Earth life ‘may have come from Mars’ By Simon Redfern | thanks to @BBCNews

Life may have started on Mars before arriving on Earth, a major scientific conference has heard.Gale crater, Mars

New research supports an idea that the Red Planet was a better place to kick-start biology billions of years ago than the early Earth was.

The evidence is based on how the first molecules necessary for life were assembled.

Details of the theory were outlined by Prof Steven Benner at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence, Italy.

Scientists have long wondered how atoms first came together to make up the three crucial molecular components of living organisms: RNA, DNA and proteins.

The molecules that combined to form genetic material are far more complex than the primordial “pre-biotic” soup of organic (carbon-based) chemicals thought to have existed on the Earth more than three billion years ago, and RNA (ribonucleic acid) is thought to have been the first of them to appear.

Simply adding energy such as heat or light to the more basic organic molecules in the “soup” does not generate RNA. Instead, it generates tar.

Full story? Here 🙂

RNA needs to be coaxed into shape by “templating” atoms at the crystalline surfaces of minerals.

The minerals most effective at templating RNA would have dissolved in the oceans of the early Earth, but would have been more abundant on Mars, according to Prof Benner.

This could suggest that life started on the Red Planet before being transported to Earth on meteorites, argues Prof Benner, of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology in Gainesville, US.

The idea that life originated on Mars and was then transported to our planet has been mooted before. But Prof Benner’s ideas add another twist to the theory of a Martian origin for the terrestrial biosphere. | Latest Stories

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Tree Of Life: The History of the World, Visualized

See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano 

This Great Tree of Life diagram is based primarily on the evolutionary relationships so wonderfully related in Dr. Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale. Some secondary branching relationships and ages of common ancestors were gleaned from university and other scholarly websites as well as scientific journals. The smallest branches are purely illustrative; they are intended to suggest the effect of mass extinctions on diversity, and, on a few of the branches, changes in diversity through time. This tree of life diagram is NOT intended to be used as a scholarly reference tool or as a complete picture of life history (only a very few extinct main branches are shown, for example). Instead, it tries mainly to illustrate a great lesson of evolution; that we are related not only to every living thing, but also to every thing that ever lived. Click to view an enlargement of this Great Tree of Life.

‘To make the Great Tree of Life easier to understand, it is drawn from the human, mammalian point of view.’
Distortions and Limitations: In order to make the Great Tree of Life uncluttered and easier to understand, a number of distortions have been purposively built in. First, and most important, this Great Tree of Life is drawn from the human, mammalian point of view. That is why humankind, instead of some other organism, occupies a branch tip at the end of the tree, and why our vertebrate cousins (animals with a backbone) occupy a large part of the tree. This falsely suggests that humans are the ultimate goal of evolution. In fact, if that asteroid or comet that hit the earth 65 million years ago and helped wipe out the dinosaurs, had instead missed the earth, there might not be a dominant, tool-using, space-faring species on earth. Or if one evolved, it might be a dinosaur, not a mammal. Also, the world of bacteria holds far more genetic diversity, and accounts for a vastly larger proportion of biomass than animals do, yet Bacteria occupy only a relatively small portion of the tree. Trees of Life drawn from the bacterial point of view look very different: on these diagrams, the whole world of animals and plants occupy only a tiny part of the tree.

‘If the asteroid which contributed greatly to the mass extinction 65 million years ago had missed the Earth, perhaps the space-faring species on Earth today would be a dinosaur, not a mammal.’
Another limitation of this tree of life diagram is that it suggests life steadily increased in diversity through time, such that the greatest diversity appears to exist at the present time. This is not at all the case in life history, and only appears that way in this diagram because, for space reasons, only a few of the main branches of life that have gone extinct are shown. The evidence suggests that many more branches have gone extinct than exist today. One estimate concludes that 99% of species that have ever existed on earth are now extinct. If the diagram could be drawn to really reflect life history, the greatest diversity in major body plans would probably appear early in the Cambrian Period, around 530 million years ago. Only a few major body plans survived the Cambrian, but these few have evolved into the diversity we have today.
Seguir leyendo “Tree Of Life: The History of the World, Visualized”

NASA Releases Awesome Images of Massive Solar Flare Heading Toward Earth [VIDEO]

NASA is keeping a close eye on that solar flare that started on Thursday, July 12, and now it’s released dramatic time-lapse video and photos of the flare that’s found its way to Earth.

There’s nothing to fear with this solar dustup — although it’s rated X1.4, barely within the “extreme” range, it’s not expected to cause any damage to electronic equipment, either in orbit or here on terra firma.

However, as we mentioned in our previous post about this latest solar flare, there might be some unusually southern northern lights tonight, so it might be a good idea to go outside and take a look if you live north of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Barcelona or Paris (approximately 40 degrees North latitude).

