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By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | December 17, 2004
Researchers studying rocks from Greenland announced today that they've uncovered evidence to show when life on earth began. Analysis shows the rocks may have been host to our earliest ancestors: single-celled organisms that lived 3.85 billion years ago. If the dating is accurate, the rocks push back the biological record of life on earth by about 450 million years. Scientists from the University of Chicago reported in today's issue of the journal Science that the rocks may have once been in a prehistoric ocean, but they were cooked at high temperature under pressure, which drastically modified their chemistry.
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NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN REPORTER | December 5, 2007
It's in one of the most isolated and inhospitable places on Earth - and scientists think it contains one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet, untouched by millenniums of human activity. It's called Lake Vostok, and it's the eighth-largest lake in the world, sealed in darkness beneath miles of Antarctic glacial ice. Scientists who have cautiously begun to sample the lake's microbial life say they're opening what they expect will be a "treasure chest of adaptation." So far, all they've seen are dots in a microscope, probably bacteria, "like little spheres, or little rods, or sometimes like a comma - not a whole lot of shape to them," said Brian Lanoil, the project leader from the University of California, Riverside.
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NEWS
By John Noble Wilford and John Noble Wilford,New York Times News Service | December 30, 1990
On Dec. 8, a spacecraft traveling the solar system swung within 600 miles of an unusual planet. From the fleeting photographic glimpses and remote-sensing data the craft transmitted, scientists began to compose an image of what that strange new world must be like.From its strong gravitational pull, they inferred that the planet must be composed mainly of rock and iron. It is clasped by intense belts of trapped radiation. Bursts of lightning flare across its face.Dazzling auroras veil its southern pole.
NEWS
June 13, 2007
When the screen suddenly went blank at the climactic moment of Sunday night's finale of The Sopranos, we imagine that many Americans reacted the way we did. We started panicking, angrily jabbing buttons on the remote control, checking the connections, wondering if somehow the broadcast had been interrupted. But no. That was it. Tony and Carmela and A. J. in a diner, Meadow rushing toward the door, Tony glancing up and then - nothing. Blank screen. No music. After a few seconds, the credits roll.
FEATURES
By Tim Warren | February 1, 1993
"The Origins of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth," published last year by Baltimore native Eric Diggs, last week won the prestigious Coretta Scott King Award for best children's book illustration.The book was the first published by Mr. Diggs' Sights Productions, which is based in Mount Airy. He said Friday the firm will publish three more books this spring, including "The Rebellion of Humans," which will continue the story begun in "The Origins of Life on Earth.""The Origins of Life on Earth" earlier was named the Best American Children's Book About Africa by the African Study Association.
NEWS
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,Sun Staff | October 29, 2000
MCLEAN, Va. -- Revlon model Karen Duffy is palling around with two pint-sized girls who have shown up for her book-signing in a mall, regaling them with a story of how she once met both the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync on the same day. "Who do you like the best?" Duffy pipes up, beaming at the swooning girls. "The guy who looks like he's got a dirty sheep on his head? Justin?" The girls just look at each other and collapse in giggles. In person, the 38-year-old model and former MTV VJ comes across as peppy and charming as she is on television -- an ultra-chipper woman who bursts onto the screen, telling everyone how great she feels, thanks to Revlon cosmetics.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | April 4, 1991
* ''Defending Your Life'' A comedy starring Albert Brooks as an ad man who dies and must defend his life on Earth before he can move to the next heavenly level. Meryl Streep co-stars.* ''The Marrying Man'' A comedy in which Alec Baldwin is a rich man who marries a cabaret singer, played by Kim Basinger. Neil Simon did the script.* ''1900'' Restored version of the 1975 Bernardo Bertolucci epic that covers 70 years in the history of the Italian north. Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Burt Lancaster and Donald Sutherland are in the cast of the film, which was four hours long and is now five hours and 10 minutes.
NEWS
By Jill Raymond | September 28, 2001
THE LESSONS of Sept. 11 come from the responses to it as much as from the acts. These lessons have less to do with airport security, intelligence or foreign policy than the two ways in which people generally interpret human events. One reacts to catastrophe by asking questions. The other instantly declares that the problem at hand -- and the solution -- is obvious. Generally, the more spectacular or devastating the event, the more questions are posed by the former group, the more certainty is displayed by the latter.
NEWS
July 20, 1994
Twenty-five years ago today men walked on the moon for the first time. It was an epochal event in human history that produced a rich harvest of scientific knowledge.Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and the 10 astronauts who followed them during the Apollo program brought back a total of about 840 lbs. of lunar soil and rocks. The material recovered from those missions helped settle many basic questions about the moon's origin, its composition and even the early conditions that affected life on Earth.
NEWS
By MARILYN MCCRAVEN THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS. Ann Patchett. Houghton Mifflin. 336 pages. $21.95. and MARILYN MCCRAVEN THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS. Ann Patchett. Houghton Mifflin. 336 pages. $21.95.,LOS ANGELES TIMES ALL AROUND THE TOWN. Mary Higgins Clark. Simon & Schuster. 302 pages. $22 | May 31, 1992
THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH.Retold byDavid A. Anderson/SANKOFA.Sights Productions.16 pages. $18.95.When it comes to creation myths, it's a question of whether the chicken or the egg came first: Did people hear of the Biblical creation and embellish it, or did the author of Genesis borrow from ancient myths? Such questions may be best left to theologians. Meanwhile, readers may enjoy encountering in "The Origin of Life on Earth" -- published by Sights Productions of Mount Airy, Md. -- an African creation myth that has been told in the author's family for generations.
