Biosphere

  • A new study suggests that the sizes of organisms following mass extinction events may vary more than previously thought.
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  • The world's oceans are becoming more acidic, changing in a way that hasn't happened for millions of years. But will marine organisms from tiny coccolithophores to king crabs change along with the waters?
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  • A microbial ecosystem altered its DNA to enhance its ability to handle excess carbon caused by warming, a new study showed.
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  • Scientists have discovered that cyanobacteria continually produced vesicles full of carbon, nutrients and DNA. The tiny packages could be decoys for viruses or a means of exchanging genetic information.
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  • A new paper reveals how the worst extinction in Earth's history may have been tied to the formation of Supercontinent Pangea. The catastrophe wasn't triggered by an impact from above--unlike another well-known extinction--but by a geological process below, deep within Earth's core.
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  • Scientists have discovered traces of past microbial life in deep sea sediments. The findings show how the microbial ecosystem beneath the seafloor has responded to climate change over hundreds of thousands of years.
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  • A new paper suggests a large impact in the ocean 570 million years ago caused a re-organization of Earth’s environment, setting the stage for the emergence of complex life.
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  • A new study shows that the closest ancient relatives of mammals not only survived the greatest known mass extinction in Earth's history, they also thrived in its aftermath.
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  • NASA scientists have found a new way to use satellites to measure what's occurring inside plants at a cellular level.
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  • A new study suggests that life on land is four times as old as previously believed. Researchers have discovered a 2.2 billion year old fossil microorganism in South Africa that could be the oldest known eukaryote.
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