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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockJan 7 2022, 15:30 UTC

JWST's Secondary Mirror Is Now Deployed. We Have A Telescope

JWST has successfully deployed its secondary mirror, the last stage of deployment that needed to go perfectly. Since JWST had to be packed up tightly to fit on the Ariane 5 rocket, the mirrors needed to be launched too close together to operate and unfold in space. The primary's wings are still to unfurl in the next few days. However, if these were to fail the fixed part of the main mirror would still operate.

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China’s Experimental Reactor Breaks Fusion World Record Length

On December 30, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) kept plasma at fusing temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit) for an incredible 1,056 seconds, breaking its own record set just seven months before. This is the longest length of time high-temperature plasma has been confined for. The reactor has reached higher temperatures before, but for a much shorter time.

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COVID-19 Vaccines Can Cause Small, Temporary Changes To Menstrual Cycle

A new study has found that it’s possible the COVID-19 vaccine can cause a small change to the length of a person’s menstrual cycle, but that this is temporary and not harmful. Researchers used data from the menstrual cycle app Natural Cycles to conduct the study. Overall, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a lengthening of the menstrual cycle by less than a day compared to participants’ cycles pre-jab.

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Perfectly Preserved Mummy, Rope-Bound In Fetal Position, Found In Peru

A perfectly preserved mummy is shedding light on the life and death of cultures that once lay along the mountainous coast of Peru. It dates to somewhere between 1,200 and 800 years old. Still in remarkably good condition, the remains were discovered with ropes tied around the body, cowering in a fetal position with the hands covering their face, buried along with the skeletons of a guinea pig and what appears to be a dog.

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People Who Worship Celebrities Have Lower Cognitive Abilities, Study Suggests

New research indicates that people who obsess over the lives of the rich and famous tend to achieve lower scores on cognitive tests. Celebrity obsession may hinder cognitive capacities due to the intense level of focus and attention required to maintain this “one-sided emotional bond”. On the other hand, people with higher levels of intelligence may be less likely to worship celebrities due to a greater ability to recognize “marketing strategies behind a famous person.”

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Why Is Novak Djokovic Not Allowed In Australia And Where May Be Next?

Uproar ensued when Novak Djokovic was granted a medical exemption from the mandatory double vaccination required to enter Australia. Immediately, authorities appeared to reverse course. But what are the laws on medical exemptions? And where else might the famously anti-vax athlete find himself barred from competing in the post-COVID-19 world?

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