“Sentinel Species of the 6th Mass Extinction” –Marine Mammals May Not Survive the Anthropocene



“Marine mammals, such as manatees or bottlenose dolphins, are sentinel species—the canary in the coal mine,” says Nathan Clark,  associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Computational and Systems Biology, and the Pittsburgh Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine. “If you follow their health, it will tell you a lot about potential environmental issues that could eventually affect humans.”


“Alien Invasion” –99% of the Microbes Inside the Human Body are Unknown to Science


“There was something else, too – something weirder. Of all the non-human DNA fragments the team gathered, 99 percent of them failed to match anything in existing genetic databases the researchers examined. We found a whole new class of human-infecting ones that are closer to the animal class than to the previously known human ones, so quite divergent on the evolutionary scale.”


Stephen Hawking Predicted Race of ‘Superhumans’ –“There Will be a Race of Self-Designing Beings”


“Once such superhumans appear, there are going to be significant political problems with the unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete,” suggests the late physicist and author Stephen Hawking in The Sunday Times. “Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant. Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving themselves at an ever-increasing rate. If the human race manages to redesign itself, it will probably spread out and colonize other planets and stars.”


“Quantum Life” –Scientists Create ‘Quantum Artificial Life’ For the First Time


Exciting new research provides a breakthrough that may eventually help answer the question of whether the origin of life can be explained by quantum mechanics — a new approach to one of the most enduring unsolved mysteries in science: How does life emerge from inert matter, such as the “primordial soup” of organic molecules that once existed on Earth?


“Neanderthal Contagion” — ‘Like Footprints from Long-Extinct Dinosaurs’: Humans Were Infected With Alien Viruses


“You can think of these genetic adaptations like footprints from long-extinct dinosaurs preserved in fossilized mud. Even without having access to the viruses themselves, scientists who study prehistoric epidemics will be able to learn about the pathogens that drove them,” says David Enard, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who argues in new research that when humans first met Neanderthals, they got infected from unfamiliar Neanderthal viruses, against which they had no immunity.


The Human Species: “Recycling the Big Bang”



Life might be relatively frequent in our neighborhood of the Milky Way, if the presence of the basic building blocks needed for synthesis is taken as evidence. Not only were our heavy atoms (carbon and nitrogen for example) made in ancient supernovas, but the ingredients for our multi-atomic genetic molecules ride the winds that blow between the stars, says John C. Mather, a Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Nobel Laureate, about the creation of the universe and the re-cycling of star matter to create the human species.


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