This week in science | 11 March 2017

US passes an act requiring NASA to get humans to mars by 2033

Both chambers of Congress just passed the NASA Authorization Act of 2017. With this transformative development, the space agency got a lot more than just $19.508 billion in funding. They also got a very clear mandate: Get humanity to Mars.

Reference: Congress US government

Scientists Have Grown the First Synthetic Self-Developing Embryo

  • A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge were able to synthesize mice embryos outside the womb.
  • Currently, 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but this research could help that number shrink. Reference: Jouranal Science

Researchers developed a new technique that can regenerate bone and blood vessels

A research team from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago just repaired a hole in the skull of a mouse by regrowing “quality bone.” This breakthrough could render bone-grafting techniques obsolete, drastically improving the outcomes of people with severe skull or facial bone trauma. Reference: Plos One

An entire house Was 3D Printed in Only 24 Hours and for Just $10,000

  • A 38-square-meter (409-square-foot) house was 3D printed in 24 hours for a total cost of $10,000.
  • Apis Cor., the Russian company that constructed the house, says that a simpler house could cost only $223 per square meter. Reference: Apis Cor

Scientists showed it is possible to grow potatoes in mars like conditions

  • Researchers were able to grow potatoes in an environment that simulated the radiation, temperature, air pressure, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels of Mars.
  • Not only could this information be useful in feeding the first Martian colonists, it could also help alleviate hunger here on Earth, where 1 in 9 people is chronically undernourished.

Reference: Read here

An AI Completed 360,000 Hours of Finance Work in Just Seconds

JP Morgan Chase & Co. is the biggest bank in the United States. It is one of the largest employers in the American banking sector, with more than 240,000 employees serving millions of customers. Some of those employees are lawyers and loan officers who spend a total of 360,000 hours each year tackling a slew of rather mundane tasks, such as interpreting commercial-loan agreements. Now, the company has managed to cut the time spent on this work down to a matter of seconds using machine learning.

Reference: BloomBerg

Researchers have created a new form of matter called a supersolid that combines properties of solids and fluids

  • MIT researchers have created a new form of matter called a supersolid that is seemingly a contradiction.
  • The supersolid combines properties of solids and fluids with zero viscosity, and could be key to improved efficient energy transport. Reference: Nature