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This Week In Science!

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Charlie Haigh

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

clockMay 20 2022, 11:46 UTC

All the biggest science news stories of the week. Image credit: Edited by IFLScience.

NASA Engineers Puzzled By "Impossible" Voyager 1 Data

Something is afoot with Voyager 1. The veteran spacecraft continues its journey beyond the solar system, collecting incredible scientific data while studying interstellar space – but NASA engineers were surprised by some unexpected readings from the probe’s attitude articulation and control system, that don’t seem to match what the spacecraft is doing.

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People Infected By Brain-Altering Cat Parasite Are More Attractive, Finds Study

Is it just Toxoplasma gondii, or are you looking incredible tonight? If that’s not a sentence you thought you’d read, neither did we – but according to a new study published in the journal Brain, Cognition and Mental Health, the parasite responsible for affecting the host’s brain and potentially causing neurological conditions may actually make the host more attractive. Welcome to 2022’s worst new beauty trend.

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Tonga Eruption Was Loudest Sound On Earth Since 1883, With A Wave Reaching Higher Than The ISS

New research has highlighted just how powerful the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption on January 15 was. It was not just the most powerful in this century, it also released atmospheric waves with an energy that has not been seen in 139 years. It was the loudest sound on Earth since the Krakatoa eruption, and could be heard from 6,200km (3,850 miles) away in Alaska!

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AI Can Identify Race From Just X-Rays And Scientists Have No Idea How

In another display that AI can see things that humans inherently can’t, researchers have discovered that AI may be able to identify race from X-ray images, despite there being no clear difference to human experts. Based on X-ray and CT images alone, the AI was able to identify race with around 90 percent accuracy and the scientists are unable to understand just how it can do this.

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"Ghost" Fossils Provide New Way For Climate Scientists To Read The Fossil Record

In the midst of a climate crisis, learning from warming events in Earth’s history has never been more pressing, but accurately interpreting the fossil record is crucial. Now, the discovery of “ghost" fossils has revealed that a type of plankton that was thought to have disappeared during three Jurassic and Cretaceous warming events (94, 120, and 183 million years ago, respectively) was actually there all along.

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How Do Weight Loss Drugs Actually Work?

A new anti-obesity medication has hit the headlines claiming phenomenal results from a clinical trial, but do weight loss drugs really work, and if so, how?

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