Formation of the moon brought water to Earth The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists at the University of Münster (Germany) have now been able to show, for the first time, that water came to Earth with the formation of the Moon some 4.4 billion years ago. The Moon was formed when Earth was hit by a body about the size of Mars, also called Theia. Until now, scientists had assumed that Theia originated in the inner solar system near the Earth.
Doomsday Clock Set At 100 Seconds To Midnight, Issuing Dire Warning Of Apocalypse Topline: The Doomsday Clock was set 100 seconds to midnight Thursday—20 seconds closer than its previous time—indicating that the world is closer to the apocalypse than it has been since the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists began tracking it over 70 years ago. During a Thursday press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., former California governor Jerry Brown, Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, and former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon unveiled the clock’s new time.Rachel Bronson, the group’s president and CEO, said, “Today we feel no more optimistic” about the world’s outlook, and that the current environment is unstable due to inaction on climate change and a precarious nuclear landscape, and urged the world’s leaders to act on these two issues, or else disaster will occur.“If decision makers fail to act, citizens around the world should echo the words of climate activist Greta Thunberg and say, ‘How dare you?’” Big number: 17 minutes.
Why Silicon Valley titans are obsessed with immortality People have been trying to live forever for … basically forever. But cheating death has always been a particular obsession for the rich. Ancient Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang took mercury pills in his quest for immortality during the third century BCE (whoops), while Egyptian pharaohs had their remains mummified to prepare for the afterlife—only to have powders made from their crushed-up bones consumed by the likes of European royalty seeking health remedies in the 16th and 17th centuries. In more recent years, elites have experimented with young blood transfusions and syringes filled with the cells of fetal lambs, which they’ve had injected into their buttocks. The present-day pursuit of physical immortality—or, at the very least, a substantially extended lifespan—is a booming business.
DEFINE_ME Introduction Healthy aging is crucial in a growing older population (). The ability to separate similar memory patterns ( Plankton Haven’t Been the Same Since the Industrial Revolution As scientists scramble to figure out how warming ocean temperatures will affect marine ecosystems across the globe—from bleaching coral reefs to altered migration routes—one of the sea’s most ubiquitous organisms is helping researchers measure the changes that have already occurred. Centuries of fossil records and live-capture data show that some marine plankton populations reflect a clear change in response to human industrialization and the warming oceans that have come with it. Researchers found distinct differences between communities of planktonic foraminifera—tiny single-celled creatures that float in ocean waters—from before and after the start of the industrial era about 170 years ago, according to a study published this week in Nature. The ratio of plankton species in these communities shifted in proportion to changes in sea temperature, indicating that ocean warming has deeply altered these populations and their wider marine ecosystems.
What's in your water? Researchers identify new toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States' most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland. The researchers' findings were published this past week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. "There's no doubt that chlorine is beneficial; chlorination has saved millions of lives worldwide from diseases such as typhoid and cholera since its arrival in the early 20th century," says Prasse, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and the paper's lead author.
Mathematical framework turns any sheet of material into any shape using kirigami cuts Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a mathematical framework that can turn any sheet of material into any prescribed shape, inspired by the paper craft termed kirigami (from the Japanese, kiri, meaning to cut and kami, meaning paper). Unlike its better-known cousin origami, which uses folds to shape paper, kirigami relies on a pattern of cuts in a flat paper sheet to change its flexibility and allow it to morph into 3-D shapes. Artists have long used this artform to create everything from pop-up cards to castles and dragons. Against All Odds, England's Massive Chalk Horse Has Survived 3,000 Years If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire, England, and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above you, one thing dominates the view. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. It has a thin, sweeping body, stubby legs, a curiously long tail and a round eye set in a square head. This is the Uffington White Horse, the oldest of the English hill figures.