Meanwhile, take a gander at these dramatic photos from NASA, showing our mighty Sun having a mild hissy fit:

Ver video
Pics and video courtesy NASA

How Responsive Design is Like Water

Written by:  Jamal

There are three states of matter known to be found on Earth. These states of course being that of solid, liquid, and gas. Taking into account that these three states are distinctly different, it is easy to assume that they each have a unique form. Solids are rigid and tightly packed molecules , gases are hyperactive molecules that are always just bouncing around everywhere, and liquids are closely connected molecules that have no true form.

Before steering away from this post because of the brief refresher on some chemistry notes, which may or may not have triggered haunting blocked out memories, take some time to consider something. Why would any professional creative ever be daft enough to mention anything relating to science subjects like chemistry in a blog post? And how can knowing this honestly improve my responsive design skills?

How Responsive Design is Like Water

Liquid: The Responsive State

*Image Credit: mloge

For the sake of the article, the matter state of liquid will now be referred to as water. Everyone in every part of the world can tell you what water looks like, but have you really noticed it? With all the discussion arising due to responsive design going mainstream, its troubling to see the original responsive design go unnoticed. Let’s take a look at a few examples, while also explaining how they relate to responsive design.

Example 1: Water has no True Form

As aforementioned the state of water is the only one to be fully visible, yet have no exact form. The loosely connected molecules of this state bond together to take the shape of whatever container they are in. In responsive design, the website is meant not to have any true form. Its form depends on the device it is being viewed on, or containing it.

Example 2: When Pressure is Added, Water can be Dangerous

The phrase speed over power never becomes clearer then when dealing with water. Normally, water is in a very nice refreshing state with no harm coming from touching it. However, that can easily change once the right level of pressure is added. Once the right pressure level has been reached, the safe water state quickly turns into a blade sharp enough to cut through almost anything.

In responsive design, the pressure level relates to the use of space on the viewing device . The higher level of space used then what would be considered acceptable, the higher chance the pressure to find the message in said viewing device grows.

Example 3: Water Easily Separates, Without Losing its Identity… Seguir leyendo “How Responsive Design is Like Water”

There Will Always Be People Who Doubt Your Expertise

by Caleb Wojcik |

Throughout history, while experts have been discovering how our world works, other “un-experts” have been continually doubting them every step of the way.

Let’s take a look at the “Flat Earth” theory as an example of extreme doubting:

  • Everyone thought the earth was flat until Pythagoras proved that the earth was round in 6th century B.C.
  • It took another couple hundred years for anyone to actually believe him (Aristotle finally convinced them to believe in it).
  • Over the next two thousand years many parts of the world still considered the earth to be flat.

But here’s the kicker: In 1956, Samuel Shenton started a “Flat Earth” conspiracy group that grew to over 3,000 members by the 1970′s.

The “Flat Earth” theory had been disproven mathematically, astronomically, and scientifically, but some people still didn’t believe that the Earth was a sphere even though when we had already put humans on the moon.

A great lesson can be learned from this story… Seguir leyendo “There Will Always Be People Who Doubt Your Expertise”

10 signs that you aren’t cut out for IT

It’s a tough world out there. Anyone who’s ever worked in IT knows just how tough it is. And if you’re not totally up for the challenge, there will always be someone else who is. But for anyone considering getting into the world of IT, or for those considering getting out of IT… how do you know? How do you know whether you are really cut out for the career that chews up and spits out its young? Well, I have a handy list of signs that maybe IT isn’t the best fitfor you.

1: You lack patience

Patience is most certainly a virtue in IT. When some problems strike, they strike with vengeance and most often require a good deal of time to resolve. If you are without patience, you’ll either give up, lose your mind, or pull out all your hair. But the need for patience doesn’t end at dealing with problems. Many times, end users will test your patience more than the technology will. If that’s the case, I recommend that you either get away from having to deal with end users or (if that’s not possible), leave IT immediately.

2: You have no desire to continue your education

IT is an ever-evolving field and without the desire to continue learning, you’re already way behind the curve. This is one of those fields where you must be okay with constantly learning something new. That might mean taking a class or attending a workshop or just hitting the books on your own. But no matter how you slice that education, you must be willing to continue to learn.

3: You refuse to work outside 9-to-5

Technology doesn’t adhere to a set schedule. Servers go down whenever they want and business must go on. So you must be willing to wake up in the middle of the night, work long hours during the week, and work weekends. If you’re someone who refuses to let your workweek interfere with your personal life — well, the writing on the wall is pretty clear.

4: You don’t like people… Seguir leyendo “10 signs that you aren’t cut out for IT”

Collection of Global Warming Art for the Green at Heart

By Prakash Ghodke

When the temperature of our planet increases, it means that our planet is hot and ill! The rise in your body temperature is called fever, when the same happen to earth atmosphere and ocean it is called Global Warming. So today we have collected 30 incredible artworks related to global warming. Comments are really appreciated.

