This week in science

Webb Telescope spots Cartwheel Galaxy and more: Understand the world through 8 images

NASA

Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

NASA and the ESA published incredible new images from the James Webb Space Telescope the week of July 27–August 3, while researchers found new insight into the evolution of a common virus.

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

Craig Cessford/Cambridge Archaeological Unit

8. Watch your step

Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images

July 27

The Centers for Disease Control announced the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei are endemic in soil on the Gulf Coast. The bacteria, which can cause a rare, deadly disease called melioidosis, have not been detected in U.S. soil before.

Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images

7. Ancient infection

Dr Barbara Veselka

July 27

Researchers found herpes virus HSV-1 in the teeth of skeletons dating to 235 C.E. Genome analysis showed the HSV-1 strain likely became widespread during the Bronze Age more than 5,000 years ago.

Dr Barbara Veselka

6. Ultrasound on the go

MIT

July 28

MIT researchers developed a postage stamp-sized, wearable sticker that can “see” inside the wearer’s body using ultrasound. It may reduce reliance on unwieldy and not portable ultrasound machines and allow continuous monitoring of disease and fitness levels.

Felice Frankel

5. Sea bees

© IRL 3614, Station Biologique de Roscoff, CNRS, SU, Roscoff, France

July 28

An international research team discovered tiny undersea isopods called idoteas help pollinate seaweed by carrying gametes on their bodies as they hide in the plants. Researchers call them “sea bees” for the similar role they play in their ecosystems.

© Sébastien Colin

4. Call for help

Kibale Chimpanzee Project

July 29

Researchers determined chimpanzees can encourage their mates to capture prey using “hunting barks.” The finding is evidence that apes evolved the ability to coordinate complex group behavior like hunting through vocalization before humans and chimpanzees diverged.

Kibale Chimpanzee Project

July 29

NASA released a new composite image of star Zeta Ophiuchi using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the retired Spitzer Space Telescope. Zeta Ophiuchi, which lies 440 light-years from Earth, is thought to have been rocketed away from its birthplace when a companion star exploded more than 1 million years ago.

NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al.

2. Europe’s last panda

© Velizar Simeonovski, Chicago

July 31

Scientists identified Europe’s last indigenous giant panda from tooth fossils found in Bulgaria in the 1970s. Agriarctos nikolovi, which isn’t a direct ancestor of modern giant pandas, is thought to have gone extinct due to climate change.

© Velizar Simeonovski, Chicago

1. Galactic acrobatics

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

August 2

NASA and ESA published new images from the James Webb Space Telescope showing the spectacular Cartwheel Galaxy, 500 million light-years away. These detailed images can help astronomers understand how the unusual galaxy formed.

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI