Female moles grow testicles to fight through their brutal underground existence

If any animal understands the horrors of trench warfare, it has to be the mole. Faced with an enemy, there’s no time for pleasantries. No place to hide. Aggression is all that matters.

To help them fight in this brutal world, evolution has granted the female mole a generous dose of ‘roid rage’ by tacking some testicles onto her ovaries – resulting in a unique bit of anatomy called an ovotestis.

Now, researchers have a better understanding of how this fascinating biological change came about.

“The sexual development of mammals is complex, although we have a reasonably good idea on how this process takes place,” says geneticist Darío Lupiáñez from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics.

“At a certain point, sexual development usually progresses in one direction or another, male or female. We wanted to know how evolution modulates this sequence of developmental events, enabling the intersexual features that

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Scientists find evidence of multiple underground lakes on Mars

Scientists believe they’ve found more evidence confirming the presence of a large reservoir of liquid water under the surface of Mars first discovered back in 2018. In fact, they believe they’ve found three more subsurface saltwater lakes surrounding that main one — a huge discovery, seeing as those lakes are potential habitats for life. As Nature notes in its post about the scientists’ paper, the first finding was met with lot of skepticism because it was only based on 29 observations from 2012 to 2015. This study and its findings were based on 134 observations made between 2012 and 2019.



Mars


Mars

The team used data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft to investigate the planet’s southern polar region. Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding or MARSIS, as the instrument is called, is capable of sending out radio waves that bounce off

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Ancient underground lakes discovered on Mars

This beautiful ESA image of the Martian surface is titled Cappuccino swirls at Mars’ south pole.


ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Bill Dunford

Be sure to pack some arm floaties and a really big drill for when you fly to Mars. There may be a whole world of water-filled ponds hiding beneath the dry and dusty planet’s southern ice cap.

A new study led by researchers at Roma Tre University in Italy strengthens the case for a 2018 discovery of a hidden lake under the Martian polar ice, and then extends the find to include three new ponds. 

The researchers used radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to make its original detection of liquid water. 

“Now, taking into account more data and analyzing it in a different way, three new ponds have been discovered,”

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Could Life Exist On Mars? Scientists Discover Multiple Underground Salty Ponds

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers say they have discovered a group of lakes hidden under Mars’ icy surface
  • This follows the detection of another subsurface lake in the same region in 2018
  • The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or can house microorganisms

A team of Italian scientists discovered a group of three salty ponds beneath Mars’ south pole. The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or at least can house microorganisms. 

The discovery of these ponds raised the possibility that microbial organisms could survive on Mars but the only hindrance was the high amount of salt concentration, which could be keeping the waters frozen, scientists said in a report published on Sept. 28 in Nature Astronomy.   

The discovery of the salty ponds was significant because their locations were close to another lake discovered in 2018. The largest of them

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There might be even more underground reservoirs of liquid water on Mars

Four underground reservoirs of water may be sitting below the south pole of Mars. The new findings, published today in Nature Astronomy, suggest Mars is home to even more deposits of liquid water than once thought.

The background: In 2018, a group of Italian researchers used radar observations made by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to detect a lake of liquid water sitting 1.5 kilometers below the surface of Mars. The lake, which was about 20 kilometers long, was found near the south pole, at the base of an area of thick glacial ice called the South Polar Layered Deposits. Those radar observations were made by an instrument called Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS).

The new study: Two years later, after a new analysis of the complete MARSIS data set (composing over 134 radar collection campaigns), members of that same team have confirmed the

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Finding Martian Microbes Could Require Digging Miles Underground

NASA’s Perseverance rover is flying to Mars as you read this sentence. It will land there in February 2021 and set aside rocks with promising signs of ancient life, for a future mission to pick up for analysis.

But what about current life on Mars? Are microbes embedded in the ice caps? Perhaps they are sheltering in water runoff in some crater? Or, as some scientists suggest, is life buried miles underground — a difficult spot for us to search, at best?

A new study is trying to figure out ways to hunt for life on worlds that have little or no running water at the surface. One easy answer, in theory, is to look to water reserves underground — and we are pretty sure Mars

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