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Nov 23, 2020

Astronomers Discover New “Fossil Galaxy” Buried Deep Within the Hidden Depths of Our Own Milky Way

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Scientists working with data from the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys’ Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) have discovered a “fossil galaxy” hidden in the depths of our own Milky Way.

This result, published today (November 20, 2020) in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, may shake up our understanding of how the Milky Way grew into the galaxy we see today.

“APOGEE lets us pierce through that dust and see deeper into the heart of the Milky Way than ever before.” —

Continue reading “Astronomers Discover New ‘Fossil Galaxy’ Buried Deep Within the Hidden Depths of Our Own Milky Way” »

Nov 21, 2020

Ardi and her discoverers shake up hominid evolution in ‘Fossil Men’

Posted by in category: evolution

A new book covers the big personalities, field exploits and scientific clashes behind the discovery of the hominid skeleton nicknamed Ardi.

Nov 20, 2020

Giant virus genomes discovered lurking in DNA of common algae

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Viral stowaways could be enhancing survival of algae, and even their evolution.

Nov 19, 2020

“Phantom Star of the Blue Ring Nebula” –Mystery Solved

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

“We were in the middle of observing one night, with a new spectrograph that we had recently built, when we received a message from our colleagues about a peculiar object composed of a nebulous gas expanding rapidly away from a central star,” said Princeton University astronomer Guðmundur Stefánsson, a member of the team that discovered a mysterious object in 2004 using NASA’s space-based Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). “How did it form? What are the properties of the central star? We were immediately excited to help solve the mystery!”

A 16-Year-Old Mystery

NASA announced today that it has solved the 16-year-old mystery of the object –similar in size that of a supernova remnant–unlike any they’d seen before in our Milky Way galaxy: a large, faint blue cloud of gas in space with a living star at its center. Subsequent observations revealed a thick ring structure within it, leading to the object being named the Blue Ring Nebula.

Nov 18, 2020

Lurking in Genomic Shadows: How Giant Viruses Fuel the Genetic Evolution of Organisms

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

Viruses are tiny invaders that cause a wide range of diseases, from rabies to tomato spotted wilt virus and, most recently, COVID-19 in humans. But viruses can do more than elicit sickness — and not all viruses are tiny.

Large viruses, especially those in the nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus family, can integrate their genome into that of their host — dramatically changing the genetic makeup of that organism. This family of DNA viruses, otherwise known as “giant” viruses, has been known within scientific circles for quite some time, but the extent to which they affect eukaryotic organisms has been shrouded in mystery — until now.

“Viruses play a central role in the evolution of life on Earth. One way that they shape the evolution of cellular life is through a process called endogenization, where they introduce new genomic material into their hosts. When a giant virus endogenizes into the genome of a host algae, it creates an enormous amount of raw material for evolution to work with,” said Frank Aylward, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Virginia Tech College of Science and an affiliate of the Global Change Center housed in the Fralin Life Sciences Institute.

Continue reading “Lurking in Genomic Shadows: How Giant Viruses Fuel the Genetic Evolution of Organisms” »

Nov 17, 2020

Orbits of ancient stars prompt rethink on Milky Way evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, physics, space

Theories on how the Milky Way formed are set to be rewritten following discoveries about the behavior of some of its oldest stars.

An investigation into the orbits of the Galaxy’s metal-poor stars—assumed to be among the most ancient in existence—has found that some of them travel in previously unpredicted patterns.

“Metal-poor stars—containing less than one-thousandth the amount of iron found in the Sun—are some of the rarest objects in the galaxy,” said Professor Gary Da Costa from Australia’s ARC Center of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) and the Australian National University.

Nov 17, 2020

Ontological Holism: The Ultimate Reality of Self-Simulating Universe, or Why We All Are One

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, neuroscience

When we apprehend reality as the entirety of everything that exists including all dimensionality, all events and entities in their respective timelines, then by definition nothing exists outside of reality, not even “nothing.” It means that the first cause for reality’s existence must lie within ontological reality itself, since there is nothing outside of it. This self-causation of reality is perhaps best understood in relation to the existence of your own mind. Self-simulated reality transpires as self-evident when you relate to the notion that a phenomenal mind, which is a web of patterns, conceives a certain novel pattern and simultaneously perceives it. Furthermore, the imminent natural God of Spinoza, or Absolute Consciousness, becomes intelligible by applying a scientific tool of extrapolation to the meta-systemic phenomenon of radical emergence and treating consciousness as a primary ontological mover, the Source if you will, not a by-product of material interactions.

#OntologicalHolism #ontology #holism #cosmology #phenomenology #consciousness #mind #evolution

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Nov 10, 2020

Half-billion-year-old microfossils may yield new knowledge of animal origins

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

When and how did the first animals appear? Science has long sought an answer to this question. Uppsala University researchers and colleagues in Denmark have now jointly found, in Greenland, embryo-like microfossils up to 570 million years old, revealing that organisms of this type were dispersed throughout the world. The study is published in Communications Biology.

“We believe this discovery of ours improves our scope for understanding the period in Earth’s history when first appeared—and is likely to prompt many interesting discussions,” says Sebastian Willman, the study’s first author and a palaeontologist at Uppsala University.

The existence of animals on Earth around 540 million years ago (mya) is well substantiated. This was when the event in evolution known as the “Cambrian Explosion” took place. Fossils from a huge number of creatures from the Cambrian period, many of them shelled, exist. The first animals must have evolved earlier still; but there are divergent views in the on whether the extant fossils dating back to the Precambrian Era are genuinely classifiable as animals.

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Nov 7, 2020

Our memory comes from an ancient virus, neuroscientists say

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Some scientists believe that the ability of animals to store memory came from a virus that infected a common ancestor hundreds of millions of years ago. 😃


This study is radically changing how we view the process of evolution.

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Nov 6, 2020

Hurricanes: Evolution, Risk Reduction, Tracking and Simulation

Posted by in categories: climatology, evolution

Dr. Frank Marks, Director of the Hurricane Research Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), discussing improved forecasting technologies.


Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark interviews Dr. Frank D. Marks, MS, ScD, Director of Hurricane Research Division, at NOAA.

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