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The Life and Death of Oxygen

The oxygen in our atmosphere has the energy equivalent of 20 thousand billion billion hydrogen bombs.  To maintain the oxygen level in our atmosphere, that amount of energy would have to be spent in manufacturing molecular oxygen every 4 million years (a thousandth the assumed age of the earth).     Now that we have […]

Next Generation Microchips Inspired by Nature’s Nanotech

An article in ComputerWorld1 reports that Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fujitsu, and Texas Instruments are putting effort into developing nanotechnologies for chip manufacturing based on a principle found in nature: the tendency of matter to fall into predictable patterns as molecules assume low energy states. There aren’t many structures that can be built today, but researchers are […]

Origin of Life: How Dry I Am?

Stephen Benner (U of Florida) has stopped looking for life in water.  A researcher into the evolutionary origin of life, he understands that “water is a terrible solvent for life” – not life as we know it today, he means, but life at the beginning.  This sounds strange, considering most astrobiologists believe in a “follow […]

Mystery of the Left-Handed Proteins: Solved?

Some molecules come in left- and right-handed forms that are mirror images of each other.  All biological proteins are composed of only left-handed amino acids.  How this could have come about in a primordial soup has long been a puzzle to origin-of-life researchers, since both L (levo, left-handed) and D (dextro, right-handed) forms react indiscriminately.  […]
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