Moon ‘shrooms? Fungi eyed to help build lunar bases and Mars outposts

Fungus could be very much among us when humanity sets up shop on the moon and beyond.

NASA researchers are investigating the potential of mycelia — the mass of nutrient-absorbing, widely branching underground threads that make up much of a fungus’s bulk — to help construct outposts on the moon and Mars.

“Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle — carrying our homes with us on our backs,” project principal investigator Lynn Rothschild, of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, said in a statement.

This is “a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,” she added in a NASA statement. “Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there.”

Video: How fungus among us could build moon bases  

Rothschild and her team are conducting their research with the aid of funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, which seeks to encourage the development of potentially game-changing exploration technologies.

And the myco-architecture project could indeed be game-changing, if everything works out. (There’s certainly no guarantee that it will, however; the project is in the early stages.)

“Ultimately, the project envisions a future where human explorers can bring a compact habitat built out of a lightweight material with dormant fungi that will last on long journeys to places like Mars,” NASA officials wrote in the same statement. “Upon arrival, by unfolding that basic structure and simply adding water, the fungi will be able to grow around that framework into a fully functional human habitat — all while being safely contained within the habitat to avoid contaminating the Martian environment.”

A researcher holding a petri dish containing mycelia — the underground threads that make up the main part of a fungus — growing in simulated Martian soil. (Image credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Lynn Rothschild)

There could be many different manifestations of off-Earth “mush-rooms.” For example, one habitat concept would consist of three layers, NASA officials explained. On top would be water ice, which may be sourced locally. (Both the moon and Mars are known to harbor the stuff.) The ice would shield the habitat’s human occupants from harmful radiation and would also provide resources to the tiny denizens of the middle layer — photosynthesizing microbes called cyanobacteria. These creatures would produce oxygen for the astronauts and nutrients for the fungal mycelia, the chief constituent of the bottom layer.

That basal layer provides the main structure of the habitat. The mycelia that make it up would be heavily processed, baked into sturdy bricks. This would kill the fungus, ensuring that none could escape and proliferate in the alien wilds. But as a second safeguard, any fungi used in this manner would be genetically altered to make them incapable of surviving beyond the base, NASA officials said.

The mycelia could do more than just serve as walls and ceilings, however. Fungi could also help filter water for off-Earth pioneers and extract minerals from their sewage, NASA officials said. And, like many technologies developed for space exploration, myco-architecture could end up having significant applications here on Earth as well — perhaps helping to reduce the huge carbon footprint of the construction industry, for example.

A stool constructed out of mycelia after two weeks of growth. The next step is a baking process process that leads to a clean and functional piece of furniture. The myco-architecture project seeks to design not only for habitats, but for the furniture that could be grown inside them as well. (Image credit: 2018 Stanford-Brown-RISD iGEM Team)

“When we design for space, we’re free to experiment with new ideas and materials with much more freedom than we would on Earth,” Rothschild said. “And after these prototypes are designed for other worlds, we can bring them back to ours.”

Rothschild and her colleagues aren’t the only researchers working on novel and efficient habitat designs. For example, teams around the world are investigating the potential of 3D printing to construct habitats out of native Mars or moon material, spurred in part by competitions such as NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.

Mike Wall’s book about the search for alien life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

Who Is Gil Scott-Heron?

Who Is Gil Scott-Heron? has been re-released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Gil’s album, I’m New Here. Directed by Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth. A word from the directors: “In 2010, Gil Scott-Heron made his first album in 16 years, ‘I’m New Here’, on XL Recordings. We directed the video for the title track and got to know Gil a little around then. Sadly, he died the following year. A few years later Richard Russell from XL suggested making a film. Gil left behind a body of work that has influenced writers, academics and musicians. He’s been called ‘the godfather of rap’ and ‘the black Bob Dylan’ and his words have influenced every generation of hip-hop. This film isn’t about that Gil. It’s a portrait seen through the eyes of those who loved Gil, his friends, his family, and the musicians he played with. This is the Gil we met, the places he took us to see, and the people whose lives were changed by him.”

