Microbes and a changing environment

Posted 3 months 1 week ago
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A striking new study published in the journal Cell shows details how ancient microbes that thrive in some of the world’s most extreme environments and modern-day humans have more in common than meets the eye—namely, they both respire and conserve energy using a similar molecular mechanism, one that has adapted to changing environmental conditions over billions of years:

"Nature is really good at finding molecules that work and then modifying them and using them over and over again. This is a prime example,” said Michael W.W. Adams, a UGA Distinguished Research and Georgia Power...

Solar eclipse of 2017

Posted 12 months 4 days ago

Today is the day. Beginning about 1 p.m. and peaking at approximately 2:38 p.m., the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth. Professor of geography John Knox, who led the organization of a massive viewing opportunity at Stanford Stadum, explains.



Go to the stadium, or just get outside somewhere this afternoon for this very rare event. Some reminders:

-Viewing the eclipse directly without protective glasses may result in serious eye damage.  -Please be sure to take proper precautions when viewing the eclipse. The American Astronomical Society’s...

Solar eclipse - teachable afternoon about the sun and climate

Posted 1 year 2 weeks ago
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The University of Georgia will host a viewing party of the solar eclipse on August 21. Professor Marshall Shepherd uses his Forbes column to underscore a crucial point about the rare event:

Intuitively, I think most people understand that we have seasons because the Earth is tilted on its axis as it rotates around the sun. We are currently in northern (southern) hemisphere summer (winter) because that hemisphere is tilting toward the sun and receiving more direct energy. I often cringe during the winter when someone tweets, "it's snowing so what do they mean global warming."


Researchers publish new paradigm for attacking pathogens

Posted 1 year 10 months ago

Aggressive pathogens that infect humans can thrive in an oxygen-free environment via an ability to acquire the essential nutrient iron from heme (the cofactor that makes blood and muscle appear red).

Newly published research from the department of biochemistry and molecular biology reveals how a key enzyme at the center of this survival mechanism functions, a breakthrough that will help provide an opportunity for a new class of antimicrobial compounds:

While the pathways for degrading of heme by pathogens to acquire iron in the presence of oxygen, or aerobically, have long...

Examining the history of plants

Posted 3 years 9 months ago

It sounds like the title of a cable documentary (a good one! And maybe it is) but scientists from North America, Europe and China have published a paper in PNAS that reveals important details about key transitions in the evolution of plant life on Earth:

From strange and exotic algae, mosses, ferns, trees and flowers growing deep in steamy rainforests to the grains and vegetables humans eat and the ornamental plants adorning people's homes, all plant life on Earth shares over a billion years of history.

"Our study generated DNA sequences from a vast number of distantly...