Thursday in science, possible advances in cancer diagnosis, weighing black holes, shocking photos from space and good news for a breed of penguins. Check out these and other headlines from around the Web.
How Heavy Is That Black Hole?: Concerned about the weight of black holes? ScienceNews.org reports that astrophysicists associated with the European Southern Observatory have developed a new technique to more accurately measure the masses of supermassive black holes.
A New Cancer Test?: Invasive tests to diagnose cancer could soon be a thing of the past, Scientific American reports. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have been looking at whether RNA fragments, called exosomes, which are shed from cancer tumor cells and can be detected in cerebral spinal fluid, blood and urine, can be analyzed to diagnose cancer types and evaluate the disease's progression.
False Claims About Flu Relief: Flu sufferers are often desperate for relief, but the Food and Drug Administration is warning that scams abound. USA Today reports that the F.D.A. issued a warning letter about one flu-relief product, GermBullet, accusing its manufacturers of making a "false and misleading promotional statement" by claiming the substance reduces bacteria and viruses.
Tainted Steroids Law Suits: The first lawsuit has been filed in Nashville against a clinic where hundreds of people received spinal injections of a tainted steroid that caused meningitis and other side effects in 693 people nationwide and 45 deaths as of Monday. The Tennessean said that Wayne Reed, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and was being cared for by his wife, Diana Reed, is suing the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center and its owners, seeking $12.5 million in damages for Diana's death from fungal meningitis. Denise Grady wrote about the family in October.
More Baby Penguins: There's been a baby boom among white-flippered penguins ever since a farming couple in New Zealand turned much of their land into a safe haven for the birds, Scientific American reports. The birds, also known as korora, have nearly doubled their population in the last decade, and credit is being given to the farmers Francis and Shireen Helps.
The Storm From Above: And while strong winds and heavy rains were jolting many people across the eastern United States out of their sleep Wednesday night, a satellite was snapping images of the lightning flashes from the storm. The cool photos were published on LiveScience.
Science With a Side of Fries: Finally, science is alive and well, perhaps at your local bar or restaurant, where Americans are more frequently gathering to hear or join in scientific talks. As Reuters reported on Wednesday: "Want a beer with that biology? Or perhaps a burger with the works to complement the theory of everything?"
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.