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  • Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction
    [NEWS] In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the world. The question for many scientists is whether the carbon cycle is now experiencing a significant jolt that could …
  • Researchers identify millions of new genes in the human microbiome
    [NEWS] A new study of the human microbiome — the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies — has uncovered millions of previously unknown genes from microbial communities in the human gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, allowing for new insights into the role these microbes play in human health and disease. The study, from researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Broad Insti…
  • Dinosaur evolution: Lumbering giants had agile ancestors
    [NEWS] The best known sauropod dinosaurs were huge herbivorous creatures, whose brain structures were markedly different from those of their evolutionary predecessors, for the earliest representatives of the group were small, lithe carnivores. The sauropod group of dinosaurs included the largest animals that have ever walked the Earth - up to 40 meters long and weighing as much as 90 tons. Evolutionarily speaking, they were obviously very successful, giving rise to a diverse and wid…
  • Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
    [NEWS] IMAGE: This is a schematic of a solar-powered electrolysis cell which converts carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon and oxygenate products with an efficiency far higher than natural photosynthesis.  Credit: Clarissa Towle/Berkeley Lab Scientists at the Departm…
  • When it comes to the threat of extinction, size matters
    [NEWS] CORVALLIS, Ore. — Animals in the Goldilocks zone — neither too big, nor too small, but just the right size — face a lower risk of extinction than do those on both ends of the scale, according to an extensive global analysis. Reporting today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers who determined body masses for thousands of vertebrate animal species showed that the largest and smallest species face a greater risk of extinction than do m…


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