DNA Baby Boom 3B Years Ago

About 27 percent of all gene families that exist today were born between 3.3 billion and 2.8 billion years ago, two researchers from MIT have reported in Nature.

A quarter of all gene families existing today came into being between 3.3 billion and 2.8 billion years ago, two MIT scientists have reported in Nature. Related research may show how early organisms responded to and helped alter the planet’s chemistry. While the genetic predictions match geochemical data for many of the elements, a few appear to contradict ideas about Earth’s early history. For instance, the new data predict that genes for using nickel were increasing at a time when geochemists say nickel concentrations in the ocean were crashing. "Somebody’s wrong, and that’s what’s really exciting to me," says geochemist Timothy Lyons.

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Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

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Google Maps apologizes for going rogue in Japan

The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things.

Strange Maps
  • Google has apologized for the sudden instability of its maps in Japan.
  • Errors may stem from Google's long-time map data provider Zenrin – or from the cancellation of its contract.
  • Speculation on the latter option caused Zenrin shares to drop 16% last Friday.
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MIT study: 24-hour fasting regenerates stem cells, doubles metabolism

This gives credence to the 5-2 diet, which has recently gained in popularity thanks to a large celebrity following.

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Chances are you're probably thinking about food right now in some capacity. Maybe it's close to dinner and you're wondering what you are going to eat. Maybe you had a really good lunch and are fondly reminiscing about your BLT, or whatnot. Or maybe, just maybe, you're thinking about not eating food for a while. 

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A new theory explains Jupiter’s perplexing origin

A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
  • Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
  • Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
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