Science Rocks My Week: Our Most Popular Stories of the Week

From botany to space and over to materials engineering, it’s been another tour-de-force week in the world of science!

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

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

Like a zombie, the Milky Way galaxy may already be dead but it still keeps going. Our galactic neighbor Andromeda almost certainly expired a few billion years ago, but only recently started showing outward signs of its demise.

Galaxies seem to be able to “perish” – that is, stop turning gas into new stars – via two very different pathways, driven by very different processes. Galaxies like the Milky Way and Andromeda do so very, very slowly over billions of years.


How Your Personal ‘Age Gap’ Relates to Your Cancer Risk

How old are you really? Scientists have invented a way to measure it more accurately than just looking at the calendar: Epigenetic age is a new way to measure your biological age. When your biological (epigenetic) age is older than your chronological age, you are at increased risk for getting and dying of cancer.

And the bigger the difference between the two ages, the higher your risk of dying of cancer….


This Deadly Flower is New to Science

A flower trapped in ancient amber for millions of years belongs to a completely new species.

Lena Struwe, professor of botany in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, discovered that two flowers found encased in amber for at least 15 million years belong to none of the known 200 species of the genus Strychnos


How a 3D-Printed Dracula Orchid Helped Scientists Understand How it Tricks Bugs

Using a 3D printer, scientists have unlocked the mystery of how plants called Dracula orchids use mimicry to attract flies and ensure their survival.

The research, done in the last unlogged watershed in western Ecuador, is a win in the field of evolutionary biology and helps provide information that should benefit conservation efforts…


Beyond invisibility: engineering light with metamaterials

Since ancient times, people have experimented with light, cherishing shiny metals like gold and cutting gemstones to brighten their sparkles. Today we are far more advanced in how we work with this ubiquitous energy.

Starting with 19th-century experimentation, we began to explore controlling how light interacts with matter…


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