Ancient Microbes May Help Find Alien Life Forms (Planet Earth Report/Weekend)

NASA Earth from Space


Today’s stories range from Microbial Dark Matter – Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves to Scientists Uncover the Largest Asteroid Crater on Earth under 100,000 years old to China Plans to Turn the Moon into an Outpost for Defending Us from Asteroids, and much more.

Ancient Microbial “Dark Matter” – Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves. This research investigates the variety and interactions within these microbial ecosystems, which illustrate how life may have existed on Mars and the early Earth in the past,” reports SciTechDaily.

China plans to turn the moon into an outpost for defending the Earth from asteroids, say scientists–Two optical telescopes would be built on the moon’s south and north poles to survey the sky for threats evading the ground-base early warning network. Test satellites could also help protect China’s national security by having the telescopes and sensors pointed towards the Earth, say researchers,” reported The South China Post.

Ancient Microbes May Help Us Find Alien Life Forms, reports Science. “Scientists have reconstructed what life was like for some of Earth’s earliest organisms by using light-capturing proteins in living microbes. These endeavors could help us recognize signs of alien life on other planets, whose atmospheres may more closely resemble our early, pre-oxygen planet.”

A new genetic analysis explains how penguins lost the ability to fly, headed south, and became excellent swimmers, reports Insider. “Penguins lost their ability to fly before the formation of the polar ice sheets, as getting off the ground took too much effort for birds that were becoming expert swimmers.”

In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics –Noether linked two important concepts in physics: conservation laws and symmetries, reports Science News. “It’s been a century since the July 23, 1918, unveiling of Noether’s famous theorem. Yet its importance persists today. ‘That theorem has been a guiding star to 20th and 21st century physics,’ says theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek of MIT.

NASA wants to turn satellites into alien hunters–Asked why the space agency is embarking on such a seemingly ‘fringe’ subject, it said one of its remits is to look for life outside Earth, reports The Telegraph. “Speaking to journalists in London this week, Col Pam Melroy, the deputy administrator of Nasa, said: “This team is going to be looking at questions like: ‘do we have sensors that can see things, you know, take another look at the evidence?’.

Scientists Contemplate Alien Contact (The Daily Galaxy Archive)

Consciousness isn’t just the brain: The body shapes your sense of self–“Electrical signals coming from your heart and other organs influence how you perceive the world, the decisions you take, your sense of who you are and consciousness itself,” reports New Scientist.

Scientists uncover the largest crater on Earth under 100,000 years old. The impact crater is the second discovered in China. “The Yilan crater measures about 1.15 miles (1.85 kilometers) across and likely formed about 46,000 to 53,000 years ago, based on radiocarbon dating of charcoal and organic lake sediments from the site, the NASA statement says. Researchers collected these sediment samples by extracting a drillcore from the center of the crater,” Forbes reported.

The Unsolved Mystery of the Earth Blobs. “In 2019, researchers peering into Earth’s interior found two continent-sized structures that upend our picture of the mantle. Some 2,000 kilometers beneath our feet, there are enormous masses of hot mantle material that have baffled scientists for the last 4 decades. What could their existence mean for us back on Earth’s surface?” asks Eos.

Reaching Closer to Earth’s Core, One Lava Scoop at a Time–A 2021 eruption in Iceland gave researchers rare and illuminating access to the mantle, one of the Earth’s layers, reports The New York Times. “on the first day of the eruption, a helicopter flew out to the site and scooped up a bit of lava. Some samples were distributed to labs, which, after testing, sent back unexpected results: The lava was full of crystals.” Here’s what they revealed.

50 years ago, the dinosaurs’ demise was still a mystery  –Excerpt from the July 22, 1972 issue of Science News. “Dinosaurs might have been endothermic, or warm-blooded…. The combination of large size, endothermy and naked skin may explain the extinction of dinosaurs. About 65 million years ago there was a sharp drop in temperature…. Dinosaurs, lacking skin insulation and too large to burrow underground … could not survive. 

A Tool for Fighting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Has Been Found Deep in the Desert-– “Scientists believe that organisms that live in tough environments could help combat the urgent and ever-growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are becoming increasingly deadly,” reports Wired.

