Recent Posts by Pangaea Biosciences

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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Powerful Tool for Genetic Engineering

Viruses cannot only cause illnesses in humans, they also infect bacteria. Those protect themselves with a kind of 'immune system' which -- simply put -- consists of specific sequences in the genetic material of the bacteria and a suitable enzyme. It detects foreign DNA, which may originate from a virus, cuts it up and thus…
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Expert Assessment: Sea-Level Rise Could Exceed One Meter in This Century

Sea-level rise in this century is likely to be 70-120 centimeters by 2100 if greenhouse-gas emissions are not mitigated, a broad assessment of the most active scientific publishers on that topic has revealed. The 90 experts participating in the survey anticipate a median sea-level rise of 200-300 centimeters by the year 2300 for a scenario…
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Acid Rain, Ozone Depletion Contributed to Ancient Extinction

Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction so severe that it remains the most traumatic known species die-off in Earth's history. Some researchers have suggested that this extinction was triggered by contemporaneous volcanic eruptions in Siberia. New results from a team including Director of Carnegie's…
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Antibiotic Resistance. Be Afraid. REALLY! Be VERY Afraid!

I just read an alarming piece on what the world will look like, possibly soon, when the efficacy of our current arsenal of antibiotics really starts to fade. There are already dozens of diseases that can resist some of the drugs we use to fight bacterial infections (antibiotics don’t work on viruses), and some can…
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