STEM news on the week of May 2. (Full stories can be found in the description)
Weasel shuts down the Large Hadron Collider
A weasel halted Earth's biggest particle accelerator when it chewed through some power cables. Bad timing; CERN researchers are trying to verify existence of a completely new particle.
Are humans the only technological species to have existed?
Yes, if the odds of alien life are lower than 10 BILLION TRILLION, say two astrobiologists, who have modified the Drake Equation to estimate the probability of life over the universe's history.
Microfluidic vibrating "drums" used to move particles
The phenomenon known as "acoustic streaming" has been used in other fluid dynamics applications, and has potential applications in microfluidics.
Cambridge researchers reconstruct song from the Middle Ages
The researchers have been at this for 20 years! Give it a listen at: http://phys.org/news/2016-04-years-lost-songs-middle-ages.html (Sounds like Gregorian chant-influenced gospel to me)
Elon Musk posts a 360 degree video of the Falcon 9 landing
(shown: SpaceX's reaction) On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDK5TF2BOhQ
Earth: Home for 1 trillion species?
Indiana University biologists think so, based on ecological scaling laws. Don't get too excited though: most of them are bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Microsoft buys 10 million DNA strands for computer storage
They can store 1 billion TB in a gram, or 1.5GB/cell. That's a lot of cat gifs... Read speed is slow, but the benefit is that DNA storage can last centuries: much longer than hard drives.
Researchers have made sperm from skin cells.
"1/7 couples have trouble conceiving" this could help, but there's a lot more work left. Thought: In the future, someone could conceive herself with sperm from her own skin cells!?