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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockMay 28 2021, 12:42 UTC
This week in science IFLScience

Octopuses Not Recognized As Animals According To Welfare Act Dictating Lab Treatment 

Despite their apparent capability to understand suffering and amazing intelligence – highlighted in the film My Octopus Teacher – cephalopods such as the octopus are not considered “animals” by the US federal government in regards to federally funded research. This means that they are not entitled to the humane treatment given to other lab animals, with animal welfare organizations unable to put a stop to reported mistreatment or tell how many are being used for research. 

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Human Embryos Can Now Be Developed In The Lab Past 14 Days After Historic Guideline Change 

Since the late 1900s, the “14-day rule” has set the limit on how long researchers around the world can develop embryos in the lab. However, many developmental issues arise past the 14-day mark, and research into these issues has been hampered by the 14-day rule. This led the International Society Of Stem Cell Research to review and update their guidelines and relax this rule, with studies going past this point subject to rigorous ethical review. 

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Astronaut Sally Ride and Maya Angelou To Be First Women Honored On US Quarters 

The US Mint has announced that astronaut and physicist Dr Sally Ride and civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou will be the first two women commemorated on US legal tender quarters. Although the designs are yet to be finalized, the coins are set to be distributed from early 2022. They are the first individuals honored by the four-year American Women Quarters Program from the US Mint. 

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China’s Zhurong Rover Takes Its First Spin On The Martian Surface 

New footage released by the Chinese National Space Administration shows the Zhurong rover taking its first spin on the Red Planet on May 22. Delivered to Mars by Tianwen-1, the rover is set to spend the next 90 sols mapping the terrain of Utopia Planitia. The new footage, captured by Zhurong’s front and rear navigation cameras, shows the rover driving onto the planet’s surface from its landing platform.  

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Certain Sounds May Enrage Or Disgust You Due To An Overactive Brain Circuit 

Ever get enraged by the sound of someone slurping soup? Disgusted when you hear someone whistling? This could be due to a condition called misophonia, and researchers may have pinned down the part of the brain responsible. A new study imaged the brains of people with the condition while listening to their “trigger sounds”, and observed greater activation in neurons connecting the auditory cortex to the orofacial motor cortex, controlling face and throat movement. 

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Exclusive: Astronaut Ed Gibson On How Skylab, The First US Space Station, Changed Space Exploration 

Occupied for six months between May 1973 and February 1974, Skylab was the first American space station, helping to expand our knowledge of space exploration. In an exclusive interview with Dr Ed Gibson – the last person to leave Skylab before it shut down and fell back to Earth – we discuss all things Skylab, from space mutiny rumors to solar physics to NASA being fined for littering thanks to space debris. 

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