Science News! Let’s take a look at some of the important developments in science this week…
First, the seventh row of the periodic table has been completed with the addition of four new chemical elements. The super heavy elements, that exist only for a fraction of a second, were created when researchers smashed lighter nuclei together. For now the elements have been given placeholder names until those proposed by their discoverers are approved. Read more from New Scientist here.
Second, an international scientific panel has made the case for designating a new geological epoch, called the “Anthropocene”, due to the long term changes humans are making to the earth. The scientists say that materials like aluminum, plastic, and concrete, and events such as nuclear testing, will mark our presence far into the future. Read more from the BBC here.
Third, new studies suggest that humans carry Neanderthal genes that may be responsible for more severe allergies. Researches identified three genes that are involved in our immune system and our body’s reaction to foreign substances, and found that those who carry these genes are likely to have an overreaction to substances like pollen and animal hair. Read more from NPR here.