A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Blog of Earth & Planetary Sciences EPS blog is specially made for Natural Science enthusiasts. Here you can discuss the most relevant themes of today’s scientific world with scientists from all around the world. Our goal is to facilitate the conversation between both scholars and amateurs by providing an online platform, which covers all the...

Blog of Earth & Planetary Sciences EPS blog is specially made for Natural Science enthusiasts. Here you can discuss the most relevant themes of today’s scientific world with scientists from all around the world. Our goal is to facilitate the conversation between both scholars and amateurs by providing an online platform, which covers all the main branches of Earth and Planetary Sciences like Geology, Informatics, Ecology, Space Technologies and, last but not the least, Educational methods and systems.

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Confessions of a former fireball - how Earth became habitable

Credit: Simone Marchi/Southwest Research Institute


New theory to explain how Earth transformed into a planet capable of sustaining life

Researchers at Yale and Caltech have a bold new theory to explain how Earth transformed itself from a fiery, carbon-clouded ball of rocks into a planet capable of sustaining life.

The theory covers Earth's earliest years and involves "weird" rocks that interacted with seawater in just the right way to nudge biological matter into existence.

"This period is the most enigmatic time in Earth history," said Jun Korenaga of Yale and co-author of a new study in the journal Nature. "We're presenting the most complete theory, by far, for Earth's first 500 million years." The study's first author is Yoshinori Miyazaki of Caltech. The research was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Most scientists believe that Earth began with an atmosphere much like that of the planet Venus. Its skies were filled with carbon dioxide -- more than 100,000 times the current level of atmospheric carbon -- and Earth's surface temperature would have exceeded 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Biological life would have been unable to form, much less survive, under such conditions, scientists agree.

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Elderly care? Bring in the robots!

Credit: Gettyimages

Welcome to the future of Robotics

Robots have come a long way. For years they have been supporting human activity – enabling exploration in dangerous and unreachable environments like out in space and deep in the oceans. A new generation of robots are being designed to stay closer to home – caring for ageing adults and young children.

In the not-too-distant future, elderly people who live alone may be reminded to take their medicine, have books read to them, and be offered a metaphorical, shoulder to cry on - by a robot.

As Europe's ageing population places increasing strain on healthcare services – with the share of older people in the total population expected to increase significantly in the coming decades – robots could provide a useful solution.

Several robots are being developed as companions to help the aged live independently for longer.

'Robotics are essential for the health sector and for older adults because in 20 to 30 years' time there's not going to be enough people to take care of the ageing population,' said Estibaliz Arzoz-Fernandez, project manager and deputy coordinator of a joint EU-Japan project called ACCRA.

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How scientists are ‘looking’ inside asteroids

The shape of asteroids such as 243 Ida can reveal information about what they're made of, which can, in turn, tell us more about the formation of the solar system. Image credit - NASA/JPL/USGS

Asteroids - treasure troves of knowledge

Asteroids can pose a threat to life on Earth but are also a valuable source of resources to make fuel or water to aid deep space exploration. Devoid of geological and atmospheric processes, these space rocks provide a window onto the evolution of the solar system. But to really understand their secrets, scientists must know what's inside them.

Only four spacecraft have ever landed on an asteroid – most recently in October 2020 – but none has peered inside one. Yet understanding the internal structures of these cosmic rocks is crucial for answering key questions about, for example, the origins of our own planet.

'Asteroids are the only objects in our solar system that are more or less unchanged since the very beginning of the solar system's formation,' said Dr Fabio Ferrari, who studies asteroid dynamics at the University of Bern, Switzerland. 'If we know what's inside asteroids, we can understand a lot about how planets formed, how everything that we have in our solar system has formed and might evolve in the future.'

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Ancient DNA reveals surprises about how early humans lived, traveled and interacted

Credit: Hora Rockshelter in Malawi, where excavations uncovered individuals analyzed in an ancient DNA study; Jacob Davis

New research provides evidence of demographic shifts in sub-Saharan Africa

A new analysis of human remains buried in African archaeological sites has produced the earliest DNA from the continent, telling a fascinating tale of how early humans lived, traveled and even found their significant others.

An interdisciplinary team of 44 researchers outlined its findings in a paper published in Nature. The scientists report findings from ancient DNA from six individuals buried in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia who lived between 18,000 and 5,000 years ago.

"This more than doubles the antiquity of reported ancient DNA data from sub-Saharan Africa," said David Reich of Harvard University, whose lab generated the data in the paper. "The study is particularly exciting as a collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists."

The study also reanalyzed published data from 28 individuals buried at sites across the continent, generating new data for 15 of them. The result was an unprecedented dataset of DNA from ancient African foragers -- people who hunted, gathered or fished. Their genetic legacy is difficult to reconstruct from present-day people because of the many population movements and mixtures that have occurred.

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Thoughts to reflect on: Tolstoy

Credit: Tolstoy on 23 May 1908 at Yasnaya Polyana, Lithograph print by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky; via Wikipedia

Leo Tolstoy

"Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say..."
―  War and Peace


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