Giant Viruses Shake Tree of Life –“Might Be One Reason Life Exists On Earth” (Weekend Feature)

Giant Viruses Shake the Tree of Life --"Might Be One Reason Life Exists On Earth"

 

When Felix d’Herelle, a seminal figure in the history of molecular biology, discovered the first bacteriophage in French soldiers in 1917, writes Carl Zimmer in A Planet of Viruses, “many scientists refused to believe that such a thing actually existed. A century later, it’s clear that Herelle had found the most abundant life form on Earth. What’s more, marine viruses have a massive influence on the planet. Marine phages influence the ecology of the world’s oceans. They leave their mark on Earth’s global climate. And they have been playing a crucial part in the evolution of life for billions of years. They are, in other words, biology’s living matrix.”

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“The Broken Hill Skull” –Does This 300,000-Year-Old Fossil Upend Human Evolution?

"The Broken Hill Skull"

 

The Broken Hill skull, discovered in 1921 by miners in Zambia, is one of the best-preserved fossils of the early human species Homo heidelbergensis, who roamed Southern Africa. The fossil is estimated to be about 300,000 years old, according to Australia’s Griffith University scientists, who led an international team to date the skull of an early human found in Africa, potentially upending human evolution knowledge with their discovery.

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“Warping Spacetime to Explore Uncharted Realms” –NASA Seeks Out Hidden Planets at Milky Way’s Center

Milky Way Center

 

NASA’s WFIRST’s infrared telescope will explore uncharted regions of the galaxy for exoplanets due to the different goals of previous missions. Kepler, for example, searched a modest-sized region of about 100 square degrees with 100,000 stars at typical distances of around a thousand light-years. TESS scans the entire sky and tracks 200,000 stars; however their typical distances are around 100 light-years. WFIRST will search roughly 3 square degrees, but will follow 200 million stars at distances of around 10,000 light-years.

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Planet Earth Report –“Hunt for Patient Zero to Freeman Dyson -The Eyes of Alien Life”

Earth from 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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Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines –“Dark Energy Objects to Quasar Tsunami’s”

 

 

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M87’s Gargantuan Black Hole –“Unveils Light of the Entire Universe” (Weekend Feature)

M87 Black Hole

 

On April 10, 2019,  the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team of radio astronomers produced the  first photograph of the M87 Galaxy’s black hole the size of our solar system described by astronomers as the “gates of hell and the end of spacetime.” The now iconic image captured light from the entire universe wrapping around the object in a nested series of rings.

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