Dec 16, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Talking Cat, Zombie Cells, Doomsday Glacier and More Mysterious News Briefly — December 15, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — December 15, 2021

The Israeli lab-grown meat company MeaTech 3D claims it grew beef fat and muscle cells in a lab and bioprinted a 3.67 ounce steak -- making it the world’s largest ever lab-grown steak. At 3.67 ounces, that’s more like the world’s largest lab-grown slider.

Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and other geniuses were right – a new study found that humans experience a “creative sweet spot” right before we fall asleep in a sleep phase called N1 or non-rapid-eye movement sleep stage 1 – Edison would hold balls while napping and claimed he had brilliant ideas when they fell and woke him up. His first brilliant idea was to buy a pool table.

A research team at Japan’s Juntendo University says it has developed a vaccine to remove so-called zombie cells that accumulate with age and cause aging-related diseases including arterial stiffening, diabetes and other aging-related diseases. How long before zombies start suing for defamation of character?

Thwaites glacier in western Antarctica is called the Doomsday Glacier because it’s the widest glacier on Earth (80 miles wide and 3,900 feet deep) and its collapse could trigger a cascade of glacial collapse in Antarctica, so it’s worrisome that the latest research shows that event could happen in three years as it is now melting from below as well as above. No, asking everyone to switch to drinking ice coffee won’t help.

The continent may be melting, but NASA is still tracking British explorers Justin Packshaw and Jamie Facer Childs on a 2,268-mile journey across Antarctica to learn more about humanity's ability to survive on Mars. Elon Musk may want to beef up the heaters and add snow tires on his Martian Tesla rovers.

A team of South Korean scientists developed a revolutionary robotic hand called ILDA (integrated linkage-driven dexterous anthropomorphic) which consists of about 20 joints, has 15 degrees of movement, a fingertip force of 34 Newtons (the typical human finger can apply about 47 Newtons) and the ability to grasp objects with appropriate force without crunching or dropping them. Sign of the times – it does fist-bumps instead of handshakes.

A 13-year-old cat in Florida has learned to use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device — a sound board with buttons that trigger the sound of words -- to ‘talk’ to her human … and is now able to ‘say’ and seemingly understand 50 words, but sticks to single words like ‘food’ rather than stringing words together the way dogs using the device do. When told of this, did the cat press the button that says “So?”?

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe recently spent five hours catching rays and collecting data in the sun’s corona, making it the first object made by humans to enter the sun’s atmosphere and live to beam back data about it. For those wondering how it was possible, Parker did this at night. (Cleaning out the old joke file.)

Astronomers who have worked for 20 years on the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope say they’re terrified that something will happen during its launch later this month or on its trip to the far side of the moon that will destroy it and all of their hard work. “Welcome to our world,” said every parent.

A new study, published in the journal Microbial Ecology, found a growing number of microbes that have evolved a plastic-degrading enzyme that allows them to break down and eat specific plastics and alleviate the detrimental effects of anthropogenic pollution. “What could possibly go wrong?” said anyone not sitting in a plastic car, drinking from a plastic water bottle or wearing plastic pants.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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