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At Live Science: 3.5 billion-year-old rock structures are one of the oldest signs of life on Earth

Stephanie Pappas writes: Fossils called stromatolites from Western Australia were created by microbes 3.48 billion years ago. Layered rocks in Western Australia are some of Earth’s earliest known life, according to a new study.  The fossils in question are stromatolites, layered rocks that are formed by the excretions of photosynthetic microbes. The oldest stromatolites that scientists agree were made by living organisms date back 3.43 billion years, but there are older specimens, too. In the Dresser Formation of Western Australia, stromatolites dating back 3.48 billion years have been found.  However, billions of years have wiped away traces of organic matter in these older stromatolites, raising questions about whether they were really formed by microbes or whether they might have been Read More ›

At SciTech Daily: Artemis I: Mega Moon Rocket Ready for Launch

The Artemis I mega Moon rocket is on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is getting ready to launch the Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module. The first opportunity for launch is November 16 at 1:04 a.m. EST/local time (07:04 CET, 06:04 GMT). Artemis I is the first mission in a large program to send astronauts around and on the Moon sustainably. This uncrewed first launch will see the Orion spacecraft travel to the Moon, enter an elongated orbit around our satellite, and then return to Earth. The Orion spacecraft is powered by the European-built module that supplies electricity, propulsion, fuel, water, and air in addition to keeping the spacecraft operating Read More ›

At Phys.org: Chemists create an ‘artificial photosynthesis’ system ten times more efficient than existing systems

"In nature, photosynthesis is performed by several very complex assemblies of proteins and pigments." Researchers have not been able to approach the efficiency of the natural process with artificial photosynthesis. Read More ›

At Big Think: How reality is shaped by the speed of light

Adam Frank writes: KEY TAKEAWAYS When you look at a picture of a galaxy that is 75 million light-years away, you are seeing that galaxy at a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.  Distance translates into time because the speed of light is finite.   What you perceive as “now” is really layer after layer of light reaching your eye from many different moments in the past. Light from the time of the dinosaurs When you look at a picture of a galaxy that is 75 million light-years away, you are not seeing it as it is right now, but as it was when that light you are seeing left it 75 million years ago. That means you are seeing that galaxy Read More ›

At Science Daily: How magnetism could help explain Earth’s formation

A peculiar property of the Earth’s magnetic field could help us to work out how our planet was created 4.5 billion years ago, according to a new scientific assessment. There are several theories about how the Earth and the Moon were formed, most involving a giant impact. They vary from a model where the impacting object strikes the newly formed Earth a glancing blow and then escapes, through to one where the collision is so energetic that both the impactor and the Earth are vaporized. Now scientists at the University of Leeds and the University of Chicago have analysed the dynamics of fluids and electrically conducting fluids and concluded that the Earth must have been magnetized either before the impact Read More ›

At Phys.org: New study finds our ancient relatives were not so simple after all

Lacking a naturalistic mechanism for the generation of the new information of novel features, the idea of the "loss of features" is put forward as a driving factor for supposed evolutionary advance. Read More ›

At Science Daily: Early planetary migration can explain missing planets

"Model accounts for scarcity of planets with masses between super-Earths and mini-NeptunesComputer simulations by Rice University scientists and their collaborators are the first to integrate a model of planet formation and evolution that explains two puzzling observations of exoplanets orbiting distant stars: the rarity of worlds about 1.8 times larger than Earth and the near-identical size of adjacent planets in hundreds of planetary systems. " Read More ›

Elaborated Tunnel Architectures in Enzyme Systems point to a designed setup

Elaborated Tunnel Architectures in Enzyme Systems point to a designed setup https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2062-proteins-how-they-provide-striking-evidence-of-design#9672 RNA and DNA belong to the four basic building blocks of life. They are complex macromolecules made of three constituents: the base, the backbone, which is the ribose five-carbon sugar, and phosphate, the moiety which permits DNA polymerization and catenation of monomers, to become polymers. The nucleobases are divided into pyrimidine and purines. These bases must be made in complex biosynthesis pathways in the cell, requiring several molecular machines, and enzymes, that perform the gradual, stepwise operations to yield the nucleobases, which, in the end, are handed over for further processing. Pyrimidines, one of the two classes, require 7 enzymes, of which Carbamoyl phosphate synthase II is the first in Read More ›

At Nature: Dozens of papers co-authored by Nobel laureate raise concerns

"Across the 32 papers that have so far drawn publisher scrutiny, all list Semenza as an author, but there are many combinations of different co-authors." – Holly Else Read More ›