суббота, 8 декабря 2018 г.

ISS Crew Captures Dragon


SpaceX – CRS-16 Dragon patch.


December 8, 2018


While the International Space Station was traveling about 250 miles over the Pacific Ocean north of Papua New Guinea, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor, captured the Dragon spacecraft at 7:21 a.m. EST using the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.



Image above: The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is moments way from being captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Image Credit: NASA TV.


Ground controllers will now send commands to begin the robotic installation of the spacecraft on bottom of the station’s Harmony module. NASA Television coverage of installation is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Watch online at http://www.nasa.gov/live.


The Dragon lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Wednesday, Dec 5 with more than 5,600 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory.



SpaceX CRS-16: Dragon capture

The International Space Station is an accessible space laboratory with unparalleled capability that is increasing knowledge of engineering and physical sciences, biology, the Earth, and the universe through research and technology demonstrations and providing the foundation for continuing human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit. NASA’s human research is closing the gaps in current scientific understanding of how best to predict, assess, and solve the problems that humans encounter while living and working in space, and extend that knowledge to protect the women and men who will go forward to the Moon and Mars.


Related links:


Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony


Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html


International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html


Image (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Marck Garcia/NASA TV/SciNews.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Dragon Attached to Station, Returns to Earth in January


ISS – Expedition 57 Mission patch.


December 8, 2018


Three days after its launch from Florida, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was installed on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 10:36 a.m. EST.



SpaceX CRS-16: Dragon berthing

The 16th contracted commercial resupply mission from SpaceX delivers more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory. Among the research it will bring to station, science investigations and technology demonstrations aboard Dragon include:


The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) will provide high-quality laser ranging observations of the Earth’s forests and topography required to advance the understanding of important carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat. GEDI will be mounted on the Japanese Experiment Module’s Exposed Facility and provide the first high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure at a global scale. These observations will quantify the aboveground carbon stored in vegetation and changes that result from vegetation disturbance and recovery, the potential for forests to sequester carbon in the future, and habitat structure and its influence on habitat quality and biodiversity.



Image above: Flying over Peru, seen by EarthCam on ISS, speed: 27’592 Km/h, altitude: 409,62 Km, image captured by Roland Berga (on Earth in Switzerland) from International Space Station (ISS) using ISS-HD Live application with EarthCam’s from ISS on December 8, 2018 at 14:38 UTC. Image Credits: Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


A small satellite deployment mechanism, called SlingShot, will be ride up in Dragon and then be installed in a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft prior to its departure from the space station. SlingShot can accommodate as many as 18 CubeSats of any format. After the Cygnus cargo ship departs from station, the spacecraft navigates to an altitude of 280 to 310 miles (an orbit higher than that of the space station) to deploy the satellites.


Robotic Refueling Mission-3 (RRM3) will demonstrate the first transfer and long-term storage of liquid methane, a cryogenic fluid, in microgravity. The ability to replenish and store cryogenic fluids, which can function as a fuel or coolant, will help enable long duration journeys to destinations, such as the Moon and Mars.



Image above: Dec. 8, 2018: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are attached at the space station including the U.S. resupply ships Northrop Grumman Cygnus and the SpaceX Dragon; and Russia’s Progress 70 and 71 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-09 and MS-10 crew ships all from Roscosmos. Image Credit: NASA.


Growth of Large, Perfect Protein Crystals for Neutron Crystallography (Perfect Crystals) crystallizes an antioxidant protein found inside the human body to analyze its shape. This research may shed light on how the protein helps protect the human body from ionizing radiation and oxidants created as a byproduct of metabolism. For best results, analysis requires large crystals with minimal imperfections, which are more easily produced in the microgravity environment of the space station.


Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in January 2019 and return to Earth with more than 4,000 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.


Related article:


ISS Crew Captures Dragon
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/12/iss-crew-captures-dragon.html


Related links:


Expedition 57: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition57/index.html


Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony


Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI): https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/gedi-to-measure-earths-forests


SlingShot: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7847


Robotic Refueling Mission-3 (RRM3): https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/11/nasa-to-launch-new-refueling-mission.html


Perfect Crystals: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7617


Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html


International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html


Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/NASA TV/SciNews/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


The Shrinking Aral Sea


The Aral Sea was once the

fourth-largest lake in the world. Fed primarily by snowmelt and precipitation

flowing down from faraway mountains, it was a temperate oasis in an arid

region. But in the 1960s, the Soviet Union diverted two major rivers to

irrigate farmland, cutting off the inland sea from its source. As the Aral Sea

dried up, fisheries collapsed, as did the communities that depended on them.

The remaining water supply became increasingly salty and polluted with runoff

from agricultural plots. Loss of the Aral Sea’s water influenced regional

climate, making the winters even colder and the summers much hotter.


image

While seasonal rains still

bring water to the Aral Sea, the lake is roughly one-tenth of its original size.

These satellite images show how the Aral Sea and its surrounding landscape has

changed over the past few decades.


