotopes as tracers. However, 33 years beforehand, he used radioactive material for a much more petty purpose. Suspecting that his landlady was passing off old leftovers as freshly prepared meals, he laced a piece of meat from his own plate with radioactive material, later using an electroscope to determine whether this “fresh meat” was actually old scraps. 

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