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Science Saturday: Space moss, brain repair, butterflies and black hole

Tech It Out


Space moss

Chinese scientists have identified desert moss as a potential pioneer plant for colonization on Mars. This moss, Syntrichia caninervis, can survive extreme desiccation, freezing and intense radiation, showing remarkable resilience in simulated Martian conditions.

The study highlights the moss's potential role in creating self-sufficient habitats on Mars, contributing to oxygen production and soil fertility. While further testing is needed, this research opens new possibilities for space exploration and the future of human habitation on Mars.

Revolution in brain healing

MIT engineers have developed a hair-thin ultrasound device for non-invasive deep brain stimulation. Named "ImPULS," this innovative technology could treat neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease by stimulating neurons without damaging tissue.

In tests on mice, it successfully triggered dopamine release in targeted brain areas. This breakthrough provides a safer, more effective alternative to traditional methods and promises to advance brain research significantly.

Butterfly migration

In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have documented a transatlantic crossing of 4,200 kilometers by butterflies, setting a record for an insect. Researchers tracked painted lady butterflies traveling from Europe to North America, showcasing an astonishing migration feat.

Using radar and weather balloons, the study reveals insights into their navigation and adaptation strategies. It not only expands scientific understanding of butterfly migration but also highlights their resilience in the face of environmental challenges, especially in the context of global climate change.

Discovering the universe

Astronomers have found a new way to measure the spin of a supermassive black hole using the remnants of destroyed stars. By tracking X-ray flashes from tidal disruption events, they determined the spin of a nearby supermassive black hole to be less than 25 percent the speed of light.

This new method offers insights into the evolutionary history of black holes and could help understand how these cosmic giants evolve over time.

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