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When studying Earth’s past, researchers want to understand how nutrients like nitrogen cycled and the impact biology had on them. Scientists rely on ancient rock, soil, fossils, and marine sediment to understand the world that used to be.  Approximately 2.5 billion years ago, oxygenic photosynthesis, the form of…

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If you live in a developed country and eat seafood, there’s a very good chance that the fish on your plate was caught by a commercial fishing boat. You may know whether your tuna comes from the Pacific or the Atlantic, but if pressed for details on where exactly that tuna fishery operates, your best guess might be,…

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How does a cell stay alive? How do molecules in a cell “know” how to react with one another? Does this chemistry become more complex over time, and if so, why? In Dr. Betül Kacar’s lab at Harvard University, scientists look for answers. In order to understand how a complex communication system…

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All life on Earth survives because of the sun. Plants use a process called photosynthesis to transfer energy from the Sun’s rays into the sugars that build their stems and leaves. Animals either eat the plants directly, or eat other animals that have eaten plants. Countless other organisms, like bacteria, algae, and…

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So far, we cannot be sure that this question has been properly answered. Even so, NASA has proposed that life be taken as a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution. If we have a mind for science, we might then ask – is this consistent with basic principles? The life chemistry we…

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New research by NOAA Fisheries has revealed the opah, or moonfish, as the first fully warm-blooded fish that circulates heated blood throughout its body much like mammals and birds, giving it a competitive advantage in the cold ocean depths. The silvery fish, roughly the size of a large automobile tire, is known from…

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A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world — changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than…