DNA might get all the attention, but proteins do the work. The recent confirmation that it is possible to extract proteins—which are encoded by DNA and perform all of the functions that keep living cells alive—from 80-million-year-old dinosaur bones has provided fodder for big questions about everything from evolution to biomaterials to extraterrestrial life.
A primitive type of human, once thought to be up to three million years old, actually lived much more recently, a study suggests.
Alt: Homo naledi is only 250,000 years old – here’s why that matters
Mohamed Sahnouni, coordinator of the Prehistoric Technology Program at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), leads a study, published online in the journal L’Anthropologie, using fossil fauna and carbon stable isotope to reconstruct paleoenvironments of the newly discovered site of El Kherba (Algeria) dated to 1.7 million years ago, in relation with hominid behavioral activities
For decades, radiocarbon dating has been a way for scientists to get a rough picture of when once-living stuff lived. The method has been revolutionary and remains one of the most commonly used dating methods to study the past.
Charlotte Pearson says it’s ready for a makeover.
After a 170-year delay, the discovery of a strange, metallic-looking rock found in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1839 has ignited a global technology race for a cheaper, more efficient solar cell. It could seriously disrupt the world’s solar market, currently dominated by China.
A chemistry professor in Florida has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time.
The process has great potential for creating a technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, while also creating a clean way to produce energy.
A research team has devised a plan to make a portion of Mars more Earth-like by slamming an asteroid into it.
This Mars Terraformer Transfer (MATT) concept would create a persistent lake on the Red Planet’s surface in 2036, potentially accelerating Mars exploration, settlement and commercial development, the team said.
Mars has an asteroid entourage, with nine so-called Trojans trailing in its wake. Now it seems these travelling companions all had the same violent beginning: as the innards of a mini-planet, eviscerated in a violent collision. Some remnants may even have been incorporated into the material that became Mars.
On Venus, plumes of superheated rock from near the planet’s core may rise up intermittently, destroy patches of the planet’s surface and create unique crown-shaped geologic features called coronae, a new study finds.
Place yourself at the south pole of Enceladus, the icy moon of Saturn. You are standing on a ridge overlooking a trench a few hundred kilometres long and 2 kilometres wide, parallel to three similar trenches – a linear pattern that planetary scientists call tiger stripes.
Scientists are attempting to identify the amino acids—building blocks that make proteins and support all life on Earth—that might feasibly form the basis of extraterrestrial life. The researchers have analyzed how an assortment of 15 amino acids, some found here on Earth in living organisms and some not found in living organisms on Earth, hold up in the face of extreme conditions found on other planets and moons.
More than 750,000 pieces of dangerous debris are now orbiting Earth and threatening the future of spaceflight, the largest ever conference on space rubbish has heard.
Related: Thousands of tiny satellites are about to go into space and possibly ruin it forever
A now famous experiment conducted by chemists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey back in 1952 showed that even if we don’t know for sure how the first living cells formed, at least some of their molecular building blocks could have been produced by simple chemical reactions under conditions on ancient Earth.
About 14,500 years ago, Earth began transitioning from its cold, glacial self to a warmer interglacial state. However, partway through this period, temperatures suddenly returned to near-glacial conditions. This abrupt change (known as the Younger Dryas period) is believed by some to be the reason why hunter-gatherers started forming sedentary communities, farming, and laying the groundwork for civilization as we know it – aka. the Neolithic Revolution.
Related: Ancient carvings show comet hit Earth and triggered mini ice age
The CIA tried to decrypt it and failed. The FBI tried to break the code and also failed. Scholars, cryptologists and really smart people all over the world have been trying for 600 years to decrypt a mysterious book known as The Voynich Manuscript
The mysterious relics — an object and a piece of organic material — were traced during a decades-long genealogical study into Leonardo’s family.
Stunning 800-year-old carvings have been found inside a Knights Templar cave under a crossroads in a small English town.
The carvings appear to show pictures of four patron saints as well as scenes with John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus.