This week in science

Jessica Watkins joins Crew-4 and more: Understand the world through 8 images

NASA

Jessica Watkins joined Crew-4 and Hubble spied a protostar...

Here are the biggest science stories on November 11–17, told in 8 incredible images.

Samuel I. Stupp Laboratory/Mark Seniw/Northwestern University

November 11

Scientists developed an injection that can repair tissue damage and even reverse paralysis after a spinal cord injury. The therapy triggers the body’s cells to repair themselves and leaves no material behind after 12 weeks.

Samuel I. Stupp Laboratory/Northwestern University

November 12

The Australian Reptile Park received its largest funnel web spider donation ever for its antivenom program, dubbed Megaspider. Megaspider is 8 centimeters long, compared to the average 1–5 centimeters — even its fangs are larger than some funnel web spiders.

The Australian Reptile Park

November 12

Researchers using the ATERUI II supercomputer discovered that planets formed in rings around young stars may move after formation, leaving the rings behind. That could explain why these rings often have large gaps, but planets are rarely found within them.

Kazuhiro Kanagawa, ALMA(ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

5. Starlinking

SpaceX

November 13

SpaceX deployed 53 satellites for its Starlink internet service. Starlink already has more than 1,600 satellites in orbit, with plans for thousands more.

SpaceX

4. Early bloomer

George Poinar Jr., OSU

November 16

Researchers found the first fossil evidence of precocious germination — seeds sprouting while still inside their fruit. The researchers observed the condition in a 40-million-year-old pine cone encased in amber.

George Poinar Jr., OSU

3. Making history

NASA/Bill Ingalls

November 16

NASA chose Jessica Watkins as the mission specialist on the upcoming SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Watkins will be the first Black woman to serve on an ISS crew when Crew-4 launches in April 2022.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

November 17

Researchers developed a mathematical model to compare the CDC’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout with other possible strategies. The study found the actual rollout was one of the most effective, and the model could help with future vaccination drives.

Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

November 17

The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a protostar forming in nebula IC 2631. These precursors to stars are hard to see without a strong infrared telescope since the dust that surrounds them blocks visible light.

NASA, ESA, T. Megeath (University of Toledo), K. Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), ESO, Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)