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(Mad) science: preserved mammoths, super-vision, life on Mars, and brainlets-in-jars September 4, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“An expedition led by Russian scientists earlier this month uncovered the well-preserved carcass of a female mammoth on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. […] But what was more surprising was that the carcass was so well preserved that it still had blood and muscle tissue.”

Found: a woman who has the inverse of color-blindness, a functioning extra cone that allows her to distinguish more colors than the average human. By a factor of 100.

Organoid310“Using molecular markers tuned to specific parts of the brain, Lancaster showed that the organoids develop a variety of distinctive zones that correspond to human brain regions like the prefrontal cortex, occipital lobe, hippocampus, and retina. They also included working neurons, which were produced in the right way.” These are lab-grown, human-stem-cell-derived mini-brainlets-in-a-jar.

“The difference between us and the people we were trying to serve: they probably had less food than we did. We were starving under the best possible medical conditions. And most of all, we knew the exact day on which our torture was going to end.”

“We don’t even have to speculate to see the impacts. The report notes that dozens of weather events in recent years have shown how vulnerable the energy sector is to even a moderately hotter climate (the United States has warmed about 1.5°F over the past century).”

Interactive tracker for the Mars Curiosity mission one year in, including a timeline and a ton of photos.

Speaking of the red planet, oxidized molybdenum levels suggest that the microbes whose heirs are all the life on Earth might have originated on Mars.

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