• The Countdown: 5/26/2010

    Here’s what is going on today:

    3… Ariel already covered the Moon news.

    2… More debate, this time on how one of the Earth’s Snowball Earth events ended. Previous carbon isotope studies of dolomites deposited right after the Snowball event suggested that methane played a major role in ending snowball conditions. However, new research published in Nature suggests that the isotopic signature results from hydrothermal alteration, and so probably doesn’t tell us much about the environment at the time of the snowball.

    1… An interesting study on the origins of advanced life. I’ll let the authors deliver the punchline, per the end of the intro of their Nature piece: “direct evidence of eukaryotes living in freshwater aquatic and subaerially exposed habitats during the Proterozoic era. The apparent dominance of eukaryotes in non-marine settings by 1 Gyr ago indicates that eukaryotic evolution on land may have commenced far earlier than previously thought.”

    … Liftoff!