The Dreamer

J. Cole & Puma – The DREAMER Credits Agency: Dreamville Directors: Amber Grace Johnson, J. Cole, Scott Lazer Executive Producer: Justin Benoliel Producer: Whitney Jackson Production company: Object & Animal Director of Photography: Danny Hiele Editor: Roberta Spitz Colorist: Joseph Bicknell Labi Siffre – My Song Composer: Labi Siffre Licensed courtesy of Demon Music Group Ltd. Billy Joel – Vienna Composer: Billy Joel Connect with J. Cole:

The Original Hawiians and The Collective Conscious

Emily Imani addresses the mis-stories of history and the missed stories of history that connect us as one. When were the Polynesian islands settled? Polynesian ancestors settled in Samoa around 800 BC, colonized the central Society Islands between AD 1025 and 1120 and dispersed to New Zealand, Hawaiʻi and Rapa Nui and other locations between AD 1190 and 1290. This video discusses the African/Black Question regarding the ancient and original populations of the South Pacific Islands and how they got there and where they came from. You will have to follow up with your own research and intuitive knowledge . The important aspect of this share is better to understand the origon of all ancient populations and address the lies . I will also challenge the euro concept of “discovering” lands that are already inhabited and why euro history is wriiten in a manner disruptive of the truth.

Bilingual babies: Study shows how exposure to a foreign language ignites infants’ learning

For years, scientists and parents alike have touted the benefits of introducing babies to two languages: Bilingual experience has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, especially problem-solving.

And for infants raised in households where two languages are spoken, that bilingual learning happens almost effortlessly. But how can babies in monolingual households develop such skills?

“As researchers studying early language development, we often hear from parents who are eager to provide their child with an opportunity to learn another language, but can’t afford a nanny from a foreign country and don’t speak a foreign language themselves,” said Naja Ferjan Ramirez, a research scientist at the University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS).

A new study by I-LABS researchers, published July 17 in Mind, Brain, and Education, is among the first to investigate how babies can learn a second language outside of the home. The researchers sought to answer a fundamental question: Can babies be taught a second language if they don’t get foreign language exposure at home, and if so, what kind of foreign language exposure, and how much, is needed to spark that learning?

The researchers took their query all the way to Europe, developing a play-based, intensive, English-language method and curriculum and implementing it in four public infant-education centers in Madrid, Spain. Sixteen UW undergraduates and recent graduates served as tutors for the study, undergoing two weeks of training at I-LABS to learn the teaching method and curriculum before traveling to Spain. The country’s extensive public education system enabled the researchers to enroll 280 infants and children from families of varying income levels.

Based on years of I-LABS research on infant brain and language development, the method emphasizes social interaction, play, and high quality and quantity of language from the teachers. The approach uses “infant-directed speech” — often called “parentese” — the speech style parents use to talk to their babies, which has simpler grammar, higher and exaggerated pitch, and drawn-out vowels.

“Our research shows that parentese helps babies learn language,” Ferjan Ramirez said.

Babies aged 7 to 33.5 months were given one hour of English sessions a day for 18 weeks, while a control group received the Madrid schools’ standard bilingual program. Both groups of children were tested in Spanish and English at the start and end of the 18 weeks. The children also wore special vests outfitted with lightweight recorders that recorded their English learning. The recordings were analyzed to determine how many English words and phrases each child spoke.

The children who received the UW method showed rapid increases in English comprehension and production, and significantly outperformed the control group peers at all ages on all tests of English. By the end of the 18-week program, the children in the UW program produced an average of 74 English words or phrases per child, per hour; children in the control group produced 13 English words or phrases per child, per hour.

Ferjan Ramirez said the findings show that even babies from monolingual homes can develop bilingual abilities at this early age.

“With the right science-based approach that combines the features known to grow children’s language, it is possible to give very young children the opportunity to start learning a second language, with only one hour of play per day in an early education setting,” she said. “This has big implications for how we think about foreign-language learning.”

