When it comes to the world of science, discoveries and breakthroughs are made every day. To help you keep up with them, The Battalion compiles a few of the most compelling scientific stories from the past week.
Technology: T-Mobile and Sprint look to combine in all-stock merger
T-Mobile and Sprint announced that they will look into an all stock transaction in order to merge. The combined company, to be named T-Mobile, represent an approximate value of $146 billion and T-Mobile’s current CEO, John Legere, will remain in the position after the merger.
T-Mobile said in a press release the combination will help create thousands of American jobs and boost economic grown with a planned investment of $40 billion in business and a next-generation 5G network. The companies will present the merger to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division to see if the merger can be continued or be blocked due to it being anti-competitive for business.
Neuroscience: Non-invasive spinal stimulation method enables usage of hands
A UCLA-led team of scientists reported that six people with spinal cord injuries, three of them completely paralyzed, have regained use of hands for the first time in years. The development comes from a non-surgical, non-invasive spinal stimulation procedure the researchers developed. Through eight researcher-led training sessions, the six individuals were all able to improve their grip strength and perform tasks including twisting a cap off a water bottle and moving their fingers.
The participants also saw benefits in other aspects of their health such as improved blood pressure, bladder function and the ability to sit upright without support. The researchers placed electrodes to stimulate the circuitry of the spinal cord, which applied various frequencies and intensities to specific locations on the spinal cord. Two of the six participants returned after the training ended and maintained their grip strength while the other four did not return to the laboratory. The research team is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the device so clinics can use it in future programs.
Astronomy: A dozen wandering supermassive black holes may be scattered in the Milky Way due to previous mergers with other galaxies
According to a new study, wandering supermassive black holes could be within some galaxies, including the Milky Way. Some black holes do not move and stay in one place, but others can be moved from the center of its host galaxy. When a galactic merger happens, the smaller galaxy’s supermassive black hole can be thrown into a wide orbit around a newly formed galaxy and become a wandering black hole.
To carry out the study, the researchers used a cosmological simulation called ROMULUS25. The simulation used a supercomputer to model how billions of particles evolve over time and studied over 15,000 cubic Megaparsecs, or about 45 billion light years, of structures of galaxies and dwarf galaxies to capture the orbits of black holes. The study showed a galaxy the size of the Milky Way has over a dozen supermassive black holes that roam around the galaxy.