This week in science

Artemis SLS rolls out again and more: Understand the world through 7 images

NASA

JUDE GUIDRY/AFP/Getty Images

NASA brought its Artemis I SLS back to the launch pad the week of June 1–8, as scientists tested a promising new cancer drug and peered into the early universe.

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

Lamiya Mowla

June 1

Researchers determined one small evolutionary change — switching off a gene that controls muscles in actual muscle cells and turning that same gene on in other cells — led to the development of electric organs in some fish. Scientists theorize the same process could underlie the origin of some human diseases.

Mary Swartz/Johann Eberhart/University of Texas at Austin

6. Fighting or feeding?

WANG Yu and GUO Xiaocong

June 2

An extinct giraffoid fossil revealed giraffes’ long necks may have evolved for fighting more than reaching trees. Giraffes and the Discokeryx xiezhi have necks adapted to survive the impact and the environments where they evolved encouraged competition more than feeding on high leaves.

WANG Yu and GUO Xiaocong

5. Predictable prey

Dr Christos Ioannou

June 6

Researchers found predatory fish easily adapt to unpredictable prey behavior, in an experiment using robotic prey. This challenges the common belief that unpredictable movement is evolutionarily beneficial for prey animals.

Dr Christos Ioannou

4. Cosmic panorama

Gabe Brammer

June 6

Astronomers released the largest image ever captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The stunning image covers an area of the early universe eight times larger than the typical Hubble capture, thanks to a panoramic technique called Drift and Shift.

Gabe Brammer

3. Stopping tumors in their tracks

UT Southwestern Medical Center

June 6

Scientists created a compound that kills a range of particularly treatment-resistant cancers by turning off a protein crucial to tumor development. Called ERX-41, the compound doesn’t affect healthy cells and is more tolerable than current treatments.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

2. Let’s try this again

NASA

June 6

NASA’s towering Space Launch System topped with the Orion capsule returned to the launch pad following repairs after a failed wet dress rehearsal. Another rehearsal attempt for the Artemis I rocket will happen no earlier than June 19.

NASA

1. In the eye of the beholder

Rick D. Stuart Smith

June 7

Researchers found reef fish that people find beautiful tend to be the least in need of conservation efforts. Fish deemed uglier through surveys and neural networks are more ecologically and genetically unique, thus more vital to reef ecosystems.

Rick D. Stuart Smith