For more details about these

images, read the full stories here: https://go.nasa.gov/2PqJ1ot



Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com


2018 December 8 Tiny Planet Timelapse Video Credit &…


2018 December 8


Tiny Planet Timelapse
Video Credit & Copyright: Brian HaidetMusic Credit: Space Walk – Silent Partner


Explanation: You can pack a lot of sky watching into 30 seconds on this tiny planet. Of course, the full spherical image timelapse video was recorded on planet Earth, from Grande Pines Observatory outside Pinehurst, North Carolina. It was shot in early September with a single camera and circular fisheye lens, digitally combining one 24-hour period with camera and lens pointed up with one taken with camera and lens pointed down. The resulting image data is processed and projected onto a flat frame centered on the nadir, the point directly below the camera. Watch as clouds pass, shadows creep, and the sky cycles from day to night when stars swirl around the horizon. Keep watching, though. In a second sequence the projected center is the south celestial pole, planet Earth’s axis of rotation below the tiny planet horizon. Holding the stars fixed, the horizon itself rotates as the tiny planet swings around the frame, hiding half the sky through day and night.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap181208.html


Biggest mass extinction caused by global warming leaving ocean…


Biggest mass extinction caused by global warming leaving ocean animals gasping for breath http://www.geologypage.com/2018/12/biggest-mass-extinction-caused-by-global-warming-leaving-ocean-animals-gasping-for-breath.html


Scientists find new giant dinosaur…


Scientists find new giant dinosaur http://www.geologypage.com/2018/12/scientists-find-new-giant-dinosaur.html


Книги офицера Царской армии Основы истинной...

Частички того, о чём пишется в учебниках, по которым обучались офицеры царской армии в конце 19 века «Основы истинной науки. Сущность жизни.» в более полной мере отражены в самой на Земле таинственной до сих пор неразгаданной и не расшифрованной древней рукописи Войнич. Если манускрипт понимаешь правильно, то появляются знания управления стихией, кристаллами планеты.




Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты


Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля.

ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты



Сохрани к себе библиотеку древних знаний  и открывай горизонты Тайн внутреннего самосознания


Частички того, о чём пишется в учебниках, по которым обучались офицеры царской армии в конце 19 века «Основы истинной науки. Сущность жизни.» в более полной мере отражены в самой на Земле таинственной до сих пор неразгаданной и не расшифрованной древней рукописи Войнич. Сохрани к себе на компьютер и открывай горизонты Тайн внутреннего самосознания Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты  Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты




Книга 1-я «Бог не опровержим наукой»




 Год выпуска: 1895-1897 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: Паровая Скоропечатня "Надежда" Серия: Основы истинной науки Описание: Книга рассказывает о жизни на планетах солнечной системы, о представлениях людей XIX века о жизни на других планетах.    Книга 1-я «Бог не опровержим наукой» Содержание: Глава 1: Главное разногласие Глава 2: Мировоззрение учёных Глава 3: Цель и назначение науки Глава 4: Позитивизм Глава 5: Мировоззрение материалистов Глава 6: Атеизм Глава 7: Материализм и спиритуализм Глава 8: Обзор истории развития мысли Глава 9: Исходные точки мышления материалистов Глава 10: Общий характер материалистической науки Глава 11: Бог и бесконечность его творений Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»  Книга 2-я «Состав человеческого существа» Содержание: Глава 1: Отвлечённый элемент человека Глава 2: Явления из загробной жизни Глава 3: Душа материалистов и позитивистов Глава 4: Душа спиритуалистов Глава 5: Три элемента человеческого существа Глава 6: Поиски четвёртого элемента Глава 7: Учение физики о материи Глава 8: Полу материальная оболочка Глава 9: Жизнь человека Глава 10: Смерть человека Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»  Книга 3-я «Сущность жизни» Содержание: Глава 1: Начало мироздания Глава 2: Мир Духовный Глава 3: Мир Людей Глава 4: Мир зла Глава 5: Попечение Бога о людях Глава 6: Жизнь людей вообще Глава 7: Жизнь на Венере Глава 8: Жизнь на Земле Глава 9: Ад Глава 10: Жизнь на Марсе Глава 11: Жизнь на Юпитере Глава 12: Жизнь на Сатурне, Уране и Нептуне. Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»  Формат: Книга I - PDF (размером 62 Mb); Книга II - PDF (размером 60Mb); Книга III - PDF (размером 85,77 Mb) и DJVU (размером 4,29 Mb) Качество: страницы  FineReader и Photoshop Количество страниц: Книга I - 249; Книга II - 252; Книга III - 257  PDF, DJVU Скачать PDF формат по ссылке google


ТАМ История Земли

 Личный взгляд

 моя расшифровка рукописи Войнич



И.А.Карышева «Основы истинной науки. Сущность жизни.» Книги I, II, III 1895-1897

Год выпуска: 1895-1897

Автор: И.А.Карышева

Издательство: Паровая Скоропечатня «Надежда»

Серия: Основы истинной науки

Описание: Книга рассказывает о жизни на планетах солнечной системы, о представлениях людей XIX века о жизни на других планетах.


Книга 1-я «Бог не опровержим наукой»

Содержание:

Глава 1: Главное разногласие

Глава 2: Мировоззрение учёных

Глава 3: Цель и назначение науки

Глава 4: Позитивизм

Глава 5: Мировоззрение материалистов

Глава 6: Атеизм

Глава 7: Материализм и спиритуализм

Глава 8: Обзор истории развития мысли

Глава 9: Исходные точки мышления материалистов

Глава 10: Общий характер материалистической науки

Глава 11: Бог и бесконечность его творений

Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»





Книга 2-я «Состав человеческого существа»

Содержание:

Глава 1: Отвлечённый элемент человека

Глава 2: Явления из загробной жизни

Глава 3: Душа материалистов и позитивистов

Глава 4: Душа спиритуалистов

Глава 5: Три элемента человеческого существа

Глава 6: Поиски четвёртого элемента

Глава 7: Учение физики о материи

Глава 8: Полу материальная оболочка

Глава 9: Жизнь человека

Глава 10: Смерть человека

Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»






Книга 3-я «Сущность жизни»

Содержание:

Глава 1: Начало мироздания

Глава 2: Мир Духовный

Глава 3: Мир Людей

Глава 4: Мир зла

Глава 5: Попечение Бога о людях

Глава 6: Жизнь людей вообще

Глава 7: Жизнь на Венере

Глава 8: Жизнь на Земле

Глава 9: Ад

Глава 10: Жизнь на Марсе

Глава 11: Жизнь на Юпитере

Глава 12: Жизнь на Сатурне, Уране и Нептуне.

