“Ten One-Billionths of Cosmic History” –Past Homo Species Could Not Survive Intense Climate Change

"Ten One-Billionths of Cosmic History" --Past Homo Species Could Not Survive Intense Climate Change

 

The human experience on our pale blue dot “has lasted for less than 10 one-billionths of cosmic history surrounded by a vast lifeless space, yet we humans are congratulating ourselves,” says Peter Brannen author of Ends of the World about the current reign of humans recently named the Anthropocene –the period dating from the Atomic Age of the 1950s during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment– “on an unearned geological legacy before we’ve proved ourselves capable of escaping the next century with our lives. And, besides, most of our proudest creations—whole cities and manufactured landscapes—will be destroyed by the ceaseless destruction of tectonics and erosion…many of the synthetic markers proposed to delineate the Anthropocene will not survive the insults of deep time.”

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“Transforms Matter Into Consciousness” –Most Ancient Part of the Human Brain Reveals Its Secrets

"Terra Incognito" --The Most Evolutionarily Ancient Part of the Human Brain Reveals Its Secrets

 

“The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe,” observes physicist Michio Kaku. The neocortex, observed Carl Sagan is where “matter is transformed into consciousness.” Located deep in the brain’s center, the subcortex, the most evolutionarily ancient part of our brain, processes everything from our basic senses to long-term memories.

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Planet Earth Report –“Dawn of the Heliocene to Virus-Hunting Microbes”

Earth from the ISS

 

“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.

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“Lucky or Inevitable” –Life May Have Relied On Something Other Than Oxygen for the First 1.5 billion Years

Origin of Life

 

“Is the existence of life on Earth a lucky fluke or an inevitable consequence of the laws of nature? Is it simple for life to emerge on a newly formed planet, or is it the virtually impossible product of a long series of unlikely events? asks Nobel Prize laureate and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Jack Szostak. “Advances in fields as disparate as astronomy, planetary science and chemistry now hold promise that answers to such profound questions may be around the corner. If life turns out to have emerged multiple times in our galaxy, as scientists are hoping to discover, the path to it cannot be so hard. Moreover, if the route from chemistry to biology proves simple to traverse, the universe could be teeming with life.”

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“Far Beyond” –First Organic Molecule on Earth Might Exist Today Elsewhere in the Solar System

"Far Beyond" --First Organic Molecule on Earth Might Exist Today Elsewhere in the Solar System

 

“Human blood is a testament to life’s origin in the ocean,” observed marine biologist Jacques Cousteau, “its chemical composition is nearly identical to that of sea-water.” New research funded by NASA appears to confirm Cousteau’s insight. Scientists have identified a process that might have been key in producing the first organic molecules on Earth about 4 billion years ago, before the origin of life. The process, which is similar to what might have occurred in some ancient underwater hydrothermal vents, may also have relevance to the search for life elsewhere in the universe. (more…)

“We are Spaceships” –Extraterrestrial Viruses May Have Influenced Origin and Evolution of Life (Weekend Feature)

 

"We are Spaceships" --Extraterrestrial Viruses May Have Influenced Origin and Evolution of Life

 

“The human imagination is a preview of coming attractions,” Albert Einstein was fond of saying. Viruses are essentially roving segments of genetic material that have learned how to “put on space suits and leave the cell,” observed Greg Bear in his epic work of science fiction, Darwin’s Radio, that mirrors Einstein’s adage, suggesting that viruses in our genome function as carriers of evolutionary messages—a genetic radio, so to speak. In this sense, we may simply be spaceships for virus.

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