This deep-sea mystery is changing our understanding of life

This deep-sea mystery is changing our understanding of life | Karen Lloyd

Een prachtig enthousiasmerend verhaal van Karen Lloyd waar de liefde voor haar vak en het leven dat ze bestudeerd vanaf spat. Alleen daarom is het al de moeite van het kijken waard.

Maar ze gaat ook in op een heel fundamenteel element. Tijd en energie. Ze heeft samen met veel collega’s microben gevonden in de bodem van de diepzee die het minste energie nodig hebben om te leven en daardoor is hun celdeling ook zeer traag.

So why is it that the rest of biology moves so fast? Why does a cell die after a day and a human dies after only a hundred years? These seem like really arbitrarily short limits when you think about the total amount of time in the universe. But these are not arbitrary limits. They’re dictated by one simple thing, and that thing is the Sun. Once life figured out how to harness the energy of the Sun through photosynthesis, we all had to speed up and get on day and night cycles. In that way, the Sun gave us both a reason to be fast and the fuel to do it. You can view most of life on Earth like a circulatory system, and the Sun is our beating heart.

… the deep subsurface is like a circulatory system that’s completely disconnected from the Sun. It’s instead being driven by long, slow geological rhythms. There’s currently no theoretical limit on the lifespan of one single cell. As long as there is at least a tiny energy gradient to exploit, theoretically, a single cell could live for hundreds of thousands of years or more, simply by replacing broken parts over time. To ask a microbe that lives like that to grow in our petri dishes is to ask them to adapt to our frenetic, Sun-centric, fast way of living, and maybe they’ve got better things to do than that.

Link: This deep-sea mystery is changing our understanding of life | Karen Lloyd

Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience — and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we’re all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality.” Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.

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Link: Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

The Universe in Verse finale: Amanda Palmer reads “The Mushroom Hunters” by Neil Gaiman

Door: Maria Popova
Source: http://bit.ly/2qsrKz4

Amanda Palmer reads an original poem by Neil Gaiman, written for “The Universe in Verse.” Poem text and further context here: http://bit.ly/2pxurlH

The Universe in Verse (http://bit.ly/2qskzXJ) was an evening of poetry celebrating science and the scientists who have taken us to where we are today, and a kind of protest against the silencing of science and the defunding of the arts, with all proceeds donated to the Academy of American Poets and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Brian Cox presents Science Matters – Climate Change

Brian Cox presents Science Matters – Climate Change

Climate change is an issue that will affect all of us, and will require global solutions brought about by the collaboration of scientists, the public and governments across the world to face the challenges it presents.

Join Professor Brian Cox, the Royal Society Professor of Public Engagement, as he brings together experts on climate change to discuss key issues for the future of our planet.

Find out more about climate change in our Q&A: http://bit.ly/2dUYYWz
Link: Brian Cox presents Science Matters – Climate Change

Waking up with Sam Harris #22 — Surviving the Cosmos (with David Deutsch)

Waking up with Sam Harris #22 — Surviving the Cosmos (with David Deutsch)

Waking up with Sam Harris #22 — Surviving the Cosmos (with David Deutsch)
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris talks to physicist David Deutsch about the reach and power of human knowledge, the future of artificial intelligence, and the survival of civilization.

More information at http://bit.ly/2aGzOam