A number of people, including reportedly Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams, have had their corpses frozen in the hope that they can be revived in the future. This process, called cryopreservation, presents many challenges, chief among them keeping the delicate structure of the brain intact. But that may be changing. Our haul this week includes that story, plus tales of the world’s fastest data line, gravity waves and more.
A group of researchers from 21st Century Medicine, a biomedical company, used a combination of “ultrafast chemical fixation” and bone-chilling minus 135 degrees Celsius to freeze and recover a rabbit brain, including its neurons and synapses. “It is the first demonstration that near-perfect, long-term structural preservation of an intact mammalian brain is achievable,” the Brain Preservation Foundation reported.
Scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) listening to the noise of two colliding black holes confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, ripples in space and time that were predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915 but never previously observed.
Researchers at University College London reportedly set a new world record for data transmission, zipping information through their “superfast” optical broadband network at 1.125 terabits per second. That’s allegedly enough to download the entire Game of Thrones series in HD in less than a second.
Astronomers at Australia’s Parkes radio telescope are redrawing the map of our cosmic neighborhood. They discovered a group of previously unknown galaxies hiding behind the Milky Way. The finding could help us get to the bottom of other riddles, including the mysterious Great Attractor, a powerful gravity anomaly. “We don’t actually understand what’s causing this gravitational acceleration on the Milky Way or where it’s coming from,” said University of Western Australia professor Lister Staveley-Smith, the lead author of the study.
Scientists in England have shown that horses, like dogs, can recognize human emotions and detect whether a person is happy or angry just by looking at photographs. Angry faces induced responses suggesting an understanding of the stimuli: “Horses displayed a left-gaze bias (a lateralization generally associated with stimuli perceived as negative) and a quicker increase in heart rate (HR) towards these photographs,” the team reported.