Follow-up testing 18 weeks later showed the children had retained what they learned. The English gains were similar between children attending the two schools serving predominantly low-income neighborhoods and the two serving mid-income areas, suggesting that wealth was not a significant factor in the infants’ ability to learn a foreign language. Children’s native language (Spanish) continued to grow as they were learning English, and was not negatively affected by introducing a second language.

“Science indicates that babies’ brains are the best learning machines ever created, and that infants’ learning is time-sensitive. Their brains will never be better at learning a second language than they are between 0 and 3 years of age,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS and a UW professor of speech and hearing sciences.

The results, Kuhl said, have the potential to transform how early language instruction is approached in the United States and worldwide:

“Parents in Madrid, in the United States and around the world are eager to provide their children with an opportunity to learn a foreign language early. The U.S. census shows that 27 percent of America’s children under the age of 6 are now learning a language other than English at home. While these children are fully capable of learning both their parents’ language and English, they often do not have adequate exposure to English prior to kindergarten entry and as a result, often lag behind their peers once they enter school,” she said.

“I-LABS’ new work shows we can create an early bilingual learning environment for dual-language learners in an educational setting, and in one hour per day, infants can ignite the learning of a second language earlier and much easier than we previously thought. This is doable for everybody,” Kuhl said.

For more information, contact Ferjan Ramirez at or 206-747-7850 and Kuhl at or 206-685-1921.

Sunday Funday: Detroit’s Illegal Car Meets

The dynamic and often dangerous “Sideshow” culture, which started in the Bay Area, has given birth to an underground series of car rallies known as “Sunday Funday.” Since the tradition’s inception, it has become popular nationwide, including in cities like LA, New Orleans, and Kansas City. In this episode, VICE travels to Detroit to see how a city with a rich history in car-manufacturing is using the newly popular sideshow scene to help locals escape urban blight, re-establish themselves as pioneers of car culture, and revive the Motor City’s spirit. After our documentary, the Detroit Police department has decided to work with the car community to find a solution together:… Click here to subscribe to VICE: About VICE: The Definitive Guide To Enlightening Information. From every corner of the planet, our immersive, caustic, ground-breaking and often bizarre stories have changed the way people think about culture, crime, art, parties, fashion, protest, the internet and other subjects that don’t even have names yet. Browse the growing library and discover corners of the world you never knew existed. Welcome to VICE.

Growing Basil 101

In this video I demonstrate how quickly you can go from one Basil plant to an almost infinite supply. I go from one plant to 8 in 30 days and then to 18 in 60 days. In one year using this method you could have thousands of Basil plants all from the original mother plant. I use time-lapse photography to document the growth at every stage. Basil propagates very easily from cuttings and within a month those cuttings are established plants which can then be used to take more cuttings. At each stage of making new plants there are always plenty of leaves which can be used for cooking. Once you get enough plants to provide for your needs you can stop taking cuttings and just harvest the stems as you need them.

Koffee : NPR Music Tiny Desk Performance

“It’s been a fairly short musical journey and we have seen fairly much success,” Koffee told the NPR Music offices between songs during her Tiny Desk set. Flashing her braces with each grin, Jamaica’s 19-year old tour de force wasn’t exaggerating. Her debut EP, Rapture, just won a 2020 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman and the youngest artist to ever win in the category. It comes just two years after her tribute song to sprinter, eight-time Gold Medalist and fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt went viral online. Koffee has sustained a steady upwards momentum since then, finding her footing on festival stages and collaborating with others outside her genre. (Her latest single, “W” features Atlanta rapper, Gunna.)

Above all, what makes Koffee so refreshing is that she centers her music around faith, resilience and gratitude. She has a new perspective to add to the pantheon of mostly male reggae greats and it’s resonating with a new generation that’s just getting hip to the iconic sounds. As her Tiny Desk performance shows, Koffee makes the best of her surroundings, channeling the day’s buzzy energy into a balancing act of youthful heart and old-pro precision, proving why she has become one of the most invigorating voices in reggae.

