Abstracts: New Planets, Diabetes, Trails, and More


• A display of sunken treasure was cancelled several years ago amid ethical concerns over excavation practices. Another museum is hosting the exhibit next month. (New York Times)

Astronomers have discovered a new solar system with seven Earth-sized planets. Visual: Hubble ESA/Flickr

• Trail designers and nature conservationists have long struggled to keep pedestrians on the straight and narrow. The Parks Department in Queens took a new approach to “desire lines.” (The New Yorker)

• Tracy Van Houten, a NASA scientist who was working on the 2020 Mars Rover Mission, used her time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to recruit more women to rocket science. Now she is leaving her dream job to run for Congress. (The Atlantic)

• Some of the most pervasive diseases haven’t seen a new treatment in years. Diabetes is one example. (STAT)

• The “Queen of Carbon Science,” Millie Dresselhaus, passed away this Monday. She was one of the first scientists to imagine carbon nanotubes. (Washington Post)

• Astronomers have discovered another solar system containing seven Earth-sized planets just 39 light-years away. The planets tightly orbit a star known as TRAPPIST-1, and three of them receive the right amount of heat to put them in the “habitable zone.” (Ars Technica)

• A seal nicknamed “Whiskers” has developed a symbiotic relationship with divers near Monterey, California, often eating the creatures the divers are trying to film. (National Geographic)

• Testosterone studies have received a lot of mixed attention this week. In the University of Pennsylvania study that examined how testosterone affects anemia, a bioethicist found that participants were not informed if they were diagnosed with anemia at the start of the study, a potential indicator of serious illness. (NPR)

• A small patient cohort is HIV-free without retroviral therapy, thanks to a vaccine therapy. (New Scientist)

• And finally, a Canadian crowdfunded clinic lowers the cost of IVF with a new approach. Instead of using an expensive, temperature-controlled incubator, an embryo incubates in an FDA-approved capsule, inside the patient’s own vagina. (Slate)