Weekly Round-Up! Where Science Met Science Fiction June 2-8
Watch our weekly round-up video, where we tell you all the unbelievable ways science met science fiction in the last week.
Robotic sperm were invented, controlled by magnets and propelled by a flagellum-like structure. It's called MagnetoSperm, and it may be used for in-vitro fertilization procedures as well as targeted drug therapy.
Taking their cues from X-Men, researchers from Mt. Sinai have begun the Resilience Project, in which they test the general population for genetic mutants in order to cure genetic diseases. There are a select number of people who carry harmful genetic mutations but do not express them, so researchers are operating under the hypothesis that these "mutants" can be studied in order to prevent the expression of the harmful genes in others. One million healthy volunteers will be studied and tested for "resilience." This project could have monumental implications for the treatment of many diseases with genetic components such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.
Paleontologists discovered a 900 lb ancient crocodile that fought Titanoboa, the largest snake ever discovered. It also had a strong enough jaw to bite through turtles with shells as large as textbooks. It was named after Balrog, the fiery creature from "The Lord of the Rings." Read our article for ideas for titles of Syfy original movies about this creature.
NASA discovered Kepler-10 C, an exoplanet 17 times the size of Earth that was assumed to be a gaseous planet as a result of its size, but is actually a rocky planet not unlike Earth. This discovery may change the way we search for extraterrestrial life, as Kepler-10 C is the planet of a particularly ancient star. It was previously assumed that ancient stars would not host Earth-like planets that could potentially be habitable, but now astronomers will not necessarily rule them out.