Год издания: 1895 Автор: И.А.Карышева Издательство: «Надежда»






Формат: Книга I — PDF (размером 62 Mb); Книга II — PDF (размером 60Mb); Книга III — PDF (размером 85,77 Mb) и DJVU (размером 4,29 Mb)

Качество: страницы  FineReader и Photoshop

Количество страниц: Книга I — 249; Книга II — 252; Книга III — 257

PDF, DJVU





Скачать PDF формат по ссылке google



Книга 1



Сохрани к себе на компьютер и открывай горизонты Тайн внутреннего самосознания






Книга 1-я «Бог не опровержим наукой»

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySlY4ckeqbENWsxeEl0aWM3d0E/view?usp=sharing


Книга 2-я «Состав человеческого существа»

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySlY4ckeqbEVEp3alpzdmN6b2M/view?usp=sharing


Книга 3-я «Сущность жизни»

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySlY4ckeqbEUGQzdkFHWFcyeUU/view?usp=sharing


Мои мысли в фильмах


Частички того, о чём пишется в учебниках, по которым обучались офицеры царской армии в конце 19 века «Основы истинной науки. Сущность жизни.» в более полной мере отражены в самой на Земле таинственной до сих пор неразгаданной и не расшифрованной древней рукописи Войнич. Сохрани к себе на компьютер и открывай горизонты Тайн внутреннего самосознания Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты  Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты


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Частички того, о чём пишется в учебниках, по которым обучались офицеры царской армии в конце 19 века «Основы истинной науки. Сущность жизни.» в более полной мере отражены в самой на Земле таинственной до сих пор неразгаданной и не расшифрованной древней рукописи Войнич. Сохрани к себе на компьютер и открывай горизонты Тайн внутреннего самосознания Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты  Мной подготовлена более точная, более конкретная расшифровка с наглядными примерами  образов из рукописи, для тех немногих людей, кто был благодарен и признателен мне за краткую корректную расшифровку рукописи Войнич в 2012 году. Полагаю, что более корректная расшифровка и мой личный образный взгляд поможет и вам дорогие благодарные немногочисленные зрители распознать Тайны из скрытой Истории планеты Земля. ТАМигунова с Благом в ответе к Вам каждому и к вам немногие индивидуально мыслящие уважающие личное мнение и личные исследования людей Истории планеты


 Манускрипт рукопись Voynich Manuscript Войнич Source История планеты Моя расшифровка рукописи Войнич май 2012 by SpaceTrack






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4,000-year-old olive seeds unearthed in SE Turkey

When Augustus Caesar rose to become the first Roman emperor, in 27 BC, the seeds recently unearthed by Turkish archeologists were already 2,000 years old.











4,000-year-old olive seeds unearthed in SE Turkey
Some of the recently found olive seeds [Credit: Gaziantep University]

Those same seeds, found during excavations in Kilis, along the Turkish-Syrian border, have a vintage dating back four millennia — around the time the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built.
“We’ve discovered dozens of olive seeds inside layers dating back 4,000 years, and various basaltic grinding stones that we think were used to produce olive oil,” Atilla Engin, an archaeology professor at Gaziantep University, told Anadolu Agency.


The seeds were found in a historic tumulus in southeastern Turkey called Oylum, one of the biggest of its kind in the region.











4,000-year-old olive seeds unearthed in SE Turkey
View of Oylum tumulus in southeastern Turkey [Credit: AA]

Explaining how the eastern Mediterranean is known as the “Motherland of Olives,” Engin said olives and olive oil were not just used for food, but also had numerous uses in textiles, medicine, and mining.
Olive oil was a pricey and valued commodity in ancient times, he said.


“It was twice as expensive as sesame oil, which is harder to produce than olive oil, and it was 10 times more expensive than wine,” he explained.


Author: Izzet Mazi | Source: Anadolu Agency [December 04, 2018]



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Mantle neon illuminates Earth’s formation

The Earth formed relatively quickly from the cloud of dust and gas around the Sun, trapping water and gases in the planet’s mantle, according to research published in the journal Nature. Apart from settling Earth’s origins, the work could help in identifying extrasolar systems that could support habitable planets.











Mantle neon illuminates Earth's formation
Artist’s impression of a young star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk in which planets are forming. Based on measures
of neon isotopes, UC Davis researchers conclude that the Earth formed relatively quickly from this cloud of dust
and gas, collecting water, carbon and nitrogen in the deep Earth [Credit: European Southern Observatory]

Drawing on data from the depths of the Earth to deep space, University of California Davis Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay and postdoctoral researcher Curtis Williams used neon isotopes to show how the planet formed.


“We’re trying to understand where and how the neon in Earth’s mantle was acquired, which tells us how fast the planet formed and in what conditions,” Williams said.


Neon is actually a stand-in for where gases such as water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen came from, Williams said. Unlike these compounds that are essential for life, neon is an inert noble gas, and it isn’t influenced by chemical and biological processes.


“So neon keeps a memory of where it came from even after four and a half billion years,” Mukhopadhyay said.


There are three competing ideas about how the Earth formed from a protoplanetary disk of dust and gas over four billion years ago and how water and other gases were delivered to the growing Earth. In the first, the planet grew relatively quickly over two to five million years and captured gas from the nebula, the swirling cloud of dust and gas surrounding the young Sun. The second theory suggests dust particles formed and were irradiated by the Sun for some time before condensing into miniature objects called planetesimals that were subsequently delivered to the growing planet. In the third option, the Earth formed relatively slowly and gases were delivered by carbonaceous chondrite meteorites that are rich in water, carbon and nitrogen.


