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Recently In Science Week

Is the Earth heading towards a mini Ice Age?

The media has been going  a little overboard with (mis)reports about the Sun ‘going to sleep’ in 2030; but the July snow days that we’ve been experiencing pale in comparison to the rate at which global warming is increasing. The confirmed consensus is that any cooling effects from the predicted ‘low solar activity’ would only temporarily offset the impact of carbon dioxide emissions by us humans. Climate change is real, folks!


Depression can damage the brain.

After decades of hypothesis, a study has now definitively proved that prolonged depression damages parts of the brain (rather than the other way round), with a massive world-wide analysis of brain scans and clinical data from 9000 people. The hippocampus – our brain’s new-memory formation and emotional centre – actually shrinks and loses some function, highlighting the importance of early identification of recurring depression.


A close encounter with Pluto.

Our favourite dwarf planet was all over the news this month, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft completed its nine year, 4.8 billion km mission to document the surface of Pluto as it has never been seen before. We now know that its diameter is 2370 km; for some perspective, Sydney to Perth is 3274 km! However the most memorable discovery is the image of Pluto’s ‘heart’, an icy surface feature that has captured imaginations around the world.


By Swahnnya De Almeida




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