What We’re Reading: Year-end Wraps, Interstellar Space and Magnified Mushroom Mold

BY Jenny Marder  December 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM EST

Biochemist Photo-Fiddler

mushroommold.jpgHere’s a fun, visual story on a GlaxoSmithKline biochemist who, in his spare time, used small mirrors, PVC pipes and an old computer hard drive to design a specialized camera that snaps photos of insects in flight. His photographs also include magnified mold on a forgotten raspberry and paint, mid-splash. (Cristina Luiggi, The Scientist)

Science Magazine’s Insights of the Decade

Science Insights.jpgYou need to register for this one, but it’s a must read. Science News identifies their top 10 discoveries of the last decade. What you’ll get in return (spoiler alert!) is a great primer on junk DNA, dark matter, exoplanets, reprogramming cells and sequencing fossil DNA, to name a few. (Science News Staff, Science Magazine)

Voyager I Spacecraft Arrives at the Cusp of Interstellar Space

Voyager.jpg33 years after the launch of the two Voyager spacecraft, Voyager I is now 10.8 billion miles from earth, and the windspeed surrounding it has dropped to zero. This article explains why this is happening, and why it might be reaching the edge of the solar system and entering interstellar space years earlier than expected. (Harvey Leifert, Scientific American)

Nature’s Images of the Year

Nature.jpgIn the spirit of end-of-the-year wraps, here are Nature’s favorite images. Photos include a heartwrenching shot of a brown pelican smothered in oil, a peanut-shaped comet captured in a recent fly-by and a fantastically preserved 165 million-year-old spider fossil. (Richard Van Noorden, Nature News)