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Posts Tagged ‘biology’

Antarctic Lake Vida Provides Clue To Alien Life

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

By Posted: 27/11/2012

The discovery of bacteria which thrives in a salty, ice-sealed Antarctic lake has strengthened the possibility of alien life on planets such as Mars.

Lake Vida, which is located in the region’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, contains no oxygen, is mostly frozen and possesses the highest nitrous oxide levels of any natural water body on Earth.

A briny liquid that is approximately six times saltier than seawater percolates throughout the icy environment that has an average temperature of minus 13.5 degrees centigrade (8 degrees Fahrenheit).

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The discovery of bacteria in an Antarctic lake strengthens the possibility of alien life on other planets (file picture)

 Dr Peter Doran, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, told New Scientist: “Lake Vida is a model of what happens when you try to freeze a lake solid, and this is the same fate that any lakes on Mars would have gone through as the planet turned colder from a watery past.

“Any Martian water bodies that did form would have gone through this Vida stage before freezing solid, entombing the evidence of the past ecosystem.”

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal (PNAS), and were co-authored by Dr Alison Murray and Dr Christian Fritsen, of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI).

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/27/antarctic-lake-vida-alien-_n_2198485.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

Hints of life in the deepest scientific marine samples ever collected

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

 Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert recently returned from the Research Vessel Chikyu off the coast of Japan’s Shimokita Peninsula, where she served as a member of the microbiology team aboard a (literally) groundbreaking leg of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The expedition resulted in a new world record for deepest scientific marine drilling to 2,440 meters beneath the seafloor. But were there signs of life so far down? Here, Trembath-Reichert offers some answers … or at least what pass for answers for a suitably cautious scientist….

Read more: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/hints-of-life-in-deepest-scientific-marine-samples-ever-collected/

Mars rover Curiosity scoops, detects bright object


This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover’s first use of the scoop on its robotic arm. In the foreground, near the bottom of the image, a bright object is visible on the ground. The object might be a piece of rover hardware. This image was taken during the mission’s 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012), the same sol as the first scooping. After examining Sol 61 imaging, the rover team decided to refrain from using the arm on Sol 62 (Oct. 8). Instead, the rover was instructed to acquire additional imaging of the bright object, on Sol 62, to aid the team in assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities. For scale, the scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide, 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSSRead more: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-mars-rover-curiosity-scoops-bright.html

Doctors and Farmers Find That Eliminating GMOs Prevents Disease


‘In recent years, more and more doctors have started warning their patients to avoid genetically modified foods and the results are paying off. Jeffrey Smith now tells us that thousands of doctors are reporting the elimination of disease simply when patients cut genetically modified foods out of their diets. They are finding the elimination of immune disorders, arthritis, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, skin problems, general pain, migraines, and restless leg syndrome, among other problems. According to one doctor, the results happen pretty quickly too.

“In terms of allergies,” Dr. Lindner tells us, “it might take two to five days. In terms of depression, it starts to lift almost instantaneously. When I change people from a GMO diet to a GMO-free diet, I see results instantaneously in people who have foggy thinking and people who have gut symptoms like bloating, gas, irritation.”

Dr. Lindner is getting her patients off the most common genetically modified foods including soy, corn, canola oil, and sugar and recommending that they buy organic to avoid even more of them. Full results, she tells us, normally take four to six weeks.’

Read more: Doctors and Farmers Find That Eliminating GMOs Prevents Disease

Prehistoric bugs from 230 million years ago found in amber


August 27, 2012

Scientists find oldest occurrence of arthropods preserved in amber 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photomicrographs are of the two new species of ancient gall mites in 230-million-year-old amber droplets from northeastern Italy, taken at 1000x magnification. The gall mites were named (left) Triasacarus fedelei and (right) Ampezzoa triassica. Credit: University of Göttingen/A. Schmidt

(Phys.org)—An international team of scientists has discovered the oldest record of arthropods—invertebrate animals that include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans—preserved in amber. The specimens, one fly and two mites found in millimeter-scale droplets of amber from northeastern Italy, are about 100 million years older than any other amber arthropod ever collected. The group’s findings, which are published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pave the way for a better evolutionary understanding of the most diverse group of organisms in the world.

Amber is an extremely valuable tool for paleontologists because it preserves specimens with microscopic fidelity, allowing uniquely accurate estimates of the amount of evolutionary change over millions of years,” said corresponding author David Grimaldi, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and a world authority on amber and fossil arthropods.

Globules of fossilized resin are typically called amber. Amber ranges in age from the Carboniferous (about 340 million years ago) to about 40,000 years ago, and has been produced by myriad plants, from tree ferns to flowering trees, but predominantly by conifers. Even though arthropods are more than 400 million years old, until now, the oldest record of the animals in amber dates to about 130 million years. The newly discovered arthropods break that mold with an age of 230 million years. They are the first arthropods to be found in amber from the Triassic Period.

Read more: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-prehistoric-bugs-million-years.html

How Antibiotics Destroy Your Immune System


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

‘Your immune system is constantly on a seek-and-destroy mission status – on the lookout for foreign invaders, naturally occurring cell defects and mutant cells. The immune system has a vast capacity to remember bad guys and deploy tactics that worked in the past to annihilate the enemy. Some of the fastest growing cells in the human body are immune cells.

Over 80 percent of the body’s immunity is built in the intestinal tract by the friendly bacteria balance that resides there. The intestinal flora starts building in an infant while in the womb but doesn’t really take off until after eight days of age. Starting with the colostrum milk, the gut begins to populate with more bacteria while the infant’s immune system starts an inventory of good and bad cells in the body. This inventory is a life-long process and the immune system never forgets an invader.’

Read more: How Antibiotics Destroy Your Immune System

Arctic Biologist Shares Astonishing Sea Creatures With the World


  There is no road to the White Sea Biological Station, which sits at latitude 66° N on the cusp of the Arctic Circle. Located on the shores of its namesake, the White Sea, the only way to get there is by boat in summer and snowmobile in winter since the waters of Kandalaksha Bay are frozen six months out of the year.

Inside the station is an unlikely photo studio where Alexander Semenov, 25, is sharing his stunning photographs of arctic sea creatures with the global online community.

“I’m trying to act like the Discovery channel, but as a single unit,” says Semenov.

 Read more: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/07/arctic-sea-creatures/?pid=2706