Tag Archives: period

Magma can survive in upper crust for hundreds of millennia

Reservoirs of silica-rich magma – the kind that causes the most explosive volcanic eruptions – can persist in Earth’s upper crust for hundreds of thousands of years without triggering an eruption, according to new University of Washington modeling research.

That means an area known to have experienced a massive volcanic eruption in the past, such as Yellowstone National Park, could have a large pool of magma festering beneath it and still not be close to going off as it did 600,000 years ago.

“You might expect to see a stewing magma chamber for a long period of time and it doesn’t necessarily mean an eruption is imminent,” said Sarah Gelman, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences. (more…)

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Scientists Find Oldest Dinosaur – or Closest Relative Yet

Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus.

The findings mean that the dinosaur lineage appeared 10 million to 15 million years earlier than fossils previously showed, originating in the Middle Triassic rather than in the Late Triassic period. (more…)

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Genetic Patterns of Deep-Sea Coral Provide Insights into Evolution of Marine Life

Patterns Also Shed Light on How Environmental Disturbances Affect Aquatic Organisms

The ability of deep-sea corals to harbor a broad array of marine life, including commercially important fish species, make these habitat-forming organisms of immediate interest to conservationists, managers, and scientists. Understanding and protecting corals requires knowledge of the historical processes that have shaped their biodiversity and biogeography.

While little is known about these processes, new research described in the journal Molecular Ecology helps elucidate the historical patterns of deep-sea coral migration and gene flow, coincident with oceanic circulation patterns and events. The investigators propose a scenario that could explain the observed evolutionary and present-day patterns in certain coral species. The findings can help scientists determine how climate change and other global processes have affected ocean habitats in the past and how they might do so in the future. (more…)

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First Stars, Galaxies Formed more Rapidly than Expected

Analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s South Pole Telescope, for the first time, more precisely defines the period of cosmological evolution when the first stars and galaxies formed and gradually illuminated the universe. The data indicate that this period, called the epoch of reionization, was shorter than theorists speculated — and that it ended early.

“We find that the epoch of reionization lasted less than 500 million years and began when the universe was at least 250 million years old,” said Oliver Zahn, a postdoctoral fellow at the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the study. “Before this measurement, scientists believed that reionization lasted 750 million years or longer, and had no evidence as to when reionization began.” (more…)

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Gardener’s Delight Offers Glimpse into the Evolution of Flowering Plants

The Pink Double Dandy peony, the Double Peppermint petunia, the Doubled Strawberry Vanilla lily and nearly all roses are varieties cultivated for their double flowers.

The blossoms of these and other such plants are lush with extra petals in place of the parts of the flower needed for sexual reproduction and seed production, meaning double flowers – though beautiful – are mutants and usually sterile.

The genetic interruption that causes that mutation helped scientists in the 1990s pinpoint the genes responsible for normal development of sexual organs stamens and carpels in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, long used as a plant model by biologists. (more…)

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Unlocking Cornwall’s Bronze Age past

A modern day boat builder is being challenged to recreate the oldest boat ever found in western Europe, dating to around 2000 BC.

The prehistoric boat will be built to scale using ancient tools such as bronze axes at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, as part of a collaborative project devised by the University of Exeter.

Professor Robert Van de Noort of the University of Exeter is one of the world’s leading experts in Bronze Age period sewn-plank boats. He is leading the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project that will produce the exhibition 2012BC: Cornwall and the Sea in the Bronze Age at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Archaeologists and engineers at the University of Southampton and Oxford Brookes University are also involved in developing the interactive project with experts at the University of Exeter. (more…)

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Researchers Look for New Ways to Get Teens to Take Their Medicine

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Skipping doses of medicine or taking it at the wrong times can worsen a patient’s condition and lead to costly complications — even organ rejection in patients who have undergone a kidney transplant.

A consortium of researchers in the United States and Canada, including at the University of Florida, has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to test techniques that may increase medication adherence in perhaps the most challenging population of patients:teenagers. (more…)

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Contact With Dads Drops When Women Ovulate

*Evidence of evolutionary protection against inbreeding in women?*

Through an innovative use of cell phone records, researchers at UCLA, the University of Miami and Cal State, Fullerton, have found that women appear to avoid contact with their fathers during ovulation. 

“Women call their dads less frequently on these high-fertility days and they hang up with them sooner if their dads initiate a call,” said Martie Haselton, a UCLA associate professor of communication in whose lab the research was conducted.  (more…)

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