Arsenic-Eater Redefines Life

A bacterium found in the arsenic-filled waters of a Californian lake is poised to overturn scientists' understanding of the biochemistry of living organisms, says Nature.

A bacterium found in the arsenic-filled waters of a Californian lake is poised to overturn scientists' understanding of the biochemistry of living organisms. The microbe seems to be able to replace phosphorus with arsenic in some of its basic cellular processes — suggesting the possibility of a biochemistry very different from the one we know, which could be used by organisms in past or present extreme environments on Earth, or even on other planets. Scientists have long thought that all living things need phosphorus to function, along with other elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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What is the Japanese blood type theory of personality?

In some Asian countries, what's in your blood determines who you are.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • In Japan and South Korea, there is a common belief that blood types determine character much in the same way Western countries believe in the zodiac.
  • While there's little scientific evidence to back up the claim, the blood type theory of personality remains wildly popular.
  • However, how this theory came to be has its roots in a dark history.
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This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
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