This Week in Science: Ancient Pizza, Drunk Hummingbirds, and a Real-Life Transformer

It’s time for “Nerd News,” covering the most important news for your brain.

Here’s a quick rundown of this week in science . . .

1.  Richard Branson’s company Virgin Galactic had its first commercial flight to space yesterday.  It’s a “space plane,” not a rocket.  Three guys from Italy were on board, and got to experience a few minutes of weightlessness.  Around 800 people are on the waitlist to go.  Tickets cost $450,000 a pop.

(Here’s the livestream.  Its boosters fire at 38:33, and then the weightlessness starts around 41 minutes in.)

Stupid One-Liner:  The first Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflight took place.  It included military leaders, scientists, and like anything else on Earth, Ryan Seacrest.

2.  In other space news:  NASA locked four volunteers in a simulated Mars habitat in Houston on Sunday.  Unless they tap out, they’ll be in there for just over a year.

3.  In robot news:  Caltech has a new shape-shifting robot that can walk, drive, and also fly.  People are joking it’s like a real-life Transformer.

4.  In food news:  Archaeologists found a 2,000-year-old painting in Italy that might show an early version of pizza.  It kind of looks like a personal pan, but they say it’s actually flatbread without cheese or sauce.

5.  In much grosser food news:  Researchers think they found the earliest evidence of cannibalism.  They found bones of human ancestors with cut marks from 1.5 million years ago.

6.  In health news:  A fully A.I.-designed drug got approved to be tested on humans for the first time ever.  It’s for a type of chronic lung disease.  (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)

7.  And finally, lots of animal news this week:  New studies found dolphins use “baby talk” just like us . . . octopuses probably have dreams when they sleep . . . orangutans have their own form of beatboxing . . .

Hummingbirds drink an impressive amount of alcohol from fermented sugar in flowers and feeders . . . and a study found early human ancestors may have briefly lived alongside dinosaurs.