Ancient Asteroid Samples Are the Oldest and Most Pristine Ever Seen

Plus: Living skin for robots, a turtle formerly thought to be extinct, marine life deep beneath Antarctica, the ins and outs of sleep paralysis and much more! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
CNET Science

Hi friends!

Hope your Mondays were terrific and Tuesdays are gearing up to be even better. Ha, okay you’re right that sounds like a quote you’d find on the walls of a random gift shop. Apologies for taking away some Tuesday points already.

But I have two turtles that’ll make it all better. One is a sweet little rare baby albino turtle that can fit in the palm of your hand and the other is named Fernanda. The headline here is that Fernanda’s lineage is, in fact, not extinct. She’s the first of her species identified in over a century, putting to rest claims that her ancestors were lost to time.

And to lift your spirits even more, our top story linked above is a story about the awesome initial analysis of samples from a 4.6 billion year old asteroid. After Japanese space agency members took a look at these legitimately precious rocks, they realized that they’re in the presence of some of the oldest materials ever recovered from space. I can only imagine it was like opening a treasure chest hiding a portal to the ancient universe.

It’s a long one, but you will not regret the butterflies you feel while reading it.

Attached below, you’ll find a really fascinating, first-hand description of what sleep paralysis feels like and the science behind why it happens to some people. “If your sleeping brain is like an orchestra,” one researcher said, “then sleep paralysis is like the conductor waving the baton to stop the music -- but one person misses the cue and keeps playing.” The human mind never ceases to amaze me.

We’ve also got the scoop on a wealth of marine life found deep below the Antarctic continent. Far deeper, and much more isolated, than you’d expect life to lurk. This is huge because, well, some exoplanets have thick sheets of ice we’re yet to drill beneath. Could life be hanging out there as well?

And this week, I’ll be taking a pause from answering questions and thought I’d ask you one of my own.

There’s been a ton of discussion recently about news of a Google employee claiming the company made a sentient AI (you can read about this on our site, linked here, to catch yourself up). Given the fact we’re seeing tons of robotic and AI updates in general, like this one where scientists built “living skin,” to cover robots with, do you think a (far) future, sentient AI would be a bad thing…or an overall positive for our society?

That’s all from me!

Whenever you like, send science questions, thoughts, comments, chats, space-based worries, philosophical ponderings to my email or message me on Twitter! And if you're enjoying this column, please do forward it to your friends!

Enim scientia et astra!

Monisha Ravisetti Monisha Ravisetti
Science Writer, CNET
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