What’s new in science this week?

  • Pupil response can predict relapse into depression: Researchers from Binghamton University have revealed that pupil response to negative emotional facial expressions predicts risk for relapse into depression. After testing the hypothesis on a group of 57 women with a history of major depressive disorder, the research team found that those with the greatest risk would react to negative stimuli but not positive facial expressions. To read more, click here.
  • Diamond nanothread to be newest building material: Queensland University of Technology’s Dr Haifei Zhan is leading the charge in a global effort to explore the possibilities of diamond nanothread as a ‘miracle’ material of the future. It could be used in everything from clothing to cars due to its excellent mechanical and thermal properties. To read more, click here.
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics broken? The Universe’s gradual and eventual march towards an increase in entropy may be a thing of the past with a new formulation of the theorem in quantum mechanics. Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory used H-theorem, normally used to demonstrate an irreversible increase in entropy from a reversible process, to show that the law can be violated under quantum conditions. To read more, click here.
  • Lake discovered under volcano to unlock eruption secrets: Scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered a massive magmatic lake beneath a dormant volcano in Bolivia. The lake is dissolved into partially molten rock at a temperature of 10000C and could explain some types of volcanic eruptions – the high pressure water bubbles could drive volcanic activity. To read more, click here.
  • Evolution pushed Neanderthal genes out of human genome: Neanderthal DNA makes up 1-4% of the genomes of modern human populations outside Africa. Researchers from the University of California have shown that as the human population grew, natural selection removed large amounts of weakly deleterious Neanderthal gene variants. To read more, click here.


Sam McMaster

Science Editor


(Image courtesy of Indrik myneur)

Leave a Reply