Here are the biggest science stories of October 8–13, told in eight stunning images.
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Researchers discovered that some ancient Roman concrete remains durable due to unexpected chemical reactions. Leucite in the volcanic rock of the concrete can dissolve in rain and reinforce the structure, preventing cracks that would otherwise form.
Researchers at UCLA found visits from a human-controlled companion robot improve hospitalized children’s mood far more than interacting with doctors through a tablet. Ninety percent of children who had one visit from a robot were “extremely likely” to request another.
Researchers rediscovered the first known paper published in a British medical journal by an African American author. In 1837, Dr. James McCune Smith published work exposing unsafe treatments at a Glasgow hospital using medical statistics.
Researchers studying gamma ray sources in space determined most come from blazars — galaxies with supermassive black holes emitting particles that make them visible. These rare galaxies are extremely difficult to detect visually.
Researchers found injecting algae into tadpoles’ hearts supplies enough oxygen to support brain function, or even revive oxygen-deprived neurons. Since tadpoles are transparent, algae can photosynthesize inside them.
Blue Origin sent its second human crew to space, this time including Star Trek star William Shatner. Shatner, now the oldest person ever to go to space, called it “the most profound experience I can imagine.”