just some kid

infinity-imagined:

A hypothesized mechanism for the origin of life, an event called abiogenesis.  In this version, called RNA world, small molecules called nucleotides formed in the waters of the early Earth during the Hadean Eon, and polymerized on the surface of clay minerals.  These simple chains of RNA could replicate themselves in solution, but only slowly and inaccurately.  An RNA molecule developed which would fold into a structure that catalyzed RNA polymerization; a ribozyme.  The first ribozymes would replicate their sister strands, and produce copies of themselves and other RNA molecules. 

     In the same environment, long chains of carbon molecules called phospholipids were formed.  These molecules have two parts, the tail, which is hydrophobic, and the head, which is hydrophillic.  Because of these properties phospholipids will stick together and form micelles and vesicles in water.  Vesicles can absorb RNA nucleotides, concentrating them and creating a space where they can replicate, mutate and evolve.  At some point a ribozyme became enclosed within a vesicle, starting a chain reaction that evolved into the multitude of biological forms that we see today.

   Because this event occurred more than 3.8 billion years ago, theories about how and where it happened are highly speculative.  Possible environments for abiogensis include hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, hyper saline bubbles of water trapped in ice, radioactive lakes or lagoons on earths surface, and even in space or on another planet, brought to earth through a panspermia event.  We have very little molecular evidence of the first cells, but ribozymes and catalytic RNA molecules are embedded in the DNA replication machinery of all life.  Because evidence of this event has almost certainly been lost to time, the true mechanisms of the origin of life may remain a mystery to science.

(Source: exploringorigins.org, via megacosms)

heckacute:

My favorite pick-up line is “This shark tooth necklace ain’t big enough for the both of us. I’m just joking. It totally is. Now scoot a little closer and I’ll tenderly drape it over both of our heads so our faces are touching.”

humanoidhistory:

kokujinkun:

humanoidhistory:

Just now, as I looked up at the evening Moon, I remarked to my mother how much I’ve fallen in love with that “cold-hearted orb that rules the night" since I swung this blog in the direction of outer space. That’s when I thought, hey, let’s do a Saturday night Moon set! And here we are with lunar images from the Apollo 10 mission, May 1969. (NASA)

I love the mystery of the moon. It really is a weird mofo.

Oh, Moon. You a weird mofo, yo.

mucholderthen:

EARLIEST KNOWN COMPLETE NERVOUS SYSTEM DISCOVERED
Extinct ‘Mega Claw’ Creature Had Spider-Like Brain  
October 16, 2013 - University of Arizona news release

A team of researchers led by University of Arizona Professor Nick Strausfeld and London Natural History Museum’s Greg Edgecombe have discovered the earliest known complete nervous system, exquisitely preserved in the fossilized remains of a never-before described arthropod that crawled or swam in the ocean 520 million years ago.

The find suggests that the ancestors of chelicerates – spiders, scorpions and their kin – branched off from the family tree of other arthropods – including insects, crustaceans and millipedes – more than half a billion years ago.

Continue reading
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IMAGES
Fossil of the megacheiran Alalcomenaeus, a distant relative of scorpions and spiders. (Photo: N. Strausfeld et al.)

Close-up of the head region of the Alalcomenaeus fossil specimen with superimposed colors, using a microscopy technique revealing the distribution of chemical elements in the fossil.  //  Copper shows up as blue, iron as magenta and the CT scans as green. The coincidence of iron and CT denote nervous system. The creature boasted two pairs of eyes (ball-shaped structures at the top). (Photo: N. Strausfeld/UA) 

Illustration of the nervous systems of the Alalcomenaeus fossil (left), a larval horseshoe crab (middle) and a scorpion (right). Diagnostic features revealing the evolutionary relationships among these animals include the forward position of the gut opening in the brain and the arrangement of optic centers outside and inside the brain supplied by two pairs of eyes. (Illustration: N. Strausfeld/UA) 

(via UANews)

(via infinity-imagined)

nybg:

ianbrooks:

Amber Inclusions by Anders Damgaard

With all this discussion recently surrounding the ethics of manipulating DNA in an effort to resurrect lost species, it seems appropriate that we take a look back in time at the vessels for our future T-Rexes and (fingers crossed~!) Giant Ground Sloths. Until that glorious day when we will ride atop the backs of huge beavers (it was a thing! Science up), admire the beauty of these amber-encased insects, forever looking out at us through a layer of several million years.

Photog: Flickr / Website / Blog

Friendly reminder that amber is one hypercool plant material; it is the fossilized resin of ancient trees. And it’s not just animals and insects that prehistoric amber has trapped for modern scientists to study, it has also trapped pollen, plant parts, and other goodies that help in reconstructing ancient landscapes. ~AR

(via infinity-imagined)


The New World Shopping Mall has been abandoned since 1999. It shut its doors after being condemned by local regulators. A few years later a massive fire destroyed the structure’s roof. Not long after that monsoon rains flooded the lower floors.
As a way to combat the spread of mosquitoes and other insects breeding in the stagnant water, locals introduced koi and catfish to the former mall. Not only did the fish take care of the pest problem, they’ve thrived. It is now one of the world’s largest urban ponds.
The New World Shopping Mall has been abandoned since 1999. It shut its doors after being condemned by local regulators. A few years later a massive fire destroyed the structure’s roof. Not long after that monsoon rains flooded the lower floors.

As a way to combat the spread of mosquitoes and other insects breeding in the stagnant water, locals introduced koi and catfish to the former mall. Not only did the fish take care of the pest problem, they’ve thrived. It is now one of the world’s largest urban ponds.

(via scarecrow-and-fungus)