These different models have consequences for what the early Earth was like, Mukhopadhyay said. If the Earth formed quickly out of the solar nebula, it would have had a lot of hydrogen gas at or near the surface. But if the Earth formed from carbonaceous chondrites, its hydrogen would have come in the more oxidized form, water.


Neon from ocean floor to deep space


To figure out which of the three competing ideas on planet formation and delivery of gases were correct, Williams and Mukhopadhyay accurately measured the ratios of neon isotopes that were trapped in the Earth’s mantle when the planet formed. Neon has three isotopes, neon-20, 21 and 22. All three are stable and non-radioactive, but neon-21 is formed by radioactive decay of uranium. So the amounts of neon-20 and 22 in the Earth have been stable since the planet formed and will remain so forever, but neon-21 slowly accumulates over time. The three scenarios for Earth’s formation are predicted to have different ratios of neon-20 to neon-22.


The closest they could get to the mantle was to look at rocks called pillow basalts on the ocean floor. These glassy rocks are the remains of flows from deep in the Earth that spilled out and cooled in the ocean, later to be collected by a drilling expedition led by the University of Rhode Island, which makes its collection available to other scientists.


The gases are found in tiny bubbles within the basalt. Using a press, Williams cracked basalt chips in a sealed chamber, allowing the gases to flow into a sensitive mass spectrometer.


Now for the space part. Previous researchers established the neon isotope ratio for the “solar nebula” (early rapid formation) model with data from the Genesis mission, which captured particles of the solar wind. Data for the “irradiated particles” model came from analyses of lunar soils and of meteorites. Finally, carbonaceous chondrite meteorites provided data for the “late accretion” model.


Minimum size for a habitable planet


The isotope ratios they found were well above those for the “irradiated particles” or “late accretion” models, Williams said, and support rapid early formation.


“This is a clear indication that there is nebular neon in the deep mantle,” Williams said.


Neon, remember, is a marker for those other volatile compounds. Hydrogen, water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen would have been condensing into the Earth at the same time — all ingredients that, as far as we know, go into making up a habitable planet.


The results imply that to absorb these vital compounds, a planet must reach a certain size — the size of Mars or a little larger — before the solar nebula dissipates. Observations of other solar systems show that this takes about two to three million years, Williams said.


Does the same process happen around other stars? Observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, observatory in Chile suggest that it does, the researchers said.


ALMA uses an array of 66 radiotelescopes working as a single instrument to image dust and gas in the universe. It can see the planet-forming disks of dust and gas around some nearby stars. In some cases, there are dark bands in those disks where dust has been depleted.


“There are a couple of ways dust could be depleted from the disk, and one of them is that they are forming planets,” Williams said.


“We can observe planet formation in a gas disk in other solar systems, and there is a similar record of our own solar system preserved in Earth’s interior,” Mukhopadhyay said. “This might be a common way for planets to form elsewhere.”


Source: UC Davis [December 05, 2018]




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Strong growth in global CO2 emissions expected for 2018

Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018 – according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project.











Strong growth in global CO2 emissions expected for 2018
A coal-fired power plant in Bergheim. Germany. Coal use in power stations is a major source of CO2 emissions
[Credit: EPA-EFE]

A projected rise of more than 2 per cent has been driven by a solid growth in coal use for the second year in a row, and sustained growth in oil and gas use.


The news is a further call to action for governments at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice this week.


But the research team say energy trends are changing and that there is still time to address climate change if efforts to curb carbon emissions rapidly expand in all sectors of the economy.


The new data for 2018, published today simultaneously in the journals Nature, Earth System Science Data and Environmental Research Letters, reveals that global emissions from burning fossil fuels are expected to reach 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018.


CO2 emissions have now risen for a second year, after three years of little-to-no growth from 2014 to 2016. The rise this year is projected at 2.7 per cent (+1.8 to +3.7 per cent). In 2017 it was 1.6 per cent.


The 10 biggest emitters in 2018 are China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada. The EU as a whole region of countries ranks third.


Lead researcher Prof Corinne Le Quéré, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at UEA, said: “We are seeing a strong growth of global CO2 emissions once again.


“Emissions need to peak and rapidly decrease to address climate change. With this year’s growth in emissions, it looks like the peak is not yet in sight.


“To limit global warming to the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5°C, CO2 emissions would need to decline by 50 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by around 2050. We are a long way from this and much more needs to be done because if countries stick to the commitments they have already made, we are on track to see 3°C of global warming.


“This year we have seen how climate change can already amplify the impacts of heatwaves worldwide. The California wildfires are just a snapshot of the growing impacts we face if we don’t drive emissions down rapidly.”


What is driving the rise?


This year’s rising emission figures are largely due to solid growth in coal use, but coal still remains below its historical high in 2013. Coal use may soon exceed this 2013 peak if current growth continues.


Oil use is growing strongly in most regions, with a rise in emissions from cars and lorries, including in the US and Europe. Flights have also contributed to the oil rise. Gas use has grown almost unabated in recent years.


Prof Le Quéré said: “The growing global demand for energy is outpacing decarbonisation for now. This needs to change, and change quickly to address climate change.


“We need strong policy and economic support for rapid deployment of low carbon technologies to cut emissions across the energy and transport sectors, from buildings and from industry.











Strong growth in global CO2 emissions expected for 2018
Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018 — according to researchers at the
University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project. A projected rise of more than
2 per cent has been driven by a solid growth in coal use for the second year in a row,
and sustained growth in oil and gas use [Credit: Global Carbon Project]

“Energy trends are changing rapidly, with coal use decreasing in many parts of the world and still below its 2013 level globally, and an explosion in wind and solar energy. But while renewables are rising fast, it is not yet enough to reverse global emissions trends.


