The Biosphere 2 Experiment

On this day in 1991 eight people entered the Biosphere 2 and would remain inside for two years. The system was designed to be a self sufficient replica of the Earth itself and had an artificial rain forest, ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah, fog desert, agricultural system, and human habitat. Testing did not go well and many issues arose including inadequate food and oxygen, die offs of animals and plants, and squabbling among the participants.

The University of Arizona now owns the structure and it continues to be used for research despite its past failures. Testing of such enclosed systems could be useful in learning how humans could live on other planets and recreate an earth-like environment for habitation, as well as testing how different factors may effect earth’s ecosystems without harming the systems themselves.

Would you consider living in a biosphere for an extended period of time?

The Biosphere 2
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Science Quote – Louis Pasteur on Knowledge as the Torch which Illuminates the World

Spread knowledge, illuminate the world!

Louis Pasteur Quote on Science and Knowledge as the Torch which Illuminates the World | Created by Punk Rock Scientist - Science T-Shirts
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New John Oliver Video on Science!

“Science is by its nature imperfect, but it is hugely important and it deserves better than to be twisted out of proportion and turned into morning show gossip.” A hilarious but informative new talk by John Oliver on how science is misrepresented and sensationalized. Check it out –> https://youtu.be/0Rnq1NpHdmw

john oliver science

Science News – January 30th, 2016

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.

Those are just a few of the exciting things going on in the world of science this week. Have you heard about any other interesting science news lately? Leave a comment and let us know!

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