Science News! Let’s take a look at some of the important developments in science this week…
First, scientists have discovered that Antarctic fungi can survive conditions similar to those on Mars. Fungi gathered from Antarctic rocks were taken aboard the International Space Station and after 18 months of being exposed to atmospheric conditions, pressure, and UV radiation similar to that of Mars, more than 60% of the fungal cells had survived with high DNA stability. Read more from Phys.org here.
Second, scientists have found a planet that is orbiting 600 Billion miles from its host star, 175 times farther than Pluto is from our sun. This makes the solar system in which the planet orbits the largest yet found. The planet is a gas giant, about 12 to 15 times the size of Jupiter, and was previously thought to be a rogue planet orbiting freely through space. Read more from Scientific American here.
Third, scientists have experimented with mice and found that a mouse can be male without having a Y chromosome. By manipulating genes on the X chromosome and another chromosome the scientists were able to create mice without a Y chromosome that produced immature sperm. When this immature sperm was artificially placed into a female mouse, offspring were successfully produced. This seems to show that the Y chromosome is not an absolutely necessary aspect of maleness. Read more from Science News.org here.