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Slice of Science

The first photo of a black hole and measuring anxiety in the brain... From 13 until 22 May we're serving a free slice of science with your pizza.

Black hole

Astronomers have taken the first photo of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. The black hole is 55 m light years from the earth and its mass is 6.5 b times that of the earth. The researchers captured the image with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a global network of eight radio telescopes, which together form a virtual telescope the size of the earth. Read the full news item here.

The first photo of the black hole (c) EHT Collaboration

Horror

Anxious people tend to avoid threatening situations. For instance, they rapidly look away if they see an image of a serious injury. New research has shown that alongside questionnaires, EEG recordings can be used to screen for anxiety – at least indirectly. An EEG makes brain activity visible, and the avoidance response of the anxious people could be seen in their EEGs. Read the full news item here

Fat

Brown fat plays a role in metabolism and thus in weight loss and gain. Unlike the ‘regular’ white fat cells in the body, brown fat cells don’t store fat but burn it instead to generate heat. People with more or more active brown fat are slimmer on average.

Trump

Why can’t President Trump be called a protest president? Although it may be true that many ‘angry’ Americans voted for Trump, this doesn’t make him a protest president, says university lecturer Sara Polak. Trump is an antagonistic president who surrounds himself with revolutionaries. And that is unique. Polak talks about this in her lecture at the University of the Netherlands.

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