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Mars may have hosted life BEFORE Earth

Scientists have readjusted the timeline of the formative years on Mars and claim the red planet could have been home to life before Earth was habitable, according to Daily Mail.

A study has tweaked the timings of when the cratered surface stopped being bombarded with meteorites and says life may have developed between 4.2 billion and 3.5 billion years ago.

This, the authors claim, predates when Earth became a thriving oasis by around 500 million years.

Scientists observe neural activity in lab-grown mini-BRAINS

Scientists in Japan have created mini-brains with functional neural networks.

These so-called mini brains, known more formally as cerebral organoids, may not be conscious, but their use in the lab could provide key insight to the processes by which information is encoded, scientists say.

The organoids are essentially a simplified version of the human brain which have been grown artificially using 3D tissue cultures, according to Daily Mail.

They lack more supporting structures such as blood vessels and the surrounding tissues, and cannot ‘think.’

But, they’re still capable of some basic neural activity, the researchers say.

NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life

Mars, it appears, is belching a large amount of a gas that could be a sign of microbes living on the planet today.

In a measurement taken on Wednesday, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air, a gas that on Earth is usually produced by living things. The data arrived back on Earth on Thursday, and by Friday, scientists working on the mission were excitedly discussing the news, which has not yet been announced by NASA.

Two new Earth-like planets discovered near Teegarden's Star

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has discovered two new Earth-like planets near one of our closest neighboring stars. "Teegarden's star" is only about 12.5 light years away from Earth and is one of the smallest known stars. It is only about 2,700 °C warm and about ten times lighter than the Sun. Although it is so close to us, the star wasn't discovered until 2003. The scientists observed the star for about three years, according to Science Daily.

Their data clearly show the existence of two planets. "The two planets resemble the inner planets of our solar system," explains lead author Mathias Zechmeister of the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Göttingen.

Search for Advanced Life in Universe Narrowed Down

Traditionally, much of the search for extraterrestrial life has focused on what scientists call the "habitable zone," defined as the range of distances from a star warm enough that liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. That description works for basic, single-celled microbes—but not for complex creatures like animals, which include everything from simple sponges to humans.

The team's work, published in The Astrophysical Journal, shows that accounting for predicted levels of certain toxic gases narrows the safe zone for complex life by at least half—and in some instances eliminates it altogether.

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