This Week in Science: Champagne, UFOs, and One Sexy Neanderthal

It’s time for “Nerd News,” covering the most important news for your brain you may have missed.  Here’s a quick rundown of this week in science . . .

1.  In space news:  NASA is assembling a team to study UFOs . . . the James Webb telescope got hit by a “micrometeoroid,” but it’s okay . . . and the Mars Perseverance Rover adopted a pet rock.  A small stone has been hitching a ride inside one of its wheels for a while and still hasn’t fallen off.  They say it’s been there several months.

2.  In coronavirus news:  A sexy Neanderthal might be to blame for a MILLION covid deaths.  An expert thinks one of them got it on with a member of our species 60,000 years ago.  Then a genetic quirk got passed down to some of us that makes your lungs more susceptible to infections.

3.  In other health news:  Saudi Arabia is spending $1 billion a year to research ways to reverse the aging process.  In the meantime, a new study found injecting a fancy gel directly into your SPINE can help with lower back pain.

4.  In Earth news:  Contrary to what we thought, a study found Earth’s magnetic poles probably WON’T flip anytime soon.  And there might be a new record holder for oldest tree in the world.  Researchers think a cypress in Chile is around 5,400 years old.  The current record holder is a tree in California that’s 600 years younger.

5.  And finally, in booze news:  A study found that when you pop a bottle of champagne, the gases can escape faster than the speed of sound.