Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.
This is the First-ever Picture of a Black Hole
Brian Resnick writing for Vox
This is a picture of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is 53.49 million light-years away. The black hole at its center is massive, some 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun, all contained in a single point of infinite density.
The Human Brain Has been Getting Smaller Since the Stone Age
Bridget Alex writing for Discover
I don’t mean to alarm you, but the average human brain size is shrinking. And we can’t blame reality T.V. or twitter. No, this decline began tens of thousands of years ago.
Napping Is Good for You, Experts Say—if You Do It the Right Way
Alexandra Hansen writing for Quartzy
Often during the day I feel the need to have a bit of a lie-down. Whether it’s been a busy day, I didn’t sleep well the night before, or for no particular reason I know of. But some will warn that you’ll be ruined for sleep that night if you nap during the day. We asked five experts if we should nap during the day.
Meet the Scientist Painter Who Turns Deadly Viruses into Beautiful Works of Art
Jon Cohen writing for Science
HIV, Ebola, and Zika are ugly, nasty viruses. David Goodsell makes them look beautiful, even alluring. And the unusual precision of his depictions is driven by science—some of it his own research.
The Secret Code of Sea Shells
Harini Chakravarthy writing for Massive Science
Their beautiful patterns made led Meinhardt wonder how they were formed. When he investigated, Meinhardt soon found that the same rules—outlined by mathematician Alan Turing in his paper, ‘The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis’—that govern the formation of other patterns in nature, like leaf arrangements, also control sea shells.
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