The Unsolved Mystery Attack on Internet Cables in Paris--As new details about the scope of the sabotage emerge, the perpetrators—and the reason for their vandalism—remain unknown, reports Wired. “On April 27, an unknown individual or group deliberately cut crucial long-distance internet cables across multiple sites near Paris, plunging thousands of people into a connectivity blackout. The vandalism was one of the most significant internet infrastructure attacks in France’s history and highlights the vulnerability of key communications technologies.”

‘Universal language network’ identified in the brain, reports Nicoletta Lanese for Live Science.”Japanese, Italian, Ukrainian, Swahili, Tagalog and dozens of other spoken languages cause the same “universal language network” to light up in the brains of native speakers. This hub of language processing has been studied extensively in English speakers, but now neuroscientists have confirmed that the exact same network is activated in speakers of 45 different languages representing 12 distinct language families.”

Dreaming up new proteins, AI churns out possible medicines and vaccines –” new AI software that can “paint” or “hallucinate” structures for proteins that don’t yet exist in nature. The software has already created original compounds for potential use in industrial reactions, cancer treatment, and even a vaccine candidate aimed at preventing RSV infections,” reports Science.

The world is ‘losing the window’ to contain monkeypox, warns Science.”Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease; thus, another critical step is to greatly reduce transmission of the virus from current rodent reservoirs and to prevent spillovers in areas of the world where monkeypox isn’t endemic. Long-term control of monkeypox will require vaccinating as many as possible of the 327 million people 40 years of age and younger living in the 11 African countries where monkeypox is endemic in an animal (rodent) reservoir.”

Meet Qikiqtania, a fossil fish with the good sense to stay in the water while others ventured onto land, reports Thomas Stewart, Assistant Professor of Biology, Penn State for The Conversation.

Architects Are Copying Nature to Make Low-Carbon Buildings –Plants and animals have adapted to their environments—and some hope biomimicry tools will help humans do the same, reports Wired. “Can a building behave like a forest—by generating its own energy, absorbing naturally available water, and producing no waste?”

Tracing Water Particles Back in Time –Every summer, a low-oxygen pool settles off Canada’s western coast. A new study uses robust modeling to track the origins of the dense water, reports Eos. “

Superfoods of the Future, reports the BBC. “For most people in Europe and the US, the idea of eating crickets and grasshoppers can seem revolting, but they are a popular snack in parts of Africa and Asia. Not only are they packed with nutrients but they are less harmful to the climate too.”

You’re astonishing!–Life can be better appreciated when you remember how wonderfully and frighteningly unlikely it is that you exist at all, reports Aeon.

“Ways of Seeing” –At the start of the first TV episode of Ways of Seeing, John Berger takes a scalpel to Botticelli’s Venus and Mars. The opening beat of the program is the audio of the incision – the blade’s rough abrasion on canvas – before the soundtrack settles into voiceover. ‘This is the first of four programs,’ Berger says, ‘in which I want to question some of the assumptions usually made about the tradition of European painting. That tradition which was born about 1400, died about 1900,’ reports Aeon.

How the ‘Diamond of the Plant World’ Helped Land Plants Evolve--Structural studies of the robust material called sporopollenin reveal how it made plants hardy enough to reproduce on dry land, reports James Dinneen for Quanta.

Curated by The Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff

Recent Planet Earth Reports:

NASA Zooms in on UFOs to Is Life the Result of Entropy?
James Webb Space Telescope’s Super-Secret Targets to Is Geometry a Language Only Humans Know?
Critics Horrified by World’s First Octopus Farm to Quest for Immortality
China’s One-of-a-Kind Cyber-Espionage to Multiverse of Universes All with Randomly Dialed Higgs Masses Virus from \
Age of Dinosaurs Found in Human Genome to Is Earth’s Core a Weird State of Matter?
Why are NASA Spaceships Exploring Earth’s Deepest Oceans to Is Reality a Wavefunction? 
The Terrifying Message Lurking in Earth’s Ancient Record to Robots Evolving Autonomously
The Quantum Century to Events That Could Have Ended Humanity
The ‘Douglas Adams Epoch’ to Earth’s Earliest Life May Owe Existence to Viruses

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