Archive for the ‘evolution’ category

Nov 29, 2023

ESA’s Cheops mission uncovers rare star system 100 light-years away

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

The European Space Agency (ESA) has a number of missions ongoing to discover and study exoplanets, which are planets outside of our solar system.

One of those missions, Cheops (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite), has uncovered a rare star system that lies around 100 light-years away.

It’s an important find because it can tell us about the formation and evolution of the planetary system, according to ESA.

Nov 29, 2023

The New Quest to Control Evolution

Posted by in category: evolution

Modern scientists aren’t content with predicting how life evolves. They want to shape it.

Nov 29, 2023

From The Big Bang To The Present: The Evolution Of The Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

Author: Sharika Dhakappa The Big Bang is the most widely accepted theory of how the universe originated. Most physicists believe that the tremendously large universe we observe today began as a tiny, dense point. If the evolution of the universe till today were to be depicted as a movie, the Big Bang would be the beginning of it. We do not yet know what came before the Big Bang or whether that is even a meaningful question to ask. The cosmic movie would run for 13.8 billion years which is the current age of the universe as estimated by the WMAP satellite.

Nov 28, 2023

Exoplanet Haze Research: A Crucial Step in Understanding Alien Worlds

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution

What is the weather like on water-rich exoplanets? This is something a recent study published in Nature Astronomy hopes to shed light on as a team of researchers conducted laboratory experiments to simulate how hazy skies might form on such exoplanets throughout the cosmos. Haze changes the way light reacts to various gases within a planet’s atmosphere, which alters what astronomers detect, as well. This study comes as the number of potential water-rich exoplanets continues to grow and holds the potential to help scientists better understand the conditions necessary for the formation and evolution of water-rich exoplanets, including how life might form and evolve on them, whether on their surfaces or in their atmospheres.

Artist illustration of water-rich exoplanets comprised of hazy atmospheres, which was the focus of this study. (Credit: Roberto Molar Candanosa/Johns Hopkins University)

“The big picture is whether there is life outside the solar system, but trying to answer that kind of question requires really detailed modeling of all different types, specifically in planets with lots of water,” said Dr. Sarah Hörst, who is an associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Johns Hopkins University and a co-author on the study. “This has been a huge challenge because we just don’t have the lab work to do that, so we are trying to use these new lab techniques to get more out of the data that we’re taking in with all these big fancy telescopes.”

Nov 27, 2023

Paradox of ultramassive black hole formation solved by supercomputer

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, supercomputing

With a gravitational field so strong that not even light can escape its grip, black holes are probably the most interesting and bizarre objects in the universe.

Due to their extreme properties, a theoretical description of these celestial bodies is impossible within the framework of Newton’s classical theory of gravity. It requires the use of general relativity, the theory proposed by Einstein in 1915, which treats gravitational fields as deformations in the fabric of space-time.

Black holes are usually formed from the collapse of massive stars during their final stage of evolution. Therefore, when a black hole is born, its mass does not exceed a few dozen solar masses.

Nov 26, 2023

Creating vortices in a superfluid made of light

Posted by in categories: evolution, quantum physics

By using a special combination of laser beams as a very fast stirrer, RIKEN physicists have created multiple vortices in a quantum photonic system and tracked their evolution. This system could be used to explore exotic new physics related to the emergence of quantum states from vortex matter. The research is published in the journal Nano Letters.

In principle, if you were to swim in a pool filled with a superfluid, a single stroke would be all you need to swim an infinite number of laps. That’s because, unlike normal fluids like water, superfluids have no resistance to motion below a certain velocity.

Superfluids also behave weirdly when stirred. “If you stir a bucket of water, you typically get just one big vortex,” explains Michael Fraser of the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science. “But when you rotate a superfluid, you initially create one vortex. And when you rotate it faster, you get progressively more and more vortices of precisely the same size.”

Nov 26, 2023

How do two new books on consciousness close in on the elusive field?

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

The Four Realms of Existence by Joseph LeDoux and Consciousness by John Parrington tell us a lot about human cognition, brain structure and evolution – but most of all they demonstrate how far this most tricky of quests still has to go.

By Susan Blackmore

Nov 25, 2023

New human gene cluster sequence discovered

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

Investigators from the laboratory of Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D., the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor and chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, have discovered a new repeat gene cluster sequence that is exclusively expressed in humans and non-human primates.

The discovery, detailed in a study published in Science Advances, is a breakthrough for biology and has wide-ranging implications for future research in , , and the study of repetitive DNA sequences, according to the authors.

Continue reading “New human gene cluster sequence discovered” »

Nov 25, 2023

A Brief 200-Year History of Synesthesia

Posted by in category: evolution

Richard Cytowic, a pioneering researcher who returned synesthesia to mainstream science, traces the historical evolution of our understanding of the phenomenon.

Nov 24, 2023

Team develops CRISPR tool with big data visualization platform for genome editing and modification

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

A research team from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has developed an analysis service platform called CRISPRimmunity, which was an interactive web server for identifying important molecular events related to CRISPR and regulators of genome editing systems. The study is published in Nucleic Acids Research.

The new CRISPRimmunity platform was designed for integrated analysis and prediction of CRISPR-Cas and anti-CRISPR systems. It includes customized databases with annotations for known anti-CRISPR proteins, anti-CRISPR-associated proteins, class II CRISPR-Cas systems, CRISPR array types, HTH structural domains and mobile genetic elements. These resources allow the study of molecular events in the co-evolution of CRISPR-Cas and anti-CRISPR systems.

To improve prediction accuracy, the researchers used strategies such as homology analysis, association analysis and self-targeting in prophage regions to predict anti-CRISPR proteins. When tested on data from 99 experimentally validated Acrs and 676 non-Acrs, CRISPRimmunity achieved an accuracy of 0.997 for anti-CRISPR prediction.

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