Happy Monday Science Fiction Fans!!
This week’s Spaced Out podcast episode was pretty cool. Weston Ochse (a military and horror sci-fi author) and I talk about the current narrative around PTSD and the series he wrote, Grunt Life, to help change that. We also get into cyberpunk, Navy SEALS, the Rock, and so much more!!
Following the interview, Justin Park and I dig into science news from March 20th-26th. Below are links to all the articles we discussed.
Run, Black Hole, Run!
This just in: the Hubble Space Telescope has detected an active, supermassive black hole, that’s on the run. Typically these galactic superstars are situated in the center of their galaxies...but somehow this one was observed moving away from its galactic center. Now, astronomers are trying to figure out the ‘why.’ The black hole is huge and moving fast enough to suggest that it was pushed. Some scientists are theorizing that only a gravitational wave length would be strong enough to move something so massive. Maybe only time will tell…
Hetdex, the Dark Energy Experiment:
In West Texas, the Hobby-Eberly, a powerful telescope, is about to get even stronger. After a $40 million upgrade, on April 8th the telescope will begin work on its next mission, Hetdex. Hetdex was designed to research the universe’s most nefarious of substances: dark energy (also known as dark matter). What makes this telescope so unique is that it is programmed to scan the sky in wide patches and send massive amounts of data back home to the Texas Advanced Computing Center without the assistance of man. Instead of an astronomer moving the telescope to match coordinates picked by him/her, the telescope will move on its own and notify scientists of anything interesting. The “processing pipeline will be ready when the full survey starts in August or September.”
A New Way to Manufacture Antivenom?
Did you know that producing antivenom (you know, the stuff you need if you get bit by one of the 375 poisonous snakes worldwide) is really, really hard? You’ve got to milk snakes and harvest horse blood. The process has been around for 100 years...but every year, 100,000 people die from snake bites. Why? Apparently, there’s an antivenom shortage. Biotech startups in San Francisco and Copenhagen are trying to help. They’re using bacteria instead of livestock...and it’s working.
Scientists Turned a Spinach Leaf into A Beating Heart!
It’s a bird...It’s a plane...No! It’s a beating spinach heart!! Well, maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. The spinach heart isn’t beating with human blood quite yet, BUT scientists have successfully used the leaf’s intricate system of “veins” to pump red dye. Popeye, eat your heart out!
Sources: Science News, Wired, Astronomy Magazine, (other sources inline)