10/09/2015

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

11:56 minutes

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
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

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.

Segment Guests

Rachel Feltman

Rachel Feltman is Science Editor at Popular Science in New York, New York.

David Leffell

David Leffell is the David P. Smith Professor of Dermatology and section chief in Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Meet the Producer

About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is a newscast host and producer at Texas Standard, a daily news show broadcast by KUT in Austin, Texas. She was formerly Science Friday’s production assistant.