Keeping an Eye on Science, in #MSWnews & Our Picks of the Week

[21 – 25 April 2014] The editors’ note about your science week

This week, we took a look at open access from a somewhat different perspective – that of the parents of a sick child – while new findings came out that may force us to readjust our view on plans to send humans to Mars. The secrets of ageing could potentially come into focus, thanks to a certain 115-year-old woman, and both a new mineral and a new shape came to light this week! Finally, for Earth Day, we joined NASA’s campaign and turned the eye of the camera back on ourselves for an international MyScienceWork selfie. It's all here in our picks of the week.

This week, we took a look at open access from a somewhat different perspective – that of the parents of a sick child – while new findings came out that may force us to readjust our view on plans to send humans to Mars. The secrets of ageing could potentially come into focus, thanks to a certain 115-year-old woman, and both a new mineral and a new shape came to light this week! Finally, for Earth Day, we joined NASA’s campaign and turned the eye of the camera back on ourselves for an international MyScienceWork selfie. It's all here in our picks of the week.

Crystals of newly discovered, purple putnisite. (Image: P. Elliott et al.)

On the MyScienceWork Menu:

In this week’s video, Christine Ollendorff, the director of libraries at the Parisian engineering school Arts et Métiers explained her involvement in support of open access, from three points of view: not just as a librarian, not just as a researcher, but as a mother in need of information, too.

[Open Access Interview] Christine Ollendorff: “Opening science to citizens is one of the main goals of open access.”

 

MyScienceWork’s involvement in open access and the pursuit of better tools for research has, as you may know, brought a part of the team to California. (If you didn’t already know, you can catch up on their adventure at #svMSW.) In honor of Earth Day, from Luxembourg to Paris to Silicon Valley, we all took part in NASA’s “global selfie” campaign. Check out the results – and learn about San Francisco’s ecosystem of innovation – on our Tumblr.

 

Some favorites from around the web:

This week may have brought bad news for those wishing to be among the first colonists of Mars: space radiation may cause cognitive impairment, according to new research.

Animal Study Highlights Potential Cognitive Risks Of Deep Space Travel

On the bright side, a new discovery could help us understand more about ageing. Maybe some of us will have more time for long-distance space travel…?

Mutations Found In 115 Year Old Woman's Blood Could Help Unlock Secrets Of Aging

 

It might be necessary to travel great distances in search of a new home, if we don’t stop ruining this one, and scientists may have actually underestimated the amount of pollution reaching the stratosphere…

Does the Sky Have a Faulty Filter?

But!, a step in the right direction can be seen as US home and business owners turn toward the sun:

Solar Power Grows 400 Percent in Only 4 Years

Change like this needs to continue happening quickly, or we may face increasing numbers of dangers associated with climate change. Take, for example, this gargantuan iceberg that recently broke free from its quickly advancing glacier:

As Antarctic Glaciers Flow Faster, an Iceberg Six Times Larger than Manhattan Drifts Toward the Open Sea

 

But don’t despair! Nature is also a never-ending source of wonder and its surprises never cease. This week it offered up not only a new shape

Scientists Discover New Shape When Playing With Rubber Bands

but a brand new mineral, too! Unlike you, putnisite, is “completely unique and unrelated to anything,” says the researcher who has described it for the first time.

Putnisite: New Mineral Discovered in Australia

 

They say there’s nothing new under the sun, but maybe that's selling nature short. In any case, there’s always something new to learn! Enjoy reading!