Brooke Greenberg's Secret
An eighteen year-old Maryland girl has retained the body and mind of a toddler; she apparently is not aging. Scientists hope to uncover the child's secret.
"It is possible that the key to immortality is hidden in this delicate girl, who is only about two feet, six inches tall and weighs 15.4 pounds. Her arms and legs are as fragile as the branches of a young tree. ... She has no hormonal problems, and her chromosomes seem normal. But her development is proceeding 'extremely slowly,' says Richard Walker, a geneticist with the University of South Florida College of Medicine. If scientists can figure out what is causing the disorder, it might be possible to unlock the mysteries of aging itself. 'Then we've got the golden ring,' says Walker."
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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