SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY
Microbes Surpass Low Energy Limit for Life
Microbes have been discovered on the sea floor that have exceptionally low metabolic rates, using so little oxygen that they barely qualify as life. Researchers think that they may have been living at the absolute minimum energy requirement needed to subsist for 86 million years.
In other news of the ancient past, the earliest direct example of insect pollination has been identified by scientists in 100-million-year-old amber blocks from Spain that include tiny invertebrates whose bodies are coated with pollen grains.
And archaeologists working in a rain forest in Guatemala have stumbled on a remarkable discovery: a room full of wall paintings and numerical calculations. The room, about the size of a walk-in closet, is part of the buried Maya city of Xultun.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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