Scientists create precursor to life in thermal vent experiment

Scientists speculate that if life were to have spontaneously developed on Earth, the first thing there would need to be are vesicles.

  • The findings also suggest that life may have formed in the deep oceans of other celestial bodies in our solar system as well.
  • These are a lot like cell membranes, only they don't contain any of the complicated machinery that real, living cells do.
    • Researchers recently demonstrated that these vesicles form frequently in environments similar to the hydrothermal vents of early Earth.
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    "Cocaine of the sea" — the illegal fish trade of the Mexican cartel and Chinese mafia

    "Sea of Shadows" is a documentary you can't afford to miss.

    National Geographic
    • "Sea of Shadows" tells the story of an illegal fish trade between the Mexican cartel and Chinese mafia.
    • The fish bladders, bought for $5,000 from local fisherman, are sold in China for over $100,000 to make an unproven medicine.
    • Director Richard Ladkani talks about the intensity and danger of making this film, as well as the hopeful ending.
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    Organizers: Operation Ocean Cleanup is finally working

    The net famously failed to work as planned last year. Now, a new version is making waves.

    • A new version of the netting used to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has passed trials.
    • The previous versions of the device didn't work very well, and broke before their missions were finished.
    • A fleet of these devices are in the works. They could cut the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in half within five years of work.
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    Bio-plastic made from fish scales wins U.K. James Dyson award

    Bio-plastics could prove to be a suitable alternative to single-use plastics.

    • The flexible bio-plastic, called MarinaTex, breaks down within about four to six weeks.
    • One Atlantic cod contains enough waste to produce hundreds of MarinaTex bags.
    • More than half of single-use plastics end up in the world's oceans.
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    Whales songs indicate where they’ve been — where they were born

    Humpbacks swap songs at remote group of islands in the South Pacific.

    Image source: Nico Faramaz/Shutterstock
    • A whale's song reflects its geographical and social history.
    • A new study identifies for the first time a major migratory crossroads where whales meet.
    • The discovery sheds light on the mystery of how whale songs evolve across the Pacific.
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