Discovered: The temperature at which Greenland's ice sheet will disappear, a case for circumcision, a very precise 3-D printing technique, and the world's tallest man will not grow any taller.
- This is the temperature at which Greenland's ice sheet will completely melt. We already knew everything was melting all over the place, but this newest stat makes it sound even worse. If the planet warms another 1.6 Celsius degrees, Greenland's ice sheet will disappear, finds new research. American readers, Remember: Celsius degrees represent a bigger chunk of warmth than Fahrenheit ones. "This is not what one would call a rapid collapse," says researcher Alexander Robinson. But it still doesn't look good for the giant block of ice. "However, compared to what has happened in our planet's history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold," he continues. At best, according to his research, we have 3.8 degrees and at very worst we only have 0.8. "The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts," says. Prepare for a wet future. [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research]
- A case for circumcision. Considering this ritual involves cutting off part of a penis, it needs a case -- some don't quite believe the whole thing is necessary. Well, science has one for the pro-circumcision crowd: Snipping the tip has been linked to lower prostate cancer risk. Circumcision has also been associated with lower HIV and HPV risk. So, sounds like the way to go, no? "I would not go out and advocate for widespread circumcision to prevent prostate cancer," said researcher Jonathan L. Wright. But, some might argue, better be safe (and foreskinless) than sorry. [Reuters]
- A very precise, fast 3-D printing technique. Using liquid resin and a laser beam, this two-photon lithography technique makes 3D prints with nano precision faster and better than anything before. ulptures as tiny as a grain of sand. "Until now, this technique used to be quite slow," says Professor Jürgen Stampfl. "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second -- our device can do five meters in one second." This technique gets it done in world record time. And, It looks cool, as you can see below. [Vienna University of Technology]
- The world's tallest man will not grow any taller. Having already made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, the 8-foot-3 inch Sultan Kosen of Turkey doesn't have to grow anymore. This isn't all about competition, though. Kosen has acromegaly, an illness that causes excessive growth and can lead to death, if not treated properly. "His skeleton just can't support him," explains Dr. Mary Lee Vance. But, with a new hormone treatment, doctors were able to stop the growth. "The treatments that we provided at the University of Virginia have stopped the production of his excess growth hormone and stopped the growth of the tumor itself," adds Dr. Jason Sheehan. [UVA]