An analysis of new rock samples taken from NASA’s Curiosity rover uncovered evidence of clay minerals on Mars, suggesting the presence of water from a large, ancient lake. While the presence of clay supports the notion Mars may have once had water, it doesn’t conclusively prove the planet harboured conditions for life.
It’s a radical idea, and it just might just work. Reducing the amount of light reaching our planet could cool the Earth quickly, even with rising carbon dioxide levels. While the asteroid which helped wipe out the dinosaurs blocked out 90% of the Sun’s rays, we would need to divert just 2-4%, it’s believed, to take the Earth back to its pre-industrial climate.
The precipitous drop in energy use is unparalleled back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. But not all energy sources are suffering equally. Efforts to shift toward renewable energy could be hastened, as fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil, have borne the brunt of the decline. Use of renewable energy meanwhile has risen, thanks to new projects coming online, and the low cost of turning wind turbines or harvesting sunlight.
A four-week-old human embryo already has miles of blood vessels. By adulthood, we each have 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside our bodies – that’s more than twice the distance around the world. Those vessels keep blood flowing, supplying your tissues with oxygen and nutrients and keeping your organs, including the heart, healthy. In the … Read more
Cella and tissues are far from being mere static structures. They have the ability to sense and dynamically react to external cues to ensure that they adapt to the ever-changing outside environment. Now, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have identified a novel protein that plays a central role in the transduction of external mechanical … Read more
Unlike animals, which only digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats, microorganisms also feed on a variety of other organic compounds. Even natural gas does not stop them. Researchers from Bremen have now discovered a microbe in the deep sea that eats ethane, which, with a share of up to 15%, is the second most common component of natural gas.
Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet—causing a ‘mini-hole’ in the ozone layer, the ESA said in a statement. While the ESA scientists expect it to close up later this month, it’s a troubling update on the planet’s environmental health.
The survival of some microorganisms exposed to outer space has been studied using both simulated facilities and low Earth orbit exposures. Bacteria were some of the first organisms investigated, when in 1960 a Russian satellite carried Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus and Enterobacter aerogenes into orbit.