How scientists revived cells from dead pigs

All over the world there are so-called blue zones, where people lead exceptionally long and healthy lives. Scientists are studying these “lands of the immortals” to uncover the mysteries of longevity.

We may not have discovered the healing waters of the Fountain of Youth, but one of the breakthroughs in this week’s newsletter shatters our knowledge of life and death.

Cutting-edge research in pigs shows that cell death is not instantaneous.

In fact, it’s a complex biological process – a bit like a cascade of dominoes – that can potentially be stopped.

Yale University scientists revived the cells and organs of pigs that had been dead for an hour with a synthetic blood treatment.

The results amazed the researchers involved in the project. Look at the pig cells shown on the right in side-by-side comparison above, resuscitated by the OrganEx system, a new technology they developed.

However, the goal isn’t to magically bring animals back to life, but to widen the window for much-needed human organ transplants.

force of nature

The massive eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga in January defied easy explanation and never ceased to surprise the scientists who continue to do so learn it.

It produced an unexpected type of tsunami, a sonic boom that could be heard as far away as Alaska, gale-force winds in space, and unusual pressure waves.

Now, thanks to NASA satellite detections, we know that the volcano ejected such a large amount of water vapor high into the atmosphere that it is likely to temporarily warm the Earth’s surface.

Including the plume of steam that the eruption sent into the stratosphere – which is between 8 and 33 miles (12 and 53 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface enough water to fill 58,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Fantastic creatures

The Monito del Monte overwinters in communal groups of four to eight individuals.

That NASA’s Artemis mission isn’t just about returning to the moon—it’s part of the preparations for a bolder plan to go to Mars.

How the astronauts will begin the year-long journey to the Red Planet is uncertain. One idea is to hibernate astronauts, and a tiny, mouse-like creature living in the Patagonian forest may hold a key to this approach.

As soon as the weather gets cold, the Monito del Monte with the beetle eyes builds a mossy nest in a tree hollow. There, the tiny marsupial enters a physiological state called torpor, and his heart rate drops from 200 beats per minute to two or three beats per minute. During this inactive period, the animal conserves energy by taking a breath every three minutes.

Understanding how it almost halts its metabolism and wakes up weeks later unharmed could help scientists devise a plan for human hibernation on long-range space missions.
Learn more about the monitor on Sunday’s episode of CNN documentaries, Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Each new episode of the six-part series will be available on CNNgo the day after it airs on television. You can also access CNNgo through our CNN app.

through the universe

Walking on Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid, would be a bit like wading through a ball pit, NASA scientists have found.

Images and data from the agency’s OSIRIS-REx mission showed that the asteroid’s exterior is made up of loosely packed particles that are not securely bound together.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which successfully collected a sample from the asteroid in 2020, encountered little resistance as it landed — about as much as someone might feel when pressing the plunger of a French coffee maker.

If the spacecraft hadn’t fired its thruster to retreat after the rapid accumulation of dust and rocks, it might have sunk straight into the asteroid. It’s just the latest unexpected discovery about Bennu as OSIRIS-REx and the precious sample make their way to Earth.

Mysteries of the Ocean

The Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas carried a treasure trove of jewellery, pendants and coins.

Coins and priceless jewels that once belonged to seafaring knights are among the treasures recently discovered on a Spanish shipwreck.

The Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas (or Our Lady of Wonders) sank in 1656 after colliding with another boat in her fleet and crashing into a coral reef off the Bahamas.

The 891-ton vessel was transporting a vast treasure, some reserved for King Philip IV as a royal tax, from Cuba to Seville, Spain.

The cache was more significant than usual as the Maravillas had also transported treasure salvaged from a ship that had sunk two years earlier.

discoveries

Escape to worlds beyond your own with these stories:

— A paleontologist found an extremely cool fossil in his backyard. It turns everything we know about the early Americans on its head.
— Caves provided shelter for Earth’s earliest human inhabitants. Similar formations on the moon could offer pioneering astronauts a safe haven on the moon.
— The James Webb Space Telescope captured a stunning image of a strange, cartwheel-shaped galaxy.

Like what you read? Oh, but there’s more. Sign up here to get the next issue of Wonder Theory from CNN Space and Science Writers in your inbox Ashley Strickland and Katie HuntFinding wonders on planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from antiquity.

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