Oxygen! Unlocking the Secrets of Its Evolution

6a00d8341bf7f753ef0133f504fe64970b.jpg Scientists are getting closer to unlocking the secrets of oxygenation of the Earth's biosphere -its oceans and atmosphere- with new research shows that shows that organisms like vascular plants may have appeared and evolved under lower oxygen conditions than previously thought.

Ariel Anbar, Arizona State biogeochemist, and an international team of scientists, using pioneering techniques at Arizona State University,  have found that the appearance of large predatory fish as well as vascular plants approximately 400 million years ago coincided with an increase in oxygen, to levels comparable to those we experience today. If so, then animals from before that time appeared and evolved under markedly lower oxygen conditions than previously thought. 

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Bees Sting Supercomputers in Solving Complex Problems (A 2010 Most Popular)

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01348877084d970c.jpg In a new study this past summer, researchers discovered that bumblebees were able to figure out the most efficient routes among several computer-controlled "flowers," quickly solving a complex problem that even stumps supercomputers. We already know bees are pretty good at facial recognition, and researchers have shown they can also be effective air-quality monitors.

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Mount Everest’s Sherpas Ring Warning Bell on Global Warming (2010 Top Environment Alert)

6a00d8341bf7f753ef0134896a5870970c When sherpas ring the warning bell on climate change the world should listen: Mount Everest is becoming increasingly dangerous to climb because global warming is melting glacier ice along its slopes, according to Apa, a Nepalese Sherpa who grew up in the foothills to Mount Everest, reached the 29,035-foot (8,850-metre) summit on Saturday for the 20th time, breaking his own previous world record for 19 ascents.Rising temperatures have melted much of the ice on the steep trail to the summit and climbers are struggling to get traction on the exposed rock surface.

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Image of the Year – The Himilayas from Space

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The Himalayas (meaning "abode of snow") separate the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau and includes the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and other, lesser, ranges that extend out from the Pamir Knot. The mountain system is the planet's highest and home to the world's highest peaks, include Mount Everest and K2. To grasp the enormous scale of this range consider that Aconcagua, in the Andes, at 6,962 m (22,841 ft), is the highest peak outside Asia, whereas the Himalayan system includes over 100 mountains exceeding 7,200 metres (23,622 ft).

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‘The Daily Galaxy’ Holiday Classics – The Best of 2010

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During the coming Christmas and New Year's holidays, we'll be posting several of 2010's most popular Daily Galaxy posts that were featured on NASA, Twitter, Facebook, Huffington Post, and other news sites.

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