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Your World This Week, Nov. 9-15

This week in science: high greenhouse gas levels are slated to be a “permanent reality;” one energy drink can have some nasty health impacts; Google, Facebook, Pharrell, and more give scientists the movie star treatment; how self-folding paper will change robotics, medicine, and the world.

This Self-Folding Paper Might Revolutionize Robotics, Medicine, And The World As We Know It

By weight, graphene paper is about 200 times stronger than steel. And, somehow, that’s not its most incredible characteristic. What has scientists excited now is the paper’s ability to fold itself with the application of heat. Although that ability might not sound all that useful–let alone incredible–at first, the researchers behind this discovery think otherwise.

According to Jiuke Mu, a Ph.D. student at Donghua University and one of the material’s inventors, graphene paper could be used for applications including wirelessly controlled micro robots, smart clothing that adapts to temperature changes, artificial muscles and devices for tissue engineering, as well as devices that are able to walk backward and forward on their own.

For more information on graphene paper’s mind-boggling uses and how it works, visit Live Science.

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Video Of The Day: NASA’s Incredible Ultra-High Definition Video Of The Sun Leaves Us Speechless

NASA never ceases to amaze.

This week they released this ultra-high definition 4K video of the Sun, entitled “Thermonuclear Art.” The footage is comprised of a collection of images captured from a satellite from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The SDO has been monitoring the Sun around-the-clock for five years, presenting not only solar scientists, but the world at large, with astounding information about the star’s daily movement.

In a news release, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center stated, “SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on the Sun such as solar flares, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material traveling up and down looping magnetic field lines.”

Set to Lars Leonhard‘s ethereal tracks, this video features some of the most remarkable footage ever of the Sun, and according to NASA, “presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”

Enjoy this chance to view the Sun without damaging your eyes.

Sad Genius Of The Month: Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis pioneered antiseptic procedures in the mid 19th century — and it ruined his career. Image Source: Wikipedia

Ignaz Semmelweis just may be one of the smartest guys you never knew existed. A Hungarian medical doctor in the mid-19th century, he was the first known advocate of hand washing among doctors and was subsequently shunned by the entire medical community because of it.

The story begins in 1847 when Semmelweis became head of the maternity ward at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus — the largest hospital in Vienna, Austria. At the time, one in six women at the hospital died after childbirth of what was known as “puerile,” or “childbed fever.” The symptoms were always the same — the new mother developed chills and a fever, her abdomen would become agonizingly painful and bloated, and within a few short days she’d be dead, leaving the child motherless.

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