At the core of each large galaxy lies a supermassive black hole with the mass of 1 million suns. New research shows that these celestial vacuum cleaners do more than just devour nearby objects—they also grow to a size that eventually suppresses a galaxy’s ability to churn out new stars, effectively rendering them sterile.
If you’ve taken a peek at the news anytime in the past 12 months, then there’s a good chance you’re having a hard time falling asleep every night. Counting sheep is apparently one way to drift off, but a trippy drone’s-eye view of dogs herding and corralling sheep might be even more effective.
In 2007, a young American man living in Berlin became a marvel of modern medicine when, 12 years after he was diagnosed with HIV, the virus suddenly disappeared from his body. Timothy Ray Brown had been diagnosed with leukemia and received a stem cell transplant treat it. His stem cell donor, it turned out, had a rare genetic mutation known as CCR5-delta 32 that gave Brown resistance to HIV infection. Brown became known as “the Berlin patient.” Ten years later, he is still the only person to have ever been cured of HIV.
If there’s one thing we’re learning about this global planetary experiment called climate change, it’s that there are unexpected consequences. Case in point: All of the water pouring off Earth’s melting ice sheets is making the oceans heavier, so much so that seafloors are literally sinking. And that could be messing with our measurements of global sea level rise.