Amazing News Tuesday

Good heavens, people. What are we going to find out about next? First we have this:

This Gigantic Ring of Galaxies Could Bring Einstein’s Gravity Into Question

Scientists have discovered that a gigantic ring of galaxies stretching 10 million light-years wide is speeding away from our own galaxy so fast, our current physics models can’t explain it.

Describing the structure as expanding rapidly like a “mini Big Bang”, the team thinks it was formed by a near-miss between the Milky Way and our neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda, which created a ‘sling-shot’ of several smaller galaxies. The only problem is the result is at odds with the conditions predicted by Einstein’s theory of relativity….

And then closer to home we have this:

World’s biggest dinosaur footprints found in north-western Australia

The footprints were found on the north-western coast of Western Australia, where Dr Salisbury’s research project has revealed the journeys of dinosaurs up and down the coast.

“We’ve got several tracks up in that area that are about 1.7 metres long,” Dr Salisbury said.

“So most people would be able to fit inside tracks that big, and they indicate animals that are probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip, which is enormous.”

Yeah, click through and admire the picture of the guy lying next to the footprint. The most delightful detail is that for a long time the footprints were overlooked because they’re SO big, they’re outside the normal search image a paleontologist has in mind when looking over the landscape for things of interest.

The animal was a sauropod, like Brontosaurus, but waaaay bigger. That is so cool.

And then for new developments in technology, I must say, this is astonishing:

Spinach Leaf Transformed Into Beating Human Heart Tissue

Using the plant like scaffolding, scientists built a mini version of a working heart, which may one day aid in tissue regeneration…. “The main limiting factor for tissue engineering … is the lack of a vascular network,” says study co-author Joshua Gershlak, a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, in a video describing the study. “Without that vascular network, you get a lot of tissue death.”

One of the defining traits of a leaf is the branching network of thin veins that delivers water and nutrients to its cells. Now, scientists have used plant veins to replicate the way blood moves through human tissue. The work involves modifying a spinach leaf in the lab to remove its plant cells, which leaves behind a frame made of cellulose….. The eventual goal is to be able to replace damaged tissue in patients who have had heart attacks or who have suffered other cardiac issues that prevent their hearts from contracting. Like blood vessels, the veins in the modified leaves would deliver oxygen to the entire swath of replacement tissue, which is crucial in generating new heart matter.


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