Other-worldy dust mites and an insight in tiny human brains were among the week’s intriguing discoveries:
1. Tiny Find: Stardust From Beyond our Solar System? Earth may be host to some far-from-home specks. Seven tiny grains of rock sent back to Earth by a NASA spacecraft are believed to be the first from outside our solar system.
2. Newborns’ Brains Grow 1% a Day: The first study of its kind shows that newborns’ brains grow fast—figure a staggering 1% a day immediately after birth, though it slows to about half that rate by the end of three months. The brains of preemies grow even faster.
3. ‘Evil Eye’ Box Uncovered in Ancient Cemetery: People in the ancient kingdom of Kush not only believed in the afterlife, they apparently feared the evil eye—in the afterlife. Archaeologists excavating a 2,000-year-old cemetery near the Nile River in Sudan say that among many artifacts, they found a box decorated with eyes likely thought to protect the deceased.
4. How to Change a Woman’s Biological Clock: Ladies, you know your biological clock—the one that “ticks” away as you start feeling like it might be time to reproduce? Well, it turns out the sound of an actual ticking clock can speed up your reproductive timing, making you want to have babies earlier.
5. How Bee Venom Might Fight Cancer: Locked within the honeybee’s painful sting is a toxin that could fight cancer. A University of Illinois scientist thinks he’s figured out a way to safely use a synthetic version to unleash it on cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.