Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 8 incredible images.
Researchers discovered the condition and arrangement of pores in topsoil determine the dirt’s ability to capture carbon. They next hope to study subsoil, which is increasingly important to plant health as droughts rob topsoil of moisture.
Scientists foundBlastocystis ST4, a common intestinal parasite, acts like a probiotic, encouraging beneficial bacteria growth and reducing gut inflammation in hosts. The parasite could be used to develop future treatments for inflammation.
NASA began moving the Space Launch System rocket, with the Orion capsule attached, back to its Vehicle Assembly Building. Engineers are investigating what caused leaks and malfunctions during the Moon-bound craft’s wet dress rehearsal.
Researchers found fungi and bacteria that thrive after megafires are genetically related, sharing traits that help them survive fires. Studying these species could help scientists understand how forests recover after massive fire damage.
Scientists determined Stone Age slate ring ornaments thought to have been shattered accidentally were actually broken on purpose by their wearers. The researchers suggest the pieces of fragmented ornaments were worn by different people to show their social bond.
Ax-1, the first private mission to the International Space Station from Axiom Space, came to a close as astronauts splashed down off the Florida coast. The mission’s end was delayed by five days due to poor weather.
Researchers discovered several nucleobases — one of the building blocks of DNA — in three separate meteorites. Prehistoric meteorites bringing the same molecules to Earth may have played a role in the emergence of life.
A global assessment of 10,000 species found that 21 percent of reptiles around the world may be threatened with extinction. Crocodiles, turtles, and forest-dwelling species generally were found to be in the most danger.