Winning Science November 20, 2013

First up this week, NASA has discovered life! Rather unfortunately for them, it’s in their clean rooms. The same bacteria was also found two years earlier in a European Space Agency clean room. This new strain of bacteria is capable of surviving the multiple sterilization methods used by NASA and most other space-faring nations. Not only is this stuff sturdy, it is so different from anything else ever seen that it justifies giving it a completely new genus, not just determining it to be a new species.

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At least NASA is finding new life forms, even if it is in their clean rooms. Maybe we should just move the clean rooms to Mars and claim victory.

Turns out that our primitive ancestors got around quite a bit. A mapping of ancient genomes shows that there was some cross breeding between Nethanderthals, Denisovans, and another, as of yet unidentified, primitive human ancestor. Various racial groups obtained different amounts DNA from this new source. Most groups from outside Africa have ~2%, while some of those living in Australia and New Zealand have as high as 4%.

Thanks to Gary Larson this is how I always picture cavemen.

Thanks to Gary Larson this is how I always picture cavemen.

It’s a little depressing to know that my primitive ancestors were way better at picking up women than I am.

Graphene is a fantastic material that has been around for about ten years, but only recently have we begun to realize its true potential. The material is both super strong and more conductive than copper. This is one of those materials that, like plastics, has the potential to revolutionize our whole world and these are just a few possibilities.

This is just one of the things Graphene can prevent.

This is just one of the things Graphene can prevent.

My personal favorite didn’t make that particular list.

I’m a huge proponent of people taking jobs in the sciences. While everyone doesn’t need to be a scientist, I do believe that we need more people going into these fields to help propel us into the kind of future in which we all wish to live. Having said that, not all jobs in science are nice, clean jobs that only require sitting in a lab. As Popular Science shows us, there are many science jobs that are not for those with a weak stomach.

There is far too much science that revolves around poop.

There is far too much science that revolves around poop.

They’ve also thrown in a few awesome ones, just to tease us.

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