A dark matter hurricane is slamming into us

980x’Technically, “S1” is a stream of debris from a dwarf galaxy torn apart by the Milky Way’s gravity, passing through space. What S1 is pulling along with it, though, is being described in a far more dramatic way, as “a dark matter hurricane.” Scientists believe this companion stream of dark matter (DM) is hurtling through us right now at a jaw-dropping speed of 500 kilometers a second. Hence the “hurricane” metaphor. Is it time to head down into our quantum storm cellars? Not quite. This is dark matter, after all, material we can’t directly perceive and with which we can’t interact, so no worries. On the other hand, this blast of DM has the potential to afford us our best glimpse yet of the elusive stuff.…’

Via Big Think

How the appendix may play a role in Parkinson’s disease

1245x700Is the appendix a useless organ, an immune system benefactor, a Parkinson’s disease instigator, or all of the above?

’As far back as Darwin, scientists have thought the appendix was a vestigial organ, but opinions have changed in recent years. A new study found that the appendix houses Lewy bodies, abnormal protein deposits that contribute to Parkinson’s disease. Researchers suggest an appendectomy may lower one’s risk of Parkinson’s, while other research suggests the appendix has important roles to play in our immune system.…’

Via Big Think