Science Wrap: 'Alien corpses' in Mexico, scientists discover Oxygen-28, and Earth breaches planetary boundaries

Debodinna Chakraborty
Debodinna ChakrabortySep 16, 2023 | 08:00

Science Wrap: 'Alien corpses' in Mexico, scientists discover Oxygen-28, and Earth breaches planetary boundaries

This week's science news is filled with surprises and concerns. A former Mexican journalist displayed two supposed "alien corpses" to the Mexican Congress, leading to NASA urging the Mexican government to provide samples from these bodies for research. Meanwhile, scientists in Tokyo discovered Oxygen-28.

Here are the top science news stories of the week in detail:

Two 'alien corpses' Shown to Mexican Congress; NASA requests samples

Forget this week; this entire year has been brimming with alien drama. Only a couple of months after the US Congress held a hearing on concealed evidence of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), also known as UFOs, Mexican journalist and 'ufologist' Jaime Maussan presented two "non-human" corpses in front of the Mexican Congress.


These supposed "alien corpses" were discovered in Cusco, Peru, and are believed to be over a millennium old.

These mummified remains were showcased separately within glass enclosures during Maussan's sworn testimony. He asserted that these specimens were undergoing examination at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), where researchers determined that they do not align with "terrestrial evolution."

These corpses were found in Cusco, Peru. (Photo: Getty)

Furthermore, Maussan disclosed that these two cadavers were unearthed at a diatom (algae) mine in Peru. UNAM scientists employed radiocarbon dating to extract DNA samples from the cadavers.

On the other hand, NASA held a special press conference to share findings from their year-long investigation into UAPs. The factor that raised eyebrows about this investigation is its cost of $100,000.

However, NASA was unable to find any evidence to prove that these UAPs are of extraterrestrial origin, nor could they determine their true nature.


When asked about the two "alien corpses" shown to the Mexican Congress, NASA urged the Mexican government to provide samples from the bodies for research purposes.

Scientists discover Oxygen-28

Scientists have finally discovered the missing piece in the puzzle of nuclear force theories throughout history. Using a sophisticated particle accelerator, scientists have made an unprecedented discovery by identifying an elusive form of oxygen known as oxygen-28.

Initially expected to exhibit stability due to its configuration of eight protons and 20 neutrons (considered "magic" numbers for nuclear stability), oxygen-28 surprised researchers with its fleeting existence.

A team of scientist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology discovered Oxygen-28. (Photo: Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Previous observations, reported in the August 31 issue of Nature, reveal that oxygen-28 nuclei disintegrate within a zeptosecond, an astonishingly brief period of time.

The discovery of oxygen-28 required a combination of sheer force and refined experimentation. Physicist Yosuke Kondo and a team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology employed a particle accelerator to collide calcium-48 atoms with a beryllium target, resulting in the fragmentation of calcium-48 atoms into lighter isotopes, including fluorine-29. Subsequently, subjecting fluorine-29 to a liquid hydrogen target caused the ejection of a single proton, yielding oxygen-28.

Delhi boy with rare genetic nerve disease

Ever since the news broke about Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal assisting a child named Kanav in obtaining a costly drug to treat his spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), many people have been left wondering about the disease and its nature.


On September 12, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met with 18-month-old Kanav's family. Kanav has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disorder.

Arvind Kejriwal visited Kanav's home. (Photo: X/Arvind Kejriwal)

What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?

SMA is a condition that affects motor neurons in the spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness in the central body area. This can cause the development of spinal curves and mobility issues. SMA results in muscle weakening and atrophy due to impaired nerve signaling.

This disease primarily affects young infants, with early-onset SMA associated with worse outcomes, while later onset often has a better prognosis.

Earth breaches 6 planetary boundaries

Recently, Science Advances published a detailed study that raised a very concerning alarm for planet Earth. According to this study, Earth has reportedly breached six out of the existing nine planetary boundaries, with human-generated pollution being a significant factor.

What are the nine planetary boundaries?

The nine planetary boundaries are frameworks established by scientists to gauge Earth's capacity to sustain itself without being adversely affected by human activities. These boundaries include:

  • Biosphere integrity

  • Climate change

  • Freshwater changes

  • Ocean acidification

  • Stratospheric ozone depletion

  • Atmospheric aerosol loading

  • Land system change

  • The introduction of novel entities 

  • Biogeochemical flows

Breaching these boundaries increases the potential for significant, sudden, or permanent environmental shifts, which may not occur immediately but collectively signify a crucial point where risks to both humanity and the ecosystems we depend on intensify.

According to the study published by Science Advances, the six boundaries that Earth has breached are:

  • Climate change,
  • Biosphere integrity (genetic diversity and energy available to ecosystems),
  • Land system change,
  • Freshwater change (changes across the entire water cycle over land), 
  • Biogeochemical flows (nutrient cycles), 
  • The emergence of new elements (such as microplastics, endocrine disruptors, and organic contaminants)."
Last updated: September 16, 2023 | 08:00
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