Imaging ever closer to the event horizon – Two new papers probe the matter that's right on the edge of falling in.

Source: Dheeraj R. Pasham, et al. A loud quasi-periodic oscillation after a star is disrupted by a massive black hole. Science, 2019.

Why scientists want to engineer spicy tomatoes – I mean, who wouldn't want to try a hot tomato?

Source: Emmanuel Rezende Naves, et al. Capsaicinoids: Pungency beyond Capsicum. Trends in Plant Science, 2019.

One day our sun will solidify into a giant crystal orb – Remnants of white dwarf stars have crystal cores made of metallic oxygen and carbon. The solidification slows the aging process by billions of years.

Source: Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, et al. Core crystallization and pile-up in the cooling sequence of evolving white dwarfs. Nature, 2019.

Einstein-de Haas effect has a central role in ultrafast demagnetization processes – The Einstein-de Haas effect, first demonstrated more than a century ago, provides an intriguing link between magnetization and rotation in ferromagnetic materials. Researchers have now found that the effect has also a central role in ultrafast processes that happen at the sub-picosecond timescale -- and thus deliver fresh insight into materials that might form the basis for novel devices.

Source: C. Dornes, et al. The ultrafast Einstein–de Haas effect. Nature, 2019.

Stem Cell–Derived Neurons from People with Autism Grow Differently – Changes in gene expression also hint at how the brains of people with ASD develop differently from those of other people.

Source: Simon T. Schafer, et al. Pathological priming causes developmental gene network heterochronicity in autistic subject-derived neurons. Nature Neuroscience, 2019.

Keeping roads in good shape reduces greenhouse gas emissions – Keeping road pavement in good shape saves money and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, more than offsetting pollution generated during road construction, according to a new study.

Source: Hao Wang, Israa Al-Saadi, Pan Lu, Abbas Jasim. Quantifying greenhouse gas emission of asphalt pavement preservation at construction and use stages using life-cycle assessment. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 2019.

3D printed implant promotes nerve cell growth to treat spinal cord injury – For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego have used rapid 3D printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted that scaffolding, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

Source: Jacob Koffler, et al. Biomimetic 3D-printed scaffolds for spinal cord injury repair. Nature Medicine, 2019.

Climate change intensifies war of the birds – University of Groningen (UG) biologists have discovered that climate change has an effect on the regular clashes between great tits and pied flycatchers during the breeding season. In some years, great tits killed 10 percent of the male pied flycatchers. UG researchers have published an analysis of this behavior on Jan. 10 in the journal Current Biology.

Source: Jelmer M. Samplonius, Christiaan Both. Climate Change May Affect Fatal Competition between Two Bird Species. Current Biology, 2019.

Newly Identified Virus Similar to Ebola, Marburg – Mengla virus, detected in bats in China, infects cells through the same host receptor targeted by the deadly pathogens.

Source: Xing-Lou Yang, et al. Characterization of a filovirus (Měnglà virus) from Rousettus bats in China. Nature Microbiology, 2019.