This week in science

Ingenuity’s longest flight and more: Understand the world through 7 images

NASA

NASA

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter set a new flight record one year into its Mars mission the week of May 25–June 1, as scientists looked into Covid-19 risk factors and got a new view of the brain.

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

7. Unexpected risk

NIAID

June 1

Researchers found Covid-19 infections are less likely in people with food allergies. Obesity was strongly correlated with Covid-19 infections in study participants but asthma was not.

NIAID

6. Changing course

Sam Brooke

May 31

Using satellite data, scientists concluded river avulsions (when rivers overflow and change course) are caused by excess sediment. Knowing where avulsions are most likely to occur could help scientists predict and mitigate their effects on nearby communities.

Sam Brooke

May 31

Researchers determined great white sharks may have played a role in megalodon extinction by hunting the same prey. They compared zinc isotopes in shark and megalodon teeth, which helps researchers gauge the animals’ position on the food chain.

© MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology

4. Early warning

IN-CSIC-UMH

May 27

Researchers developed a way to image brain inflammation using diffusion-weighted MRI. The method detects microglia and astrocyte activation — which lead to brain inflammation — for non-invasive detection of neurodegeneration.

IN-CSIC-UMH

3. One more for the record books

NASA

May 27

NASA reported its Ingenuity Mars helicopter made its longest, fastest flight yet on April 8. The announcement came as engineers prepared the helicopter for a more challenging winter operation.

NASA

2. Touchdown

NASA/Boeing

May 25

NASA and Boeing’s Starliner capsule completed a test flight ahead of crewed missions planned for 2022. The capsule landed at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile range carrying a sensor-equipped dummy.

Boeing Space

1. Look at it go!

Northwestern University

May 25

Scientists developed the smallest remote-controlled walking robot ever made, in the shape of a tiny crab. The same team created the world’s smallest flying robot in 2021, modeled after maple seeds.

Northwestern University