“The rapid actions needed to address climate change also need to be fair to all generations,” she added.


Dr Glen Peters, a Research Director at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, who led the emissions analysis, said: “Global commitments made in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions are not yet being matched by proportionate actions.


“Despite rapid growth in low carbon technologies such as solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and batteries, not nearly enough is being done to support policies that limit the amount of carbon dioxide that is put into the atmosphere.


“The rise in emissions in 2017 could be seen as a one-off, but the growth rate in 2018 is even higher, and it is becoming crystal clear the world is so far failing in its duty to steer onto a course consistent with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015.”


CO2 emissions from deforestation and other human activities on land contributed an additional 5 billion tonnes of CO2 this year, bringing total CO2 emissions to 41.5 billion tonnes of CO2. The global trends in those emissions are unclear due to large uncertainties in the data.


Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are set to increase by around 2.3 parts per million on average in 2018 in response to continued CO2 emissions, to reach about 407 parts per million over the year. This is 45 per cent above pre-industrial levels. The rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is the main cause of climate change.


The good news


Countering rising global emissions are 19 countries where emissions have reduced and their economy has grown. Aruba, Barbados, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, the US, and Uzbekistan have all decreased their emissions over the past decade (2008-2017).


Deployment of renewable energy worldwide is accelerating exponentially, with electricity generation growing at 15 per cent per year on average over the last decade. But this has not been enough to offset the growth in fossil energy because renewables are growing from a low base. This is changing rapidly.


Christiana Figueres, Mission 2020 campaign group leader and lead author of the Nature Commentary, said: “Global CO2 emissions must start to fall from 2020 if we are to meet the temperature goals of the Paris agreement, but this is within our grasp. We have already achieved things that seemed unimaginable just a decade ago.


“Exponential progress in key solutions is happening and on track to displace fossil fuels. Renewable energy technology costs have dropped by 80 per cent in a decade, and today, over half of all new energy generation capacity is renewable. Before 2015 many people thought the Paris Agreement was impossible, yet thousands of people and institutions made the shift from impossible to unstoppable. The same is true of decarbonizing the economy. Propelled by the pursuit of clean air, jobs and energy-independence among other benefits, the intrepid, collective efforts of young people, civil society, businesses, investors, cities and states are charting the course to net zero emissions by 2050.”


How different countries compare


Almost all countries have contributed to the rise in global emissions, either through growth in emissions or through reductions that are slower than expected. China’s emissions account for 27 per cent of the global total, having grown an estimated 4.7 per cent (+2 per cent to +7.4 per cent) in 2018 and reaching a new all-time high. The growth in emissions is linked to construction activity and economic growth, part of which may be due to temporary stimulus-driven credit growth. Energy from renewables is growing by 25 per cent per year, but from a low base.


Emissions in the US account for 15 per cent of the global total, and look set to have grown about 2.5 per cent (+0.5 per cent to +4.5 per cent) in 2018 after several years in decline. The new rise is due to robust growth in oil use of about 1.4 per cent, associated with an increase in car journeys, and gas of about 7.6 per cent. Emissions from coal use look set to have decreased by around -2.1 per cent in 2018, continuing a shift away from coal, with a 40 per cent decrease in CO2 emissions from coal since 2007, mainly towards gas, and more recently also towards renewables for power generation.


EU emissions account for 10 per cent of global emissions and a small decline of around -0.7 per cent is projected, well below the declines of ?2 per cent per year in the decade up to 2014. Estimated declines in coal and gas use due to the growth in renewable energy have been partially offset by a growth in oil use. The amount of fuel used for road transport and flights has surged by around 4 per cent in the EU. Overall EU emissions are still near or above their 2014 levels.


India’s emissions, accounting for 7 per cent of the global total, have continued to grow by around 6.3 per cent, as their economy booms. Wind and solar are growing fast, albeit from a low base.


Emissions in the rest of the world, the remaining 42 per cent of global emissions, are expected to grow about 1.8 per cent (+0.5 per cent to +3.0 per cent) this year. The five countries contributing most to the rest-of-the-word growth in global emissions in the last decade are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and South Korea.


Source: University of East Anglia [December 05, 2018]



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Greenland ice sheet melt ‘off the charts’ compared with past four centuries

Surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research published in the journal Nature. The study provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic melting and global sea level rise.











Greenland ice sheet melt 'off the charts' compared with past four centuries
Large rivers form on the surface of Greenland each summer, rapidly moving meltwater from the ice sheet to the ocean
[Credit: Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]

“Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years,” said Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment and former post-doctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and lead author of the study. “And increasing melt began around the same time as we started altering the atmosphere in the mid-1800s.”


“From a historical perspective, today’s melt rates are off the charts, and this study provides the evidence to prove this” said Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and co-author of the study. “We found a fifty percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era, and a thirty percent increase since the 20th century alone.”


Ice loss from Greenland is one of the key drivers of global sea level rise. Icebergs calving into the ocean from the edge of glaciers represent one component of water re-entering the ocean and raising sea levels. But more than half of the ice-sheet water entering the ocean comes from runoff from melted snow and glacial ice atop the ice sheet. The study suggests that if Greenland ice sheet melting continues at “unprecedented rates” — which the researchers attribute to warmer summers — it could accelerate the already fast pace of sea level rise.


“Rather than increasing steadily as climate warms, Greenland will melt increasingly more and more for every degree of warming. The melting and sea level rise we’ve observed already will be dwarfed by what may be expected in the future as climate continues to warm,” said Trusel.



