This week in science

Hurricane Henri from space and more: Understand the world through 7 images

NOAA

NASA

NASA tracked Hurricane Henri the week of August 19–25, while scientists made fascinating discoveries via fossils and lab-grown organoids.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 7 stunning images.

Gabriela Sobral, Jorge Blanco, Ricardo Martínez, Tiago Simões

7. Rhino family tree

Beth Zaiken

August 24

Researchers completed a genetic map of living and extinct rhino species, finding that genetic diversity has always been low in rhinos. The finding could help guide conservation efforts.

Beth Zaiken

August 23

Scientists created brain organoids from stem cells of patients with Rett syndrome and were able to observe signs of the disease in the organoids. The development suggests how organoids can be used to study brain functions.

UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Neuroscience

5. Lost lizards

Jorge Blanco

August 25

Scientists found a new species of lepidosaur — a subclass that includes snakes and lizards — in Argentina. It was identified from one of the oldest lepidosaur fossils ever discovered, from a period with few surviving fossils.

Jorge Blanco

4. Picky eater

Historical Biology

August 23

A study of T. rex mandibles revealed a complex network of nerves in the dinosaur’s mandibles, similar to what’s found in crocodiles. That means T. rex mandibles were more sensitive to touch and movement than previously thought.

Historical Biology

3. Eye in the sky

NASA

August 21

Photos of Hurricane Henri heading toward the U.S. East Coast were captured by the International Space Station. Afterward, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression but still caused severe flooding.

NASA

2. Ancient arthropods

Nicholas Strausfeld

August 20

Scientists found an extremely rare brain tissue fossil from an ancient arthropod. The fossil proves the existence of a frontal brain region that scientists previously hypothesized based on modern arthropods.

Nicholas Strausfeld

August 19

Using NASA data, scientists determined that dust in Martian snow could make it easier to melt. The finding could aid studies of possible liquid water on Mars and help illustrate the planet’s climate history.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

Read more science stories here.

Space Frontiers/Hulton Archive/Getty Images