This week in science

First color Ingenuity photos and more: Understand the world through 8 images

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

The week of April 1–7 was full of developments in space science, from the first color photos taken by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter to the discovery of two rare quasars.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 8 spectacular images.

8. How do whiskers work?

Yifu Luo and Nadina Zweifel

April 1

Researchers from Northwestern University developed a new model for how whiskers bend within animals’ follicles, showing that they bend in an S or C shape. The finding could help scientists better understand the sensory signals whiskers provide.

Yifu Luo and Nadina Zweifel

7. Life in space

NASA/Dominic Hart

April 2

NASA began final preparations to ready its BioSentinel project for launch aboard Artemis I. BioSentinel will conduct the first long-term tests of deep space radiation on yeast cells, which could illuminate the risks for future humans in deep space.

NASA/Dominic Hart

6. Fool’s gold

NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 4

The Perseverance rover recorded an image that appeared to show a rainbow on Mars. As NASA explained, rainbows are impossible on Mars due to the lack of water, and the streak of color in the sky was just a lens flare.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

5. Lab-grown liver

HUG-CELL/USP

April 5

Scientists in Brazil developed a technique to reconstruct donor livers using the recipient’s cells, making otherwise unusable livers available for transplant and removing the risk of rejection.

HUG-CELL/USP

4. Red planet

NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 5

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter sent back the first color images of Mars, taken on the floor of the Perseverance rover’s Jezero Crater landing site.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

3. Living legend

JINGSONG SHI

April 6

Scientists in China discovered a new species of venomous snake. They named it Bungarus suzhenae after the snake goddess Bai Su Zhen from Chinese folklore.

Dr Li Ding

April 6

Researchers found two double quasars in pairs of merging galaxies using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The researchers estimate that only one double quasar exists for every 1,000 quasars.

NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)

1. Testing the standard model

Dani Zemba, Penn State

April 7

Researchers from Penn State published research they say resolves discrepancies between sub-atomic particles called muons and the standard model of physics. Further research could prove muons align with the model after all or point to yet-undiscovered physical forces.

DANI ZEMBA, PENN STATE

Read more stories on science here.

NASA/JPL-Caltech