This Week in Science: Hot People, Phubbing, and the Gas in Uranus

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. The mix of gases trapped inside Uranus might be different than we thought.  Same goes for Neptune.  A study found there could be more methane in there than expected.  Specifically, methane ice.

(Fun fact:  Methane is odorless but highly flammable.  So you wouldn’t want to light a match near Uranus.)

2.  The first non-American to set foot on the Moon will be from Japan.  The White House announced two Japanese astronauts will get seats on a future lunar landing mission.  Only 12 people have ever walked on the Moon, all Americans.  No one’s been up there since 1972.

3.  The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) posted a sped-up video of Monday’s eclipse from outer space with the entire planet in the frame.  And “The New York Times” wants to let you know there will be a last total eclipse someday.  The Moon is drifting away from us and won’t be big enough to cover the Sun . . . in about 620 million years.

4.  In sad science news:  Nobel Prize-winning physicist Peter Higgs passed away at 94.  He won it in 2013 for predicting the Higgs boson or “God particle” way back in 1964.  It’s a fundamental particle that gives everything its mass.

5.  In dating news:  A study found attractive people are seen as more trustworthy.  And a separate study found most single people are introverts who prefer staying in.  Also, a lot of them LIKE being single.

6.  In bathroom news:  If you’re a man over 50 who constantly has to pee, there’s an app for that on the way.  Urologists developed it to offer pelvic floor training and bladder control tips.  Full results from the study are expected later this year.

7.  Scientists in the Netherlands think they found the specific gene that makes people left handed.  Only around 10% of people worldwide are lefties.

8.  In work news:  Don’t reach for your phone while your husband or wife complains about their boss.  It’s called “phubbing,” a mash-up of “phone” and “snubbing.”  A study found getting phubbed makes us worse at our jobs.

9.  And in music news:  Researchers played people different songs and asked them where they “felt” the music.  Head, heart, and stomach were the most common answers.  The lead author says it shows music isn’t just something we listen to.  Quote, “It’s an experience felt throughout the entire body.”