Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Biology

How to model a pandemic

Behind every government announcement, there is an army of epidemiologists predicting how the virus will spread, and how to beat it. Note that this story doesn’t deal specifically with the University of Washington models released yesterday, projecting U.S. infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the coming months. But it does provide insights into how scientists create models.

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Sturgeon genome sequenced

Sturgeons lived on earth already 300 million years ago and yet their external appearance seems to have undergone very little change. A team of researchers has now succeeded in sequencing their genome, delivering a missing piece of the puzzle essential to understanding the ancestry of vertebrates.

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In Earth’s largest extinction, land animal die-offs began long before marine extinction

Because of poor dates for land fossils laid down before and after the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, paleontologists assumed that the terrestrial extinctions from Gondwana occurred at the same time as the better-documented marine extinctions. But a new study provides more precise dates for South African fossils and points to a long, perhaps 400,000-year period of extinction on land before the rapid marine extinction 252 million years ago.

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Scientists identify microbe that could help degrade polyurethane-based plastics

One of the most widely used oil-based plastics, polyurethane, is particularly hard to recycle or destroy safely. It also releases toxic chemicals into landfills. However, some microorganisms are capable of metabolizing these compounds and degrading the plastic waste in the process. Scientists have identified one such bacterium that could be used to help break down polyurethane-based plastics for future bio-recycling.

Ancient 4-limbed fish reveals origin of human hand

The origin of digits in land vertebrates is hotly debated, but a new study suggests that human hands likely evolved from the fins of the Elpistostege, a fish that lived more than 380-million-years ago.

In Earth’s largest extinction, land animal die-offs began long before marine extinction

(University of California – Berkeley) Because of poor dates for land fossils laid down before and after the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, paleontologists assumed that the terrestrial extinctions from Gondwana occurred at the same time as the better-documented marine extinctions. But a new study provides more precise dates for South African fossils and points to a long, perhaps 400,000-year period of extinction on land before the rapid marine extinction 252 million years ago.

COVID-19: A Glimpse Of The Eco-Dystopia That Greens Keep Pushing

Greens just can’t help themselves. As the rest of us do what we can to tackle or withstand the COVID-19 crisis, they treat it as a sign, a warning from nature, a telling-off to hubristic, destructive mankind. The speed with…

Researchers document seasonal migration in deep-sea

(Nova Southeastern University) For the first time, researchers have documented seasonal migrations of fishes across the deep seafloor, revealing an important insight that will further scientific understanding of the nature of our planet.