11/14/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Week In Science: Rosetta Touches Down, Thought Control Made Easy, and Why You Cry When You're Happy

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

Featured Image Credit: ESA

Rosetta mission scientists succeeded in landing the Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, although a slightly rough landing left the lander tilted and its long-term hold on the comet in doubt. More and more studies are investigating the connection between gut bacteria and mental health. But a lot of research into our microbiome--the collection of bacteria and viruses living in our bodies--may be heavily skewed by contamination in lab equipment. Jupiter's Great Red Spot might be a planetary form of sunburn.

Scientists made a device that allowed human participants to turn on genes in mice with their brainwaves. Using robotic underwater gliders, researchers figured out that Antarctic glaciers are melting from the bottom up. Promiscuity among females in some mammal species may be a defense against infanticide. "Bio-drones" made mostly of fungus and bacteria are in development; if they crash, they biodegrade and leave almost no trace behind.

Researchers found that fast food chains are more likely to target ads towards children in black neighborhoods. A mysterious fungal disease is spreading among wild snakes. The urge to cry when you're intensely happy might serve the same purpose as the urge to crack jokes when you're sad--it helps restore you to emotional equilibrium, a new study suggests.

Dark matter might not be made of tiny subatomic particles, but instead consist of bigger particles called "macros" that range in size from apples to asteroids. Uranus has been quite stormy recently. One new way to get people to quit smoking, according to science: Blow the smell of smoke mixed with rotten eggs and fish at them while they sleep.


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