Life Beyond Earth, Cutting-Edge Tech & Wisdom for Growth

Exploring the boundaries of life's resilience, lichens on the International Space Station demonstrate the remarkable adaptability of organisms in the harshness of space, setting a fascinating precedent for astrobiology and beyond

Life Beyond Earth, Cutting-Edge Tech & Wisdom for Growth

This week's edition of 3-in-3 unveils the astonishing endurance of life in the vacuum of space, spotlighting lichens' survival on the International Space Station, cutting-edge technological advancements and sage advice for personal growth...

Thing 1 - The Ultimate Space Test: Lichens Proving Life's Resilience

Tough little organisms, called lichens, spent a whole year and a half on the outside of the International Space Station and... lived!

International Space Station. Photo: NASA

Out in the space, with no air. It's super cold or super hot. And you're blasted by the sun's rays and cosmic radiation. A nightmare!
But these lichens? They kept on doing their thing, turning sunlight into food through photosynthesis, like nothing was wrong.

Lichen thallus. Photo: Vitaly Charny/CC BY-SA 4.0

They are a composite organism consisting of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner. They can handle radiation levels over 12,000 times what we can take, and still keep on going. Although it can mess with their ability to reproduce... whoops!

Meanwhile, bacteria that tried to pull off the same stunt didn't make it. It's so wild that some scientists even think life on Earth or other planets might have started with lichens hitching rides on space rocks like meteorites or comets.

What this can be used for

  • Understanding interplanetary transfer of life
  • Development of radiation-resistant materials
  • Astrobiology research
  • Biological experiments in space

(source 1, source 2, source 3)

Thing 2 - Tech of the week

Screenshot from Apple's website
  • Neuralink implanted first brain chip in a human patient and the patient is recovering well.
Screenshot from Neuralink's website

Their first product is called Telepathy. It enables the user to control a phone or a computer just by thinking about it.

  • Meta released CodeLlama-70B (and Python, and Instruct) models - the most performant version of their LLM for code generation to date
  • Mistral CEO confirms their new open source AI model nearing GPT-4 performance
  • Stable Video Diffusion 1.1 released - Image-to-Video model
  • LlamaBot - open-source Discord bot learns from your conversations and answers questions from the entire server

Thing 3 - Simple formula for growing your mind

I love this quote from Orange Book:

Growing your mind is a simple process:

1) Keep learning from smarter people who make you feel a bit stupid

2) Keep reading difficult books that make you question your own intelligence

3) Keep hanging out with ambitious people who make you feel like you could try much harder

- Orange Book

It encapsulates everything, helps you recognize which obstacle is the way and provides inspiration to persist. Gold 👌

Cheers, Zvonimir