Link About It: This Week’s Picks

5,700-year-old chewing gum, pertinent plant discoveries, 2019's biggest innovations and more inspiration from the web

2019 Plant Discoveries Include a Cancer-Fighting Fungus and More 102 plants and eight fungi were officially named by experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2019 (roughly 2,000 new species are named worldwide every year). Among the roster of the recently identified are a few additions with remarkable attributes, including a bamboo fungus from Yunnan that can fight cancer; a “miracle” berry, from the …

A Nuclear Reactor For The Future

As current nuclear plants grow outdated, researchers, founders, and developers eye the energy source’s inevitable evolution. Most notably, the next generation of nuclear reactors will be smaller—almost 1/100th the size of current models. One specific advancement, named the NuScale reactor, could be grouped in clusters and sealed within some sort of protective container to prevent the spread of nuclear waste should an accident occur. Perhaps …

NASA-Built Autonomous Drone Set to Rove Titan

A mission to send a nuclear-powered, autonomously-operating drone to one of Saturn’s moons will commence in 2026—and the craft, nicknamed Dragonfly, will arrive in Titan’s atmosphere in 2034. Then, the sedan-sized probe will investigate the lower-gravity surface’s dunes, mountains, rivers, and lakes—and report back instantly (though a transmission takes almost two hours from Titan to Earth). Another one of Dragonfly’s tasks will be to create …