Dawn of the Anthropocene
The newest geological time period—called the Anthropocene—is gaining recognition. It defines our industrialized era in which humans will indelibly mark the earth's physical profile.
Humans have proven to be masters of the earth, but is that for better or worse? Like every geological period, the Anthropocene is marked by extreme environmental change: "We are the only species to have defined a geological period by our activity—something usually performed by major glaciations, mass extinction and the colossal impact of objects from outer space, like the one that defines the upper boundary of the Cretaceous. Humans were inevitably going to be part of the fossil record. But the true meaning of the Anthropocene is that we have affected nearly every aspect of our environment—from a warming atmosphere to the bottom of an acidifying ocean."
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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