Science Rocks My Week: Our Most Popular Stories This Week

Answers to why the moon is tilted; discovery of hellishly fast winds coming from a black hole; why yeast actually make good proxies for people in medical research; a new transforming foam metal; and a breakthrough that will likely lead to a unisex contraceptive…  What a week!

Here are this week’s most popular stories on Science Rocks My World as voted by your clicks:

Here’s Why the Moon has Tilted Over Time

The moon may not have always had the same face pointed toward the Earth. Instead, the “Man in the Moon” nodded up and down, due to heating and volcanic eruptions on the side facing Earth.

Researchers made the discovery while trying to explain maps of lunar polar hydrogen. The hydrogen, discovered by NASA’s Lunar Prospector mission in the 1990s, is believed to represent water ice, protected from the sun’s rays in cold, permanently shadowed craters near the moon’s north and south poles…


Insane Winds Escape a Supermassive Black Hole, Like a “Bat Out of Hell”

The fastest winds ever seen at ultraviolet wavelengths have been discovered near a supermassive black hole.

“This new ultrafast wind surprised us when it appeared at ultraviolet wavelengths, indicating it is racing away from the ravenous black hole at unprecedented speeds—almost like a bat out of hell,” says William Nielsen (Niel) Brandt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics and a professor of physics at Penn State.


How Yeast and People are Remarkably Similar

Yeast, common ingredients in bread and beer, is also a model organism for understanding the aging process in humans. In fact, yeast cells are more similar to animal cells than they are to bacteria or plants.

David Goldfarb, a professor of biology at the University of Rochester who studies lifespan and yeast, recently discussed his work in this interview…


New Foam Metal Could Enable ‘Transformers-Like’ Capabilities [Video]

Imagine an aircraft that could alter its wing shape in midflight and, like a pelican, dive into the water before morphing into a submarine.

The key to making this Transformer-like fantasy a reality is a hybrid material featuring stiff metal and soft, porous rubber foam that combines the best properties of both: stiffness when it’s called for, and elasticity when a change of shape is required…


Farmed Fish Likely Not as Healthy to Consume

A large portion of the seafood consumed in North America is farmed. But the food those fish eat increasingly includes more crop-based ingredients, like corn, soy, and wheat.

Until recently, this manufactured feed was typically composed of high levels of fishmeal and fish oil derived from wild fish—but it has become unsustainable to catch more wild fish to feed growing numbers of farmed fish….


Breakthrough is Very Promising for Unisex Contraceptive

Biologists have discovered the switch that triggers the power kick sperm use to penetrate and fertilize a human egg, uncovering not only a possible source of male infertility but also a potential target for contraceptives that work in both men and women…