Water on Mars, Sea Creatures, NFL Concussions

Once more, lots of intriguing stories making the news this week. Here are a few of my favorites.

Once more, lots of intriguing stories making the news this week. Among my favorites:

  • Crater Lake on Mars?  We talked before about evidence for lots of water on Mars eons ago, but this week comes news from NASA about a huge Martian crater that might have been the home of a spring-fed lake. If you’re expecting an Oregon-like experience, well, nevermind. But this one is out of this world…
  • Sea Creatures Love Wood on the Sea Floor. Forget tires. It’s the wood they love! A new study shows that old logs dumped into the sea soon become a haven for microorganisms and invertebrates.
Sea creatures creeping in their new home: underwater wood. © Christina Bienhold, MPI for Marine Microbiology
The left images show normal brain scans and middle and right images show scans of pro football players from the study. The green and red colors demonstrate the higher level of tau protein found in the brain. Note the higher levels (more red and green) in the players’ scans. Scans of the players in the study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry reflect differing levels of tau protein and follow a pattern of progression similar to the tau deposits that have been observed at autopsy in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) cases. Credit: UCLA

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About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.