To determine how intensely Greenland ice has melted in past centuries, the research team used a drill the size of a traffic light pole to extract ice cores from the ice sheet itself and an adjacent coastal ice cap, at sites more than 6,000 feet above sea level. The scientists drilled at these elevations to ensure the cores would contain records of past melt intensity, allowing them to extend their records back into the 17th century. During warm summer days in Greenland, melting occurs across much of the ice sheet surface. At lower elevations, where melting is the most intense, meltwater runs off the ice sheet and contributes to sea level rise, but no record of the melt remains. At higher elevations, however, the summer meltwater quickly refreezes from contact with the below-freezing snowpack sitting underneath. This prevents it from escaping the ice sheet in the form of runoff. Instead, it forms distinct icy bands that stack up in layers of densely packed ice over time.
The core samples were brought back to ice core labs at the U.S. National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility in Denver, Colo., WHOI in Woods Hole, Mass., Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev. where the scientists measured physical and chemical properties along the cores to determine the thickness and age of the melt layers. Dark bands running horizontally across the cores, like ticks on a ruler, enabled the scientists to visually chronicle the strength of melting at the surface from year to year. Thicker melt layers represented years of higher melting, while thinner sections indicated years with less melting.


Combining results from multiple ice cores with observations of melting from satellites and sophisticated climate models, the scientists were able to show that the thickness of the annual melt layers they observed clearly tracked not only how much melting was occurring at the coring sites, but also much more broadly across Greenland. This breakthrough allowed the team to reconstruct meltwater runoff at the lower-elevation edges of the ice sheet — the areas that contribute to sea level rise.











Greenland ice sheet melt 'off the charts' compared with past four centuries
Study lead author and WHOI post-doc Dr. Luke Trusel (now at Rowan University) takes field
measurements of a section of ice core from Greenland before packing it for transport home
[Credit: Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]

Ice core records provide critical historical context because satellite measurements — which scientists rely on today to understand melting rates in response to changing climate — have only been around since the late 1970s, said Matt Osman, a graduate student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program and co-author of the study.


“We have had a sense that there’s been a great deal of melting in recent decades, but we previously had no basis for comparison with melt rates going further back in time,” he said. “By sampling ice, we were able to extend the satellite data by a factor of 10 and get a clearer picture of just how extremely unusual melting has been in recent decades compared to the past.”


Trusel said the new research provides evidence that the rapid melting observed in recent decades is highly unusual when put into a historical context.


“To be able to answer what might happen to Greenland next, we need to understand how Greenland has already responded to climate change,” he said. “What our ice cores show is that Greenland is now at a state where it’s much more sensitive to further increases in temperature than it was even 50 years ago.”


One noteworthy aspect of the findings, Das said, was how little additional warming it now takes to cause huge spikes in ice sheet melting.


“Even a very small change in temperature caused an exponential increase in melting in recent years,” she said. “So the ice sheet’s response to human-caused warming has been non-linear.” Trusel concluded, “Warming means more today than it did in the past.”


Additional co-authors are: Matthew B. Osman, MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography; Matthew J. Evans, Wheaton College; Ben E. Smith, University of Washington; Xavier Fettweis, University of Leige; Joseph R. McConnell, Desert Research Institute; and Brice P. Y. Noël and and Michiel R. van den Broeke Utrecht University.


This research was funded by the US National Science Foundation, institutional support from Rowan University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the US Department of Defense, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Netherlands Earth System Science Center, and the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research.


Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution [December 05, 2018]



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HiPOD (7 December 2018): Layering and Faulting in Layered…



HiPOD (7 December 2018): Layering and Faulting in Layered Deposits in Candor Chasma


   – This observation was a last minute one done as nadir-only, meaning when the camera is pointing straight down at the surface, as opposed to an angle when we want to create a stereo pair. (Alt: 262 km above the surface. Black and white is less than 5 km across; enhanced color is less than 1 km.)


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Scientists discover possible mantle mineral

Scientists long believed that the lower mantle was composed of Bridgmanite (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and magnesiowüstite (Mg,Fe)O, in which Fe2+ dwells. This view changed when experiments showed that Fe2+ simply can’t exist at the pressure and temperature of the lower mantle. What is present is Fe3+. The two phases (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and (Mg,Fe)O both shed Fe2+ and, in turn, MgSiO3 and MgO remain. However, what mineral hosts Fe3+ had remained a secret.











Scientists discover possible mantle mineral
Maohokite [Credit: CHEN Ming]

Now scientists have a possible answer: Maohokite, a newly discovered high-pressure mineral. It may be what composes the Earth’s lower mantle along with Bridgmanite MgSiO3 and magnesiowüstite MgO. The study reporting this new mineral was published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science.


Maohokite was discovered by CHEN Ming’s team from the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and SHU Jinfu from the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research. The mineral was named after Hokwang Mao, in honor of his great contribution to high-pressure research.


The mineral and its name have been approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association under the designator IMA 2017-047.


Natural minerals can be divided into two types: low-pressure minerals and high-pressure minerals, depending on their formation pressures. The pressure and temperature required for the formation of high-pressure minerals can only be provided by the environment of the mantle or the hypervelocity collision between celestial bodies.


Maohokite is the second case. It was found in shock-metamorphosed rocks from the Xiuyan impact crater in China.


This high-pressure mineral was formed from the decomposition of ferromagnesian carbonate via a self-oxidation-reduction reaction at a temperature >900 °C and impact pressure >25 GPa (a pressure range found at depths more than 670km below Earth’s surface). In this reaction,  Fe2+ oxidizes into Fe3+ and then later combines with  Mg2+ to form maohokite, thus making it a possible important constituent of the lower mantle.


