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Here, there and everywhere: Large and giant viruses abound globally

Scientists have uncovered a broad diversity of large and giant viruses that belong to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) supergroup. As a result, virus diversity in this group expanded 10-fold from just 205 genomes, redefining the phylogenetic tree of giant viruses.

Why The Current Interglacial Might Be Coming To An End

Did you know that over the last 450,000 years there have been four Ice Ages lasting around 100,000 years each? And five interglacial periods lasting around 12,000 years each? Look at this graph of temperature data derived from the Vostok…

Climate-friendly food choices protect the planet, promote health, reduce health costs

(University of Otago) Increased uptake of plant-based diets in New Zealand could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while greatly improving population health and saving the healthcare system billions of dollars in the coming decades, according to a new University of Otago study.

Manmade substances caused a third of all global warming from 1955 to 2005 – New York Post

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were responsible for a third of all global warming between 1955 and 2005, according to experts. This is staggering considering the manmade substances were only developed in the 1920s and 30s but began to be phased out…

Mosquitoes are drawn to flowers as much as people — and now scientists know why

(University of Washington) Despite their reputation as blood-suckers, mosquitoes actually spent most of their time drinking nectar from flowers. Scientists have identified the chemical cues in flowers that stimulate mosquitoes’ sense of smell and draw them in. Their findings show how cues from flowers can stimulate the mosquito brain as much as a warm-blooded host — information that could help develop less toxic repellents and better traps.

Advanced polymers help streamline water purification, environmental remediation

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) It takes a lot of energy to collect, clean and dispose of contaminated water. Some contaminants, like arsenic, occur in low concentrations, calling for even more energy-intensive selective removal processes.

Ancient stardust in meteorite is older than Earth

Grains of stardust – particles left behind by star explosions – in an Australian meteorite are now the oldest known material on Earth. A new study suggests this stardust came to be long before our sun ever existed.

The mystery of our solar system's 'great divide' may finally be solved

Our solar system’s “great divide,” the expanse that separates the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) from the gas and ice giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) may finally have an origin story. According to a study published in the journal…

Astronomers date an ancient Milky Way collision

The Gaia-Enceladus dwarf galaxy slammed into our Milky Way 11.5 billion years ago. It added a mass of 50 billion suns to the Milky Way. Grand names and big numbers! Now new knowledge of this collision comes from a single, bright star visible in Southern Hemisphere skies.