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Coacervate droplets (CDs) are a model for protocells formed by liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), but protocell models able to proliferate remain undeveloped. Here, the authors report a proliferating peptide-based CD using synthesised amino acid thioesters as monomers, which could concentrate RNA and lipids, enabling RNA to protect the droplet from dissolution by lipids.

Visible light is extremely important in nature. Seen by the human eye, it is the most intense light emitted by the sun to reach the earth’s surface and is an essential element for fundamental biological processes underlying life. However, it is difficult to generate coherent visible light, like the light of a laser, that is intense for a short amount of time, in the order of the femtosecond.

A research team, directed by Professor Luca Razzari of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), has successfully achieved this goal without using a complicated system. The results of their work were recently published in Nature Photonics.

What if aliens have passed beyond the biological stage and resemble artificial intelligence more than they resemble any expected living thing.

Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford.

One of the deepest realizations of the scientific understanding of the world that emerged in the 18th and 19th century is that the world is changing, that it has been radically different in the past, that it can be radically different in the future, and that such changes could spell the end of humanity as we know it. An added twist arrived in the 20th century: we could ourselves be the cause of our demise. In the late 20th century an interdisciplinary field studying global catastrophic and existential risks emerged, driven by philosophical concern about the moral weight of such risks and the realization that many such risks show important commonalities that may allow us as a species to mitigate them. For example, much of the total harm from nuclear wars, supervolcanic eruptions, meteor impacts and some biological risks comes from global agricultural collapse. This talk is going to be an overview of the world of low-probability, high-impact risks and their overlap with questions of complexity in the systems generating or responding to them. Understanding their complex dynamics may be a way of mitigating them and ensuring a happier future.

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Scientists at Rice University have created a material that will protect steel from corrosion. In fact, it will also be flexible and heal itself when damaged.

This material will be used as a coating and is made from a lightweight sulfur-selenium alloy. It will be able to block moisture and chlorine-like zinc-and chromium-based coatings, protect steel under seawater-like conditions like polymer-based coatings, keep it from microbe-induced corrosion.

The experiments carried out before the results comprised putting small slabs of common mild steel coated with sulfur-selenium alloy in seawater for a month, along with an uncoated slab of steel as a control. The coated steel did not oxidize.

Title: A data analysis of the first hermetic seal of SAM–a hi-fidelity, hybrid physicochemical and bioregenerative human habitat analog at the Biosphere 2

Track Code: AM-8

SAM is a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars. This hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed habitat analog and research center is composed of a living quarters for four crew, workshop, dual airlocks, and greenhouse with temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide level controls. SAM incorporates a half acre indoor/outdoor Mars yard with scaled crater, synthetic lava tube, and gravity offset rig for use in sealed pressure suits. SAM leverages the world class expertise and facilities at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC). As with other analogs, SAM welcomes research teams from around the world in an effort to inform near-future, long-duration human habitation of the Moon and Mars. With the close of June 2,021 a six months refurbishing of the 1987 prototype for the Biosphere 2 Test Module was completed. A crew of five were sealed inside for four hours. This was the first hermetic seal of this iconic vessel in three decades. The paper summarizes the data and findings pertaining to this closure, with review of the internal atmospheric pressure, CO2, O2, humidity and temperature data, including the effect of activation of a CO2 scrubber built by Paragon SDC for NASA.

From the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, held as a Virtual Convention worldwide on the Internet from October 14–17, 2021. The four-day International Mars Society Convention, held every year since 1,998 brings together leading scientists, engineers, aerospace industry representatives, government policymakers and journalists to talk about the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could help pave the way for a human mission to the planet Mars.

Conference Papers and some presentations will be available on

For more information on the Mars Society, visit our website at

As a robotics engineer, Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, gets her inspiration from biological systems. The collective behaviors of ants, honeybees and birds to solve problems and overcome obstacles is something researchers have developed in aerial and underwater robotics. Developing small-scale swarm robots with the capability to traverse complex terrain, however, comes with a unique set of challenges.

In research published in Science Robotics, Ozkan-Aydin presents how she was able to build multi-legged robots capable of maneuvering in challenging environments and accomplishing collectively, mimicking their natural-world counterparts.

“Legged robots can navigate challenging environments such as rough terrain and tight spaces, and the use of limbs offers effective body support, enables rapid maneuverability and facilitates obstacle crossing,” Ozkan-Aydin said. “However, legged robots face unique mobility challenges in terrestrial environments, which results in reduced locomotor performance.”

“If you accept that meaning is something that emerges from sufficiently complex biological machines, then the only place those machines might exist is here; then it’s correct to say that if this planet weren’t here, we’d live in a meaningless galaxy. That’s different to life. There’s a difference between life and intelligent life.”

Unique events that led to civilisation mean its demise could ‘eliminate meaning in galaxy for ever’.