What you might have missed

The 10-billion-year history of Andromeda's cannibalistic past, the mystery of the female orgasm and the consequences of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan - here are some highlights from a week in science. 

It turns out that Brexit might actually be sending people crazy. Read the full story here

Jack Taylor/Stringer

Here's a snapshot of a few stories we particularly enjoyed. Click on the links to read them in full. You can also see all the week's yarns here.

Ecosystems took millions of years to recover from the last mass extinction

Marine fossils reveal that it took millions of years for ecosystems to recover from the asteroid impact widely believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs.

Read the full story here.

A 10-billion-year history of Andromeda’s galactic cannibalism

In a cosmic detective story of interstellar proportions, astronomers sifting through faint signatures in the halo of stars surrounding the Andromeda galaxy are unearthing a 10-billion-year history of galactic cannibalism.

Read the full story here.

Human female orgasm mystery cracked

An oversexed rabbit called Frank, aided by a veritable harem of bunnies on antidepressants, may well have cracked the mystery of the human female orgasm.

And to get why that’s major it helps to know two reasons the orgasm has been such an enduring enigma.

Read the full story here.

Great apes may be smarter than we've given them credit for

Great apes can use self-experience to anticipate others’ actions, providing yet more evidence of a theory of mind in non-human animals.

Theory of mind is the ability to understand and anticipate the thoughts of others, even when they conflict with one’s own.

Read the full story here.

Nuclear war between India and Pakistan would be a planetary catastrophe

In 1983, at the height of the Cold War, a team spearheaded by Carl Sagan horrified the world by calculating that a full-scale nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union would not only kill millions directly, but would plunge the world into a “nuclear winter” that would ruin crops and wreak famine worldwide.

But in today’s world, it isn’t just a war between superpowers that could have such an effect, scientists say.

Read the full story here.

New gel could fireproof forests for weeks at a time

A spray-on sticky gel might soon provide long-term protection against wildfires, researchers suggest.

In a paper published in the journal PNAS, scientists led by Anthony C. Yu of Stanford University in the US report the prototype and lab-level deployment of what they term an “environmentally benign cellulose-based viscoelastic fluid” that can effectively fireproof large areas of vegetation throughout the peak fire season.

Read the full story here.

And here's our image of the week

A grand view of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from space after its launch last week.

NASA/Christina Koch

This image shows the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft ascending into space after its launch from central Asian country Kazakhstan on Wednesday 25 September.

To view all this week's featured images, click here.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/ecosystems-took-millions-of-years-to-recover-from-the-last-mass-extinction
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/andromeda
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/human-female-orgasm-mystery-cracked
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/great-apes-may-be-smarter-than-previously-believed
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/mathematics/nuclear-war-between-india-and-pakistan-would-be-a-planetary-catastrophe
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/new-gel-could-fireproof-forests-for-weeks-at-a-time
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
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