Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 5

Feb 2, 2022

Archaeologists discover missing link in human evolution, in Israel

Posted by in category: evolution

About 1.5 million years ago, a child died near the Sea of Galilee. All that remains of the youngster is a single bone, a vertebra. But that skeletal fragment, first unearthed in 1966 and only now recognized for what it actually is – the earliest large-bodied hominin found in the Levant – changes the story of human evolution.

Among other things, that one bone proves for the first time that there were multiple exits by archaic humans from Africa. At 1.5 million years of age, the bone is the second-oldest hominin fossil to be found outside Africa. The oldest date to 1.8 million years ago and were found in Dmanisi, Georgia, and that difference of about 300,000 years proves in and of itself that there was more than one exit.

More? This archaic child in the Jordan Valley and the hominins at Dmanisi were not the same species.

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Jan 25, 2022

Astronomers Find the Biggest Structure in the Milky Way: Filament of Hydrogen 3,900 Light-Years Long

Posted by in categories: evolution, particle physics, space

Roughly 13.8 billion years ago, our Universe was born in a massive explosion that gave rise to the first subatomic particles and the laws of physics as we know them. About 370,000 years later, hydrogen had formed, the building block of stars, which fuse hydrogen and helium in their interiors to create all the heavier elements. While hydrogen remains the most pervasive element in the Universe, it can be difficult to detect individual clouds of hydrogen gas in the interstellar medium (ISM).

This makes it difficult to research the early phases of star formation, which would offer clues about the evolution of galaxies and the cosmos. An international team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (MPIA) recently noticed a massive filament of atomic hydrogen gas in our galaxy. This structure, named “Maggie,” is located about 55,000 light-years away (on the other side of the Milky Way) and is one of the longest structures ever observed in our galaxy.

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Jan 20, 2022

The World’s Biggest Vertical Farm Yet Will Fertilize Crops With Fish Poop

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, evolution, food

Most vertical farms are hydroponic (plant roots sit in shallow troughs of nutrient-rich water) or aeroponic (roots dangle in the air and are periodically misted). But Upward Farms uses aquaponics to fertilize its crops. What does that mean? In a nutshell, that plants are fertilized with fish poop.

To get a little more specific: besides microgreens, Upward Farms raises fish: mercury-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free hybrid striped bass, in tanks that are separate from the trays of greens. Manure from the fish is collected and fed to the plants, making for a soil microbiome that’s more dense, fertile, and productive than that of most indoor farms, according to the company. Best of all, the company sells the fish to consumers, too.

Upward Farms claims its yields are two times above the industry average thanks to its ecological farming method, which keeps the microbial cell count in soil much higher than it would be with chemical fertilizers. “There’s a communication layer that’s been built in by millions of years of evolution between plants and microbes,” said Jason Green, Upward Farms’ CEO and cofounder. “Plants can say, ‘Hey, I’m stressed in this way, my environment is imperfect in this way, can you help me?’ and plants recruit microbes to their service.”

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Jan 19, 2022

There are 40 billion billions of black holes in the universe

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, physics

How many black holes are out there in the Universe? This is one of the most relevant and pressing questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology. The intriguing issue has recently been addressed by the SISSA Ph.D. student Alex Sicilia, supervised by Prof. Andrea Lapi and Dr. Lumen Boco, together with other collaborators from SISSA and from other national and international institutions. In a first paper of a series just published in The Astrophysical Journal, the authors have investigated the demographics of stellar mass black holes, which are black holes with masses between a few to some hundred solar masses, that originated at the end of the life of massive stars. According to the new research, a remarkable amount around 1% of the overall ordinary (baryonic) matter of the Universe is locked up in stellar mass black holes. Astonishingly, the researchers have found that the number of black holes within the observable Universe (a sphere of diameter around 90 billions light years) at present time is about 40 trillions, 40 billion billions (i.e., about 40 × 1018, i.e. 4 followed by 19 zeros!).