Maohokite, with a composition of MgFe2O4, has an orthorhombic CaFe2O4-type structure. The existing mineralogical model of the Earth’s mantle shows that the ferromagnesian lower mantle is mainly composed of Bridgmanite (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and magnesiowüstite (Mg,Fe)O. Therefore, the fact that Maohokite contains Mg and Fe, two major components of the lower mantle, only makes the case stronger that Maokohite is a key mineral in the lower mantle.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences [December 05, 2018]



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Evolution of the inner ear: Insights from jawless fish

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics (BDR) and collaborators have described for the first time the development of the hagfish inner ear. Published in the journal Nature, the study provides a new story for inner ear evolution that began with the last common ancestor of modern vertebrates.











Evolution of the inner ear: Insights from jawless fish
The eel-shaped, slime-producing hagfish is a living fossil, remaining unchanged in its structure
and habits for over 300 million years [Credit: Gerald & Buff Corsi/Getty Images]

Comparing organs among related animals can be helpful when trying to understand the evolutionary process, and will ultimately help us better understand organogenesis–the process through which organs develop. This underlying philosophy helped guide the collaborative effort to study the inner ear led by Shigeru Kuratani at RIKEN BDR.


The story begins with a difference between jawed and jawless vertebrates. Jawed vertebrates like humans have inner ears with three semicircular canals, which are what allow us to sense our position and stay balanced in the world, and especially to sense 3-D acceleration. The fossil record shows that a group of jawless fish from the Paleozoic era only had two semicircular canals. In order to understand the evolutionary changes that led three canals, the team looked at the only two types of jawless vertebrates that still exist on earth: lampreys and hagfish.


Lampreys are thought to have two semicircular canals, while hagfish only have one. However, hagfish are no longer thought to be more primitive than lampreys. A series of molecular biological experiments was able to clarify the issue. Analyzing the regulatory genes that control the development of the semicircular canals showed that the basic pattern of inner ear development is similar for all vertebrates, including lampreys and hagfish. Key genes, such as Tbx1 and Patched were expressed at the same places with the same timing across all three types of vertebrate.


The anterior and posterior canals in jawed vertebrates appear to be genetically homologous to the anterior and posterior parts of the lamprey canal, while the pattern for the single hagfish canal is likely an evolved trait, not a primitive condition. The difference between the jawed and lawless fish is the presence of the common crus, a structure that connects the anterior and posterior canals in jawed vertebrates. The current study could not determine whether the common crus is something that jawed vertebrates gained or something that was lost in jawless vertebrates.


Further analysis focused on the Otx1 gene. This gene is required for proper development of the lateral canal, the third canal that is unique to jawed vertebrates. The researchers found that despite the lack of a lateral canal, lampreys and hagfish both expressed Otx1 in the proper location during development. This was somewhat surprising as its expression was thought to be an advent that led to the evolution of the lateral canal. Instead, it appears that Otx1 expression in the otic vesicle is an ancient feature for all vertebrates.


A more complete understanding will be possible by performing studies with an animal that represents the lineages before jawed and jawless vertebrates diverged.


Source: RIKEN [December 05, 2018]



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Soft tissue shows Jurassic ichthyosaur was warm-blooded, had blubber and camouflage

An ancient, dolphin-like marine reptile resembles its distant relative in more than appearance, according to an international team of researchers that includes scientists from North Carolina State University and Sweden’s Lund University. Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators.











Soft tissue shows Jurassic ichthyosaur was warm-blooded, had blubber and camouflage
Spectacular soft-tissue fossil (MH 432; Urweltmuseum Hauff, Holzmaden, Germany). Cells, cellular organelles and original
 biomolecules have been discovered in preserved soft parts of an approximately 180-million-year-old ichthyosaur
(literally ‘fish-lizard’). Photographic (top) and diagrammatic (bottom) representation of the 85-cm-long fossil
(which corresponds to roughly half of the original length of the animal) [Credit: Johan Lindgren]

“Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals,” says research co-author Mary Schweitzer, professor of biological sciences at NC State with a joint appointment at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and visiting professor at Lund University. “We aren’t exactly sure of their biology either. They have many features in common with living marine reptiles like sea turtles, but we know from the fossil record that they gave live birth, which is associated with warm-bloodedness. This study reveals some of those biological mysteries.”
Johan Lindgren, associate professor at Sweden’s Lund University and lead author of a paper describing the work, published in Nature, put together an international team to analyze an approximately 180 million-year-old Stenopterygius fossil from the Holzmaden quarry in Germany.


“Both the body outline and remnants of internal organs are clearly visible,” says Lindgren. “Remarkably, the fossil is so well-preserved that it is possible to observe individual cellular layers within its skin.”


Researchers identified cell-like microstructures that held pigment organelles within the fossil’s skin, as well as traces of an internal organ thought to be the liver. They also observed material chemically consistent with vertebrate blubber, which is only found in animals capable of maintaining body temperatures independent of ambient conditions.


Lindgren sent samples from the fossil to international colleagues, including Schweitzer. The team conducted a variety of high-resolution analytical techniques, including time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF SIMS), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, as well as immunohistological analysis and various microscopic techniques.


Schweitzer and NC State research assistant Wenxia Zheng extracted soft tissues from the samples and performed multiple, high-resolution immunohistochemical analyses. “We developed a panel of antibodies that we applied to all of the samples, and saw differential binding, meaning the antibodies for a particular protein — like keratin or hemoglobin — only bound to particular areas,” Schweitzer says. “This demonstrates the specificity of these antibodies and is strong evidence that different proteins persist in different tissues. You wouldn’t expect to find keratin in the liver, for example, but you would expect hemoglobin. And that’s what we saw in the responses of these samples to different antibodies and other chemical tools.”


Lindgren’s lab also found chemical evidence for subcutaneous blubber. “This is the first direct, chemical evidence for warm-bloodedness in an ichthyosaur, because blubber is a feature of warm-blooded animals,” Schweitzer says.


