Recent Posts by Pangaea Biosciences

Ask a science teacher: What makes ice float?

The simple answer is that ice is less dense than water. The question then becomes: Why is ice, which is water in solid form, lighter than water in its liquid form? Something must be happening to water when it freezes. One molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, or H2O. The…
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Mutation & Inheritance: The Long Term Effects of Naturally Occurring Radiation on Living Systems

Research Proposal Prepared by: Tommy Rodriguez, M.S. for Pangaea Biosciences Premise: This research proposal seeks to investigate the possibility that naturally occurring radiation (background radiation) could alter species composition (genotype → phenotype) over extended timeframes. We look to establish a parallel between changed levels of natural radiation and significant evolutionary events. In particular, we will…
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Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice Means Scorching US Summers

Thirty years of shrinking Arctic sea ice has boosted extreme summer weather, including heat waves and drought, in the United States and elsewhere, according to a study published today (Dec. 8) in the journal Nature Climate Change. The new study — based on satellite tracking of sea ice, snow cover and weather trends since 1979…
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Endangered Florida Panther Found Shot Dead in Nature Reserve

An endangered Florida panther was found shot dead over the weekend, in the Big Cypress National Preserve, a (supposedly) protected area for wildlife. The death is significant as there are only 100 to 160 Florida panthers remaining, scientists estimate. The National Park Service is asking anybody with information to come forward. It's a crime to…
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New Results Send Mars Rover on a Quest for Ancient Life

When the Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater 16 months ago, its goal was to find a place on Mars that was habitable 4 billion years ago. It has done that, and now a spate of new findings is driving the mission in a new direction: searching for traces of ancient life. Leaders of the 400-strong Curiosity…
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Coffee or Beer? The Choice Could Affect Your Genome

Coffee and beer are polar opposites in the beverage world. Coffee picks you up, and beer winds you down. Now Prof. Martin Kupiec and his team at Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology have discovered that the beverages may also have opposite effects on your genome. Working with a kind of yeast…
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At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries

Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.…
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MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons

MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory. As you can imagine, the trick here is…
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Ancient Minerals: Which Gave Rise to Life?

Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth's raw materials. Scientific models of life's origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life's molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy. But this assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today are much…
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GMOs May Feed the World Using Fewer Pesticides

Walter De Jong shouts over the roar of fans in the greenhouse. He’s telling me about the seedlings beside him, which pepper the dark soil in a grid of small planting pots. De Jong, a potato breeder and geneticist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, hopes that at least one of the plants will…
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