I’ve heard of deep cuts, but this is ridiculous!
A reasonable question, but not one I’m sure is too easy to get an answer on. When asked about a breakdown during the press conference, Balaram (the chief engineer) said it was “a little bit difficult” to separate out the total cost of any one element, given the integrated/holistic nature of the machine’s development.… Read more
A book like this actually exists. It’s a 2006 sci-fi horror fiction called Natural Selection. The paleoart gave me a panicked flashback.
You’re completely correct. When the seals start doing particle physics, I’ll be the first on it.
Definitely huge for a burrower. Digger perhaps not. The paper mentions previous research said the animals were too large to dig, but Lee et al. counter with ground sloths being diggers. As for burrows, they note “Although mylodontids [ground sloths] were capable of dwelling in underground spaces, it is doubtful that… Read more
But they didn’t give Perseverance a megaphone! Run it back, NASA.
One thing I didn’t get to in this article (but hope to discuss in future coverage of X-57) is that the planes had a few different mods it’s been working through. With each mod, they’re testing some different elements. In Mod II, that involves adding motors piecemeal and testing how they run on the ground.
Thylacine cloning has been a hot topic pretty much since the mid-2000s, to my recollection. The objects of intrigue were a couple of thylacine pups with recoverable genetic material. The genome was officially sequenced back in 2017: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0417-y. Read more
The main reason is their size. Brookesia micra was the previous smallest reptile known, and also hails from Madagascar. Scherz (one of the co-authors of the recent paper) explained a bit about how they look for the lizards in this Twitter thread, with some bonus bits here on the chameleon genitalia. The article’s been… Read more