06/20/2014 09:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Week In Science: Bionic Pancreas, The Smell of Titan, and a Friendly Brown Bear Pair

Seven days; lots of science in the news. Here's our roundup of this week's most notable and quotable items:


Image Credit: Tambako the Jaguar/FlickrCC

NASA scientists recreated the smell of Saturn's moon Titan. A portable artificial pancreas successfully regulated blood sugar levels in 52 patients with Type 1 diabetes. The device aims to replace insulin pumps or injections, as well as the need for regular pinprick blood tests. Fish-eating spiders were found on every continent except for Antarctica.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill scolded TV doctor Mehmet Oz about his endorsement of shady weight loss aids at a consumer protection panel hearing. A bachelor party stumbled across a 3 million year old stegomastodon skull on a New Mexico beach and, to the delight of all, reported it to the proper authorities. The link between depression and heart disease is stronger in middle-aged women.

Plant spores can travel from the Arctic to South America by sticking to bird feathers; meanwhile, 75 CDC employees may have been exposed to activated anthrax spores. People who stare at computer screens for seven hours or more every day have less tear fluid than normal. Frequent sunbathers may be addicted to UV radiation.

Two Imperial College London scientists involved in the discovery of the Higgs Boson were knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. A race between a quantum computer, which encodes data in subatomic particles called qubits, and a classical one, which uses plain old ones and zeroes, ended in a draw. Researchers recorded 28 instances of oral sex between two male brown bears at a sanctuary in Croatia. While previous observations of bear fellatio were chalked up to the animals living in stressful conditions, this was the first example of bears in proper conditions just wanting to have fun.


"This Week In Science" is presented by the World Science Festival, an annual celebration of science in New York City. To see engaging scientific conversations, learn about new discoveries and more, check out the Festival website.