How did life on Earth originally develop from random organic compounds into living, evolving cells? It may have relied on impacts by enormous meteorites and comets — the same sort of catastrophic events that helped bring an end to the dinosaurs’ reign 65 million years ago. In fact, ancient impact craters might be precisely where life was able to develop on an otherwise hostile primordial Earth.
Culture & the World
For 10,000 years, humanity suffered from the scourge of smallpox. The virus killed almost a third of its victims within two weeks and left survivors horribly scarred. But Simona Zompi commends the brave souls — a Buddhist nun, a boy, a cow, a dairymaid and physician Edward Jenner — who first stopped the spread of this disastrous disease, to make us smallpox-free today.
You’ve heard of junk DNA… well turns out it’s not ‘junk’ after all! As Anthony explains, that DNA is actually what gave you that pretty little face of yours.
World’s first Intercontinental underwater tunnel, a sub-sea passage for trains, opens in Bosphorus, Turkey. It will link Istanbul’s European and Asian sides.
Speak about destruction. A comet slammed into Earth’s atmosphere 28 million years ago and basically killed everything with fire below, leaving a huge deposit of yellow silica glass in its wake, a team of astronomers say.
Could this be as surprising as Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates? What you’re looking at here is a container that could one day contain samples of Mars. Yup, even though a “sample return” mission is still years away, the European Space Agency is already designing a container so that when the time comes, they’ll be ready for the trip.
All 250,000 NYC street lights will be replaced with energy-efficient LEDs, in the largest LED retrofit in the U.S. The $79 million project would save the city $6 million in energy costs and $8 million in maintenance per year.
Dr Steve Rintoul, Dr John Church and Dr Pep Canadell of CSIRO discuss our climate science research to understand how and why the Earth system is warming.
Like rings on a tree, human flesh can be dated in a consistent, reliable way. And as Trace tells us, this discovery could revolutionize medicine, and even enable us to extend life.
Science guy and leader of Thirst DC helps us understand how genes and DNA write the book of life, and how reading that book has helped us learn that everything on Earth is descended from a common ancestor.
Is time travel a fact or is it just science fiction? Thanks to time dilation and Einstein’s theory of relativity, we know that time travel can and actually does happen, albeit only in extremely tiny increments at the speeds and distances we can travel in space. If you add up the accumulated speed cosmonaut Sergei Krivalev has traveled in space – the most of any human with a total time spent in orbit of 803 days 9 hours and 39 minutes – he has actually time-traveled into his own future by 0.02 seconds.
UCLA scientist developed biological clock able to measure age of most human tissues. Study finds, using a previously undiscovered time-keeping mechanism in the human body, women’s breast tissue ages faster than the rest of the body.
This ingenious (and ingenuous) sculpture has 80 to 90 % of efficiency. We’re getting closer to our independency from big energy generators.
Hank profiles this year’s Nobel laureates in science, whose achievements have helped us understand questions as small as how our cells transport materials, and as big as why matter exists at all.