Taken together, the researchers’ findings indicate that the Stenopterygius had skin similar to that of a whale, and coloration similar to many living marine animals — dark on top and lighter on the bottom — which would provide camouflage from predators, like pterosaurs from above, or pliosaurs from below.


“Both morphologically and chemically, we found that although Stenopterygius would be loosely considered ‘reptiles,’ they lost the scaly skin associated with these animals — just as the modern leatherback sea turtle has,” Schweitzer says. “Losing the scales reduces drag and increases maneuverability underwater.


“This animal’s preservation is unusual, especially for a marine environment — but then, the Holzmaden formation is known for its exceptional preservation. This specimen has given us more evidence that these tissues and molecules can preserve for extremely long periods, and that soft tissue analysis can shed light on evolutionary patterns, relationships, and how ancient animals functioned in their environment.


“Our results were repeatable and consistent across labs. This work really shows what we’re capable of discovering when we perform a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional study of an exceptional specimen.”


Source: North Carolina State University [December 05, 2018]



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Sea invertebrate sheds light on evolution of human blood, immune systems

Botryllus schlosseri, a marine invertebrate that lives in underwater colonies resembling fuzzy pinheads clinging to rocks, has a blood-forming system with uncanny similarities to that of humans, according to scientists at Stanford University.











Sea invertebrate sheds light on evolution of human blood, immune systems
Under the microscope, a Botryllus colony looks like a bouquet of flowers, although in reality each “petal”
is a separate organism with its own heart, gills, digestive system, brain and blood cells
[Credit: Stanford Hopkins Marine Station]

In a study published in Nature, the researchers report that these lowly sea creatures may provide a way to understand our own blood-forming system, improve our immune function and find new immune-associated tools for biological discovery.


“The mammalian and Botryllus blood-forming systems also share hundreds of homologous genes, even though the two species are separated by over 500 million years of evolution,” said former postdoctoral scholar Benyamin Rosental, PhD.


Rosental shares lead authorship of the study with graduate student Mark Kowarsky. The senior authors are Irving Weissman, MD, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Innovation in Cancer Research and professor of pathology and of developmental biology; Stephen Quake, PhD, the Lee Otterson Professor in the School of Engineering and professor of bioengineering and of applied physics; and senior research scientist Ayelet Voskoboynik, PhD.


The researchers isolated the Botryllus stem cells that are the foundation of its blood and immune system, as well as the progenitor cells they make on their way to becoming adult blood and immune cells. “Out of all the invertebrates, the Botryllus blood stem cells and progenitors are the most similar to vertebrate blood cells, so it is possible, if not likely, that they are the ‘missing link’ between vertebrates and invertebrates,” said Weissman, who also directs the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Ludwig Cancer Center at Stanford.


Odd characteristics


Botryllus is an organism with many odd characteristics. It lives part of its life as a free-swimming chordate “tadpole” — an animal without vertebrae but with a spinal bundle called a notochord. Then it attaches itself to a rock, undergoes metamorphosis to lose its notochord, tail, body muscles and one of its two brains, and settles down to live in colonies with other Botryllus organisms on the subtidal surface.











Sea invertebrate sheds light on evolution of human blood, immune systems
The separate Botryllus organisms in the colony share a common blood supply,
and even exchange cells [Credit: Stanford Hopkins Marine Station]

Under the microscope, a Botryllus colony looks like a bouquet of flowers, although in reality each “petal” is a separate organism with its own heart, gills, digestive system, brain and blood cells. The separate Botryllus organisms in the colony share a common blood supply, and even exchange cells. This blood sharing allows stem cells for sperm and eggs and stem cells for body tissues to be shared throughout the growing colony.
The researchers showed that there are close parallels between the blood systems in Botryllus and in mammals. They found that Botryllus has a sort of incubator of specialized cells, called a niche, that holds and supports blood stem cells and is a lot like the blood stem cell niche in mammalian bone marrow. They also found that Botryllus blood stem cells will find their own way from blood vessels to the niche, exactly as they do in mammals. And they found 327 genes involved in blood cell formation in Botryllus that are similar to genes involved in blood formation in mammals.


Previously, researchers in the Weissman lab showed that a single variant of a gene called BHF regulated whether separate Botryllus organisms would send out blood vessels from their own bodies and merge with adjacent individuals, or undergo an immune rejection, preventing blood cell exchanges. The new study identifies how BHF regulates whether organisms fuse together in the colony: If the protein produced by the gene is recognized as compatible by the other colony, it prevents the activation of a rejection process that is similar to the way that the human immune system’s natural killer cells attacks tissues that are not “self.”


An excellent model


The discovery of such strong parallels between the two systems offers researchers an excellent model for studying many biological phenomena in mammals, the researchers said. “Blood stem cells in mammals are hard to find and, when found, it’s very hard to follow what is going on in the blood stem cell niche,” Voskoboynik said. “Botryllus is a translucent organism, so we can easily spot the niche and visually follow the migration of each type of cell from one part of their body to the other.”


It’s also easy to observe how the cells in individual organisms interact when one mounts an immune attack against the other, or the two individuals fuse blood vessels. This could provide scientists with a better understanding of why an organism accepts or rejects foreign cells, knowledge that could give insights into organ transplant acceptance and rejection, Voskoboynik said.


“With its primitive but effective immune system, Botryllus may also give us insights into how we can boost our own immune responses to pathogens and cancer,” Voskoboynik said. “But in addition to any practical benefits this research may produce, we are delighted to explore this important guidepost on the path to understanding the evolution of vertebrates, and of their blood-forming and immune systems. Isn’t that what curiosity-driven science is supposed to do?”


Author: Christopher Vaughan | Source: Stanford Medicine [December 05, 2018]



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