A new method to calculate the number of black holes

As the authors of the research explain: This important result has been obtained thanks to an original approach which combines the state-of-the-art stellar and binary evolution code SEVN developed by SISSA researcher Dr. Mario Spera to empirical prescriptions for relevant physical properties of galaxies, especially the rate of star formation, the amount of stellar mass and the metallicity of the interstellar medium (which are all important elements to define the number and the masses of stellar black holes). Exploiting these crucial ingredients in a self-consistent approach, thanks to their new computation approach, the researchers have then derived the number of stellar black holes and their mass distribution across the whole history of the Universe.

Jan 17, 2022

The Earth’s Core Might Be Cooling Much Faster Than We Previously Thought

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

“Our results could give us a new perspective on the evolution of the Earth’s dynamics,” said Motohiko Murakami, a corresponding author of the study explained in a press statement. “They suggest that Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming inactive much faster than expected.”

The Earth will cool down at an increasingly fast pace

The scientists discovered that bridgmanite was roughly 1.5 times better at conducting heat than previously estimated. This means that heat must transfer more easily from the core to the mantle than had been previously believed. This faster transfer equals a higher cooling rate, meaning the Earth’s core will cool down faster than once thought. What’s more, as it cools bridgmanite turns into a mineral called post-perovskite, which conducts heat at an even faster rate. So the inner Earth could start to cool at an increasingly accelerated rate once bridgmanite starts forming into post-perovskite, a crystal structure following the formula ABX₃.

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Jan 17, 2022

There’s only one Universal Consciousness

Posted by in categories: education, evolution, neuroscience

we individualize our conscious awareness through the filter of our nervous system, our “local” mind, our very inner subjectivity, but consciousness itself, the Self in a greater sense, our “core” self is universal, and knowing it through experience has been called enlightenment, illumination, awakening, or transcendence, through the ages.

Here’s Consciousness: Evolution of the Mind (2021), Part IV: UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS >

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Jan 17, 2022

Study challenges evolutionary theory that DNA mutations are random

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, food

A simple roadside weed may hold the key to understanding and predicting DNA mutation, according to new research from University of California, Davis, and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany.

The findings, published January 12 in the journal Nature, radically change our understanding of evolution and could one day help researchers breed better crops or even help humans fight cancer.

Mutations occur when DNA is damaged and left unrepaired, creating a new variation. The scientists wanted to know if mutation was purely random or something deeper. What they found was unexpected.

Jan 17, 2022

Archaeologists reveal a key date in the evolution of modern humans

Posted by in category: evolution

In this edition of Inverse Daily, read about an egg-shaped planet too close to its sun, how Twitch streamer Amouranth thinks the medium should change, and more.

Jan 16, 2022

Earth’s Interior Is Cooling “Much Faster Than Expected”

Posted by in category: evolution

Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated in the lab how well a mineral common at the boundary between the Earth’s core and mantle conducts heat. This leads them to suspect that the Earth’s heat may dissipate sooner than previously thought.

The evolution of our Earth is the story of its cooling: 4.5 billion years ago, extreme temperatures prevailed on the surface of the young Earth, and it was covered by a deep ocean of magma. Over millions of years, the planet’s surface cooled to form a brittle crust. However, the enormous thermal energy emanating from the Earth’s interior set dynamic processes in motion, such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, and volcanism.

Still unanswered, though, are the questions of how fast the Earth cooled and how long it might take for this ongoing cooling to bring the aforementioned heat-driven processes to a halt.

Jan 15, 2022

Profound Discovery on Origins of Life on Earth — Evolution of Metal-Binding Proteins

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

Researchers explored the evolution of metal-binding proteins across billions of years.

Addressing one of the most profoundly unanswered questions in biology, a Rutgers-led team has discovered the structures of proteins that may be responsible for the origins of life in the primordial soup of ancient Earth.

The study appears in the journal Science Advances.

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