Cockroaches that spent 12 days aboard the Russian orbital laboratory Photon-3 - Noah’s Arc, returned to Earth last week. Two of these cockroaches were pregnant, evidently becoming the first Earth creatures to have conceived in space and becoming the first members of the 100,000 mile high club. Russian scientists are expecting these two female cockroach cosmonauts to give birth to “the world’s first offspring conceived in microgravity.” That’s interesting, certainly, but do we really need to help these indestructible little buggers adapt their genes to space as well? Silkworms I’m not too worried about, but roaches?! If we keep this up, when we finally come across a monolith somewhere, there’ll already be cockroaches there, scuttling under it when we shine our flashlights.

In other science-factual news of a fascinating but highly questionable nature- Craig Venter has announced he’s built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals, in effect creating the first new artificial life form on Earth. Pants-crappingly good news ay?

10.08. filed under: headlines. science. space.

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