"A Journey Into the Chicxulub Impact Crater" --Death of an Epoch 66 Million Years Ago (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

 

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When the Chicxulub asteroid slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, it obliterated 80 percent of Earth's species, blasted out a crater 200 kilometers across, and signaled an abrupt end to the Cretaceous Period. The impact, its catastrophic effects, and its aftermath have engrossed scientists and the public alike since it was first discovered.

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"Expanding Universes" --View Stephen Hawking's Ph.d Thesis Now Available Online

 

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Step inside the mind of the young Stephen Hawking as his PhD thesis goes online for first time: “By making my PhD thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos," says  Stephen Hawking. "Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and enquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.

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Early Earth Microfossils Reveal Critical Shift from Microbes to Complex Life --"Tip of the Iceberg"

 

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A Yale-led research team has discovered a cache of embryo-like microfossils in northern Mongolia that may shed light on questions about the long-ago shift from microbes to animals on Earth. Called the Khesen Formation, the site is one of the most significant for early Earth fossils since the discovery of the Doushantuo Formation in southern China nearly 20 years ago. The Dousantuo Formation is 600 million years old; the Khesen Formation is younger, at about 540 million years old.

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"Universality of the Blood Molecule" --Evolutionary Roots Hundreds of Millions Years Old Triggers Predatory Behavior from Wolves to Dracula

 

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"The odor of blood is characterized by a rare universality," senior author Johan Lundstrom, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, told AFP. The faintest whiff of a molecule from mammal blood known as E2D sends some animals into a predatory frenzy but frightens others—including people—into retreat, scientists have discovered.

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"One of the Most Profound Puzzles in Cosmology" --New Out-of-the-Box Theory Explains Why We Inhabit a Universe With Three Dimensions

 
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“Although the question of why our universe has exactly three (large) spatial dimensions is one of the most profound puzzles in cosmology … it is actually only occasionally addressed.” The most distinctive characteristic of a radical new theory is that it provides a natural explanation for a three-dimensional world. There are a number of higher dimensional theories, such as string theory, that visualize the universe as having nine or ten spatial dimensions. Generally, their proponents explain that these higher dimensions are hidden from view in one fashion or another.

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"Unique in the Solar System"--NASA Detects Mars' Invisible Tail from “Fossil” Magnetic Fields

 
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“We found that Mars’ magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is unique in the solar system,” said Gina DiBraccio of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s not like the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own, nor is it like Earth’s, which is surrounded by its own internally generated magnetic field.

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This Week's "Planet Earth Report" --Lithium is the New Oil to Nuclear-Electromagnetic-Pulse Threat and UFO Mystery

 

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This week's link to headlines around the world on the threats, opportunities, and dangers facing our fragile planet --along with an occasional dash of humor, popular culture, and an intriguing conspiracy theory or two.

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"It’s Something Completely New, Something Previously Unknown to Science" --9.7 Million-Year-Old Teeth Found in Germany Could Reshape Human History

 

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"The fossils we’ve found aren’t what we’d expect for the area we found them in," said Natural History Museum deputy director Herbert Lutz. "We don’t know where this new species fits in the family tree. There are similarities to species that lived in Europe around this time. But one tooth, the canine, differs from these. We know of similar examples from Africa, but these new finds are considerably older. We don’t want to speculate, but we wonder what could explain that. That investigation is just starting."

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The Alien Observatory --Kepler Mission Objects of Interest: "Searching for Overlooked Planets for Life" (WATCH Video)

 
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"The search for planets is the search for life," said Natalie Batalha, a Kepler mission scientist from NASA's Ames Research Center. "These results will form the basis for future searches for life."

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