Pluto’s Haze, a Michigan Mammoth, and Antioxidants and Skin Cancer


Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). Image by NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

On today’s Science Friday, It’s blue skies ahead for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. Washington Post reporter Rachel Feltman explains what scientists are learning from new pictures of Pluto, including the first color images of the dwarf planet’s azure atmospheric hazes. She also discusses how blue whales subsist on shrimp and the shocking discovery of a woolly mammoth skeleton in Michigan as part of our weekly roundup of selected short subjects in science.

Plus, a new study in Science Translational Medicine finds that—contrary to popular belief—antioxidants might not be beneficial when it comes to the treatment of skin cancer. Specifically, researchers found “that some common antioxidants increase the rate of melanoma cell migration and invasion […] in a mouse model.” David Leffell, the section chief of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology at the Yale School of Medicine, talks about the good and bad of antioxidants when it comes to protecting against and combating skin cancer.

Produced by Becky Fogel, Production Assistant.