Help Stop Global Warming

Help Stop Global Warming Campaign

Global Warming PSA Project

Global Warming

Global warming


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Bill Gates: In Five Years The Best Education Will Come From The Web

Bill Gates thinks something is going to die too.

No, it’s not physical books like Nicholas Negroponte — instead, Gates thinks the idea of young adults having to go to universities in order to get an education is going to go away relatively soon. Well, provided they’re self-motivated learners.

Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world,” Gates said at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA today. “It will be better than any single university,” he continued.

He believes that no matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.

He made sure to say that educational institutions are still vital for children, K-12. He spoke glowingly about charter schools, where kids can spend up to 80% of their time deeply engaged with learning.

But college needs to be less “place-based,” according to Gates. Well, except for the parties, he joked. Seguir leyendo “Bill Gates: In Five Years The Best Education Will Come From The Web”

What We Can Learn About Recruiting From Avatar’s Creator

A long time after the rest of the world, I finally saw the movie Avatar, and I was thrilled. Not from the 3D or the big story, but from the fine details. These, in my mind, made the difference, leading millions around the world to believe there is such a planet like Pandora (or that we’ll find one in 150 years time — in 2154, as James Cameron wrote).

I believe these details can help recruiters reach a huge success, especially if they use the social media.

But I’ll start at the beginning.

How Do We Convince People That Something Illogical Really Exists? Seguir leyendo “What We Can Learn About Recruiting From Avatar’s Creator”

40 Bizarre and Cool Google Earth Photos

Google Earth is used when you want to explore rich geographical content, want to see satellite images, maps, landscapes, 3D buildings or view satellite images from galaxies in outer space. It also lets you search the whole planet within seconds without requiring you to leave your comfortable room. You can search for anything on this planet whether it is a building, a landscape or anything else, Google Earth will help you. In this post we have collected some bizarre and interesting Google Earth photos, we hope they will impress you.

Google Earth Photos

Will U Marry Me
Marriage proposal seen on a rooftop via Google Maps.

Googleearth10 in 40 Bizarre and Cool Google Earth Photos Seguir leyendo “40 Bizarre and Cool Google Earth Photos”

Apple Acquires Mapping Company Poly9

Written by Mike Melanson

The word this morning from AppleInsider is that Apple “recently” purchased mapping company Poly9. The company produced a lightweight, Web-based 3D globe similar to Google Earth and now some are speculating that an “Apple Earth” is on the way.

While Google Maps is currently the default on Apple’s mobile devices, there’s one thing for sure – Poly9’s Flash-based globe is not likely to find its way onto the devices.

Business Insider’s Jay Yarrow says that “it looks like this was an acqui-hire for talent” and that Apple “could be hiring Poly9 to help build a map product for the iPad and iPhone so Apple doesn’t have to rely on Google Maps.”

Right now, AppleInsider has said that neither Apple nor Poly9 has confirmed an acquisition and no other details are available. The initial report (via Google Translate) said that Poly9’s offices have been closed – as has its website – and that all but two employees have moved to Silicon Valley. Seguir leyendo “Apple Acquires Mapping Company Poly9”

Hold The World In Your Hand With Google Earth For iPad

Google Earth, the world’s most famous virtual globe, map and geographic information program from Google is now available on the iPad. This news had been in the pipeline for a long time and now that it’s finally here, Google earth is sure to do wonders on the glorious multi-touch screen of the iPad.

The Google Earth app available now on the App store carries version 3.0 of the software and supports both the iPad and the iPhone.

Google Earth

The official description of the app reads as follows: Seguir leyendo “Hold The World In Your Hand With Google Earth For iPad”

Google Earth on iPad…Wow!

Google Earth’s iPhone application has just been updated with iPad support, allowing you to now touch and swipe your way through the high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery available in the desktop version of Google Earth and its prior mobile counterparts. The end result is an application that’s well worth the download, especially considering the price is free.

Playing around with the new application, it’s almost as if Google Earth was originally designed for the iPad, but had to limit itself to desktop computers and tiny mobile screens until now. Yes, it’s just that good.

There aren’t many new features in this update (version 3.0) which now bundles in iPad support with the Apple mobile application, a 12 MB download. In fact, the only added feature listed on the iTunes page is a road layer for iPad and iPhone 3GS.

Seguir leyendo “Google Earth on iPad…Wow!”

All Men are Liars – Homogenous

Go on admit it, you don’t like surprises.

Sure, you love it when someone unexpectedly gives you a new pair of shoes or a pay rise but if your beer or fruit juice tastes just a bit different, your favourite cafe changes its menu or Facebook introduces a new page layout – well that’s just annoying isn’t it?

There’s a reason we’ve got so little banking competition in this country and it’s largely because most of us don’t like surprises, so much so we’ll let ourselves be bent over and corn-holed on fees and interest rates because at least we know what we’re getting.

It’s also why we have so many McDonald’s and Ikeas and Asian hot bread shops making the same three types of bread: no surprises; just manage our expectations …

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