“I want to thank everybody who’s been involved,” Koffee told the crowd halfway through her show. “You have now become a part of my journey.”


  • “Raggamuffin”
  • “Rapture”
  • “Toast”
  • “W”


Koffee: vocals; Stephen Asamoah-Duah: drums; Stephen Forbes: percussion; Nana Pokes: bass; David Melodee: keys; Thomas Broussard: guitar; Zhayna France: vocals; Shanice Drysdale: vocals


Producers: Abby O’Neill, Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineer: Josh Rogosin; Editor: Maia Stern; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Jack Corbett, Kara Frame, CJ Riculan; Associate producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar

Rainforest Ecosystem inside a Geodesic Domes

Eden Project is a the largest greenhouse in the world built in Cornwall UK in Geodesic domes to show that humans can correct Climate change BECOME PART OF THE TEAM: Find out more about Eden Project: Follow me on Social Media Business inquires or music submissions:


Doctor Who Reversed Lupus On Plant-Based Diet

Dr. Brooke Goldner said she was ‘honored to give her testimony’ (Photo: Dr. Brooke Goldner)

‘I was sick, and then 15 years ago, I changed my diet to a plant-based diet…and within three months the lupus was gone’

A doctor has told the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee about how she reversed her lupus by following a plant-based diet.

Dr. Brooke Goldner, the creator of the Healing Protocol for Lupus Recovery, is known globally as the bestselling author of Goodbye Lupus.

USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

She told her story while testifying to the Advisory Committee, which is comprised of nationally recognized nutrition and medical researchers, academics, and practitioners.

The committee updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. It invites experts to speak and share current scientific and medical evidence in nutrition.

Sharing a video of her speech on social media, Dr. Goldner wrote: “Today I testified for the 2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee. I was honored to give my testimony and to fight on behalf of the American public to encourage the USDA to stop giving into pressure from industries and instead do what is right for human health.”


During her talk, Dr. Goldner talked about how lupus – an autoimmune disease that sees the individual’s immune system become hyperactive and attack healthy tissue – affected her life.

“Before I became a doctor, I was a patient,” she said. “I was diagnosed at 16-years-old with lupus. I had stage 4 kidney failure, I had blood clots, I had mini-strokes. I endured years of chemotherapy and steroids just to survive.

“All I’ve ever learned never helped me with my health. It was always about survival. I did three years of genetic research at Carnegie Mellon, I went to medical school, I was chief resident. And yet I still needed medicine to survive. 12 years I was sick.”

Plant-based diet

Dr. Goldner then revealed that 15 years ago, she adopted a plant-based diet, and ‘within three months the lupus was gone’.

“I have been healthy for 15 years, with no sign of disease…over the last decade, I have helped thousands of people reverse lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease…all by getting them to stop eating meat and dairy and eggs and focus on high nutrient plant foods. The results are consistent, and they are profound.”

The physician added that doctors are chasing an ‘epidemic of disease’ – which they can’t hope to catch up to or overtake because ‘people are getting sicker with every meal they take. She called on the Dietary Guidelines to advise people to focus on plants – and give them advice based on ‘what’s good for human health’ rather than what’s ‘good for industry’.

Plant-based evidence

Dr. Golden is not the first plant-based doctor to speak to the 2020 Guidelines Committee – others including Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Milton Mills and more shared evidence about the health benefits of ditching meat and dairy.

Dr. Mills outlined to the committee why its dairy recommendations are racist, saying: “”The vast majority of people of color in this country are intolerant to the lactose that’s in milk. Yet because they think they have to eat this stuff, they go out, eat it, get sick, and think they have some sort of intestinal problem. When I encourage them to stop eating dairy, their problems clear up.

“It’s really outrageous to encourage people to eat foods we know will make them sick, particularly when the number one reason advanced for dairy foods is its calcium content. But African American women are genetically protected against getting osteoporosis. So we’re making them sick for no good reason…Get the racism out, get the dairy out, please do your job.