This Week In IFLScience! – October 26-30


Roxy Gomez

Digital Media Manager


Water On The Moon Confirmed, And There May Be Much More Than We Thought

Two studies have revealed the Moon appears to have a lot of water, which could make future exploration of our natural satellite much easier. One showed without a doubt the detection of H2O unequivocally as a water compound, not diluted with any other compounds, and the other showed thousands of dark ‘cold traps’ on the lunar surface that could hold water, potentially accessible to future lunar missions.


Read the full Story HERE


Water on the moon, whether delivered or produced there has important implications for future lunar missions. Taffpixtures/



For The First Time, Arctic Sea Ice Has Failed To Refreeze By Late October


The seasonal expansion and contraction of Arctic sea ice have come to a worrying standstill this year, with ice still yet to form in a key region off the coast of Siberia – despite it being late October. This is the first time in recorded history that the Laptev Sea has failed to freeze this late in the year. As the Arctic’s premier ice nursery, this has major consequences for the polar region as a whole.

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Scientists predict that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by the middle of this century. Image: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/




Researchers Discover An Immune Cell That Regenerates Damaged Nerve Cells In Mice

Researchers have found a new immune cell with neuroregenerative properties that has potential to help repair serious nerve damage. The team found that the cell, which resembles a common form of white blood cell, promotes the repair of neuronal axons in the central nervous system of mouse models with nerve injury.



A neutrophil under a microscope, which shares similar characteristics to the new immune cell discoverwed by researchers. Jarun Ontakrai/




This Two-Headed Snake Has Independent Brains That Disagree With Each Other

A two-headed snake found in Florida this week has been reported to be suffering from a conflict of interests. Each head has an independent brain and they don’t seem to always agree. The two-headed Southern black racer snake is the result of twins that failed to separate as they developed, meaning the single body is supporting the agendas of two animals.



Evidently two heads aren't always better than one. Images courtesy of FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 



First New Reef In Over A Century Discovered Off The Great Barrier Reef, And It's Huge

The first new coral reef in 120 years has been discovered on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The new discovery appears to be in good health, despite most of the Reef having been devastated by a series of mass bleaching events. At its base, the new reef is 1.5 kilometers long, but quite narrow. It rises 500 meters – taller than New York's Empire State Building – to support a small reef 300 meters long and only 15 meters wide lying just 40 meters below the surface.



Near the top of it's mighty summit the newly discovered reef looks to have an ecosystem similar to other parts of the Great Barrier Reef, but in better health. Schmidt Ocean Institute