https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws(...)e-menselijke-evolut/quote:Speelden wenkbrauwen een rol in de menselijke evolutie?
Mensen kunnen met hun wenkbrauwen allerlei subtiele emoties uitdrukken, en mogelijk heeft dat een belangrijke rol gespeeld in de evolutie van de mens. Een nieuwe studie stelt dat de expressieve wenkbrauwen van Homo sapiens een uitgesproken voordeel boden op de starre, onbeweeglijke wenkbrauwbogen van de voorouders van de mens, en dat ze de moderne mens toegelaten hebben makkelijker sociale contacten te leggen. Daardoor kon Homo sapiens beter samenwerken, terugvallen op bredere netwerken en grotere groepen vormen, wat maakte dat inteelt minder voorkwam.
Luc De Roy
quote:Op dinsdag 10 april 2018 20:49 schreef zakjapannertje het volgende:
quote:Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain, an international team of researchers set out four buckets to gather a shower of viruses falling from the sky.
Scientists have surmised there is a stream of viruses circling the planet, above the planet’s weather systems but below the level of airline travel. Very little is known about this realm, and that’s why the number of deposited viruses stunned the team in Spain. Each day, they calculated, some 800 million viruses cascade onto every square meter of the planet.
Most of the globe-trotting viruses are swept into the air by sea spray, and lesser numbers arrive in dust storms.
“Unimpeded by friction with the surface of the Earth, you can travel great distances, and so intercontinental travel is quite easy” for viruses, said Curtis Suttle, a marine virologist at the University of British Columbia. “It wouldn’t be unusual to find things swept up in Africa being deposited in North America.”
The study by Dr. Suttle and his colleagues, published earlier this year in the International Society of Microbial Ecology Journal, was the first to count the number of viruses falling onto the planet. The research, though, is not designed to study influenza or other illnesses, but to get a better sense of the “virosphere,” the world of viruses on the planet.
quote:Plants repeatedly got rid of their ability to obtain their own nitrogen
Plants, like all living things, need nitrogen to build amino acids and other essential biomolecules. Although nitrogen is the most abundant element in air, the molecular form of nitrogen found there is largely unreactive. To become useful to plants, that nitrogen must first be "fixed," or busted out of its molecular form and linked with hydrogen to make ammonia. The plants can then get at it by catalyzing reactions with ammonia.
But plants can't fix nitrogen. Bacteria can.
Some legumes and a few other plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacterial species. The plants build specialized structures on their roots called nodules to house and feed the bacteria, which in turn fix nitrogen for the plants and assure them a steady supply of ammonia. Only 10 families of plants have the ability to do this, and even within these families, most genera opt out. Ever since the symbiosis was discovered in 1888, plant geneticists have wondered: why? If you could ensure a steady supply of nitrogen for use, why wouldn't you?