NEWS
By Chris Emery and Chris Emery,Sun reporter | May 11, 2007
Backed by prestigious organizations with millions of dollars, a group of scientists wants to use the vast reach of the Internet to produce the granddaddy of all biology books. Over the next decade, they plan to create the Encyclopedia of Life, a Web site documenting all 1.8 million known species of organisms on Earth -- at an estimated cost of $100 million.
NEWS
By Margaret Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim,Los ANgeles Times | November 19, 2006
God's Universe Owen Gingerich Belknap/Harvard University Press / 140 pages / $16.95 A lump of uranium seems an unpromising place to look for God. But in this lethal material Owen Gingerich, an emeritus professor of astronomy at Harvard University, detects a signature of divine action in the world. In his slim and elegant new book, God's Universe, Gingerich finds that indeed everywhere he looks he can discern the hand of a benevolent Creator - all without compromising his adherence to a rigorous methodological scientific naturalism.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,Sun Staff | October 8, 2006
Uzon Caldera, Russia -- In the unspoiled land of Kamchatka, nearly as far east as one can go in the Russian Far East, in a vast volcano crater reachable only by helicopter, American geologist Christopher Romanek crouches in thigh-high rubber boots and dips an electronic temperature probe into a hot spring's trickling stream. The pool's bubbling source is a steamy 164 degrees. And in it may lie clues to one of the most puzzling conundrums of science: how life on earth began. Romanek is part of a team of American and Russian scientists who, for four years running, have used Kamchatka as a laboratory for the study of extremophiles - organisms which, as their name suggests, live in extreme environments.
NEWS
June 9, 2006
Reproduction Sperm less potent as men get older Many women complain that they have decreasing fertility to look forward to as they age, while men keep their reproductive capabilities intact. But it turns out that aging men may have their own biological clock. As they collect years, their sperm collects DNA damage and abnormalities that can contribute to infertility and unsuccessful pregnancies, according to new research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., and at the University of California, Berkeley.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | December 17, 2004
Researchers studying rocks from Greenland announced today that they've uncovered evidence to show when life on earth began. Analysis shows the rocks may have been host to our earliest ancestors: single-celled organisms that lived 3.85 billion years ago. If the dating is accurate, the rocks push back the biological record of life on earth by about 450 million years. Scientists from the University of Chicago reported in today's issue of the journal Science that the rocks may have once been in a prehistoric ocean, but they were cooked at high temperature under pressure, which drastically modified their chemistry.
NEWS
By Jill Raymond | September 28, 2001
THE LESSONS of Sept. 11 come from the responses to it as much as from the acts. These lessons have less to do with airport security, intelligence or foreign policy than the two ways in which people generally interpret human events. One reacts to catastrophe by asking questions. The other instantly declares that the problem at hand -- and the solution -- is obvious. Generally, the more spectacular or devastating the event, the more questions are posed by the former group, the more certainty is displayed by the latter.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 24, 1992
Life on Earth may be doomed, but not for at least a billio years, two scientists suggest.This new estimate gives Earth's creatures a tenfold increase in life expectancy over a span proposed earlier. The latest estimate, by Dr. Ken Caldeira, a geochemist, and Dr. James F. Kasting, an atmospheric scientist, both of Pennsylvania State University, is based on a complex mathematical representation of interactions in the environment.For many reasons, scientists believe that life on Earth cannot survive indefinitely.
NEWS
By Newsday | October 20, 1992
New calculations suggest a tiny chance that a large comet that is now nearing the sun may take a swipe at Earth when it returns again in 134 years.Although the chances of comet Swift-Tuttle hitting Earth in the year 2126 are extremely small, a collision could perhaps snuff out much of the life on Earth.The Earth's surface is marked by craters from such collisions. It is thought that such an incident 60 million years ago erased much of the life on Earth, including the dinosaurs.The comet is thought to be a chunk of ice and rock about 6 miles in diameter, moving in an orbit that takes it close to the sun every 130 years.
NEWS
By Andrew Bard Schmookler | August 16, 2001
ORKNEY SPRINGS, Va. - I wish we were as interested in keeping tabs on "Nature's economy" as we are on our specifically human one. By Nature's economy, what's meant are all those flows of the living systems of the earth on which our lives, and the lives of the rest of earth's creatures, depend. We keep track of every conceivable index to gauge the health of our money economy. But we haven't even bothered to create a measure of the health of the biosphere. We've got graphs of how inventories are building up or going down, of first-time applications for unemployment compensation, of consumer confidence and retail sales.
NEWS
By Michael Hines and Michael Hines,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | June 17, 2001
HAMPTON, Va. - Alien life might look more like Ebola than E.T. That's an understanding a new Hampton University course will focus on and that continued interest in space exploration could depend on. Arthur Bowman and other researchers at Hampton University's Center for Atmospheric Sciences are developing a new course in astrobiology set to be offered this fall. It will be the first offering of the discipline at the university and one of only a handful of programs supported by NASA in the nation.
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