Top stories in science this week

1. NASA announces a detailed five-part plan to get humans on MARS by 2033

Though the undertaking will no doubt include many challenges, NASA is finally ready to make humanity’s dream of sending people to Mars a reality. To that end, the agency has shared its five-part plan for reaching the Red Planet.

2. New research shows that time travel is mathematically possible

Physicists have developed a new mathematical model that shows how time travel is theoretically possible. They used Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity as a springboard for their hypothetical device, which they call a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS).


3. Scientists transplanted a rat’s head onto another rat without any brain damage

Chinese researchers grafted the head of a smaller rat onto a bigger one while keeping the brain safe from possible damage due to blood loss. Their technique could one day be useful for human head transplants.

4. Scientists have successfully grown a premature lamb in an artificial womb.

Physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia worked with 23 week-old lambs to test a synthetic device that imitates a woman’s uterus, hoping to limit mortality and disease in premature children that are born before 37 weeks.

5. Scientists have created a device that can turn greenhouse gases into clean air

Scientists have created an artificial form of photosynthesis that could reduce levels of carbon dioxide in the air, and provide solar fuel at the same time — two potential benefits to help stabilise our changing climate.

6. A real life, all-electric flying car took off

Your flying car might finally be on the way as the all-electric, two-seater Lilium Jet took its first test flight this week. Lilium Aviation’s prototype consumes around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft and could be the transportation mode of the future.

7. Scientists have identified a worm that can eat plastic

Scientists have found some surprising helpers in our battle against plastic waste: honeycomb moth caterpillars with a taste for munching through plastic bags.

8. Bone discovery suggests humans were in north America 100,000 years earlier than we thought

Researchers working at an archaeological dig site that runs along the 54 freeway in San Diego, California, have now uncovered what they believe is evidence of a human presence in North America that predates previous estimates by 100,000 years.

9. 70 million-year-old dinosaur egg fossils have been discovered in china

The remains of five shells were found buried in sandstone in the city of Foshan in China’s Guangdong Province, at a depth of around 8 metres (26 feet), where scientists think they laid hidden and preserved since the late Cretaceous period.

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