Readers ask about life on Venus and high-energy cosmic rays

Venusian recollection

Phosphine gas detected in the clouds of Venus could be a sign of life or some strange unknown chemistry, Lisa Grossman reported in “Possible sign of life is found on Venus” (SN: 10/10/20 & 10/24/20, p. 6).

The story brought back memories for reader Bruce Hapke, a professor of planetary science at the University of Pittsburgh.

“In 1975, my colleague Robert M. Nelson and I published the first high-quality, broadband spectrum of the clouds of Venus … which we obtained using the 106-inch telescope at McDonald Observatory in Texas,” Hapke wrote. “This spectrum turned out to be identical to that of a form of elemental sulfur, and we suggested that tiny particles of sulfur in the clouds are responsible for their yellowish color. The sulfur comes from volcanic eruptions.”

By then, “Russia had launched several unmanned spacecraft that had successfully landed on the surface of

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Global soils underpin life but future looks ‘bleak’, warns UN report

Global soils are the source of all life on land but their future looks “bleak” without action to halt degradation, according to the authors of a UN report.



a truck traveling down a dirt road: Photograph: Zsolt Czeglédi/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Zsolt Czeglédi/EPA

A quarter of all the animal species on Earth live beneath our feet and provide the nutrients for all food. Soils also store as much carbon as all plants above ground and are therefore critical in tackling the climate emergency. But there also are major gaps in knowledge, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) report, which is the first on the global state of biodiversity in soils.

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The report was compiled by 300 scientists, who describe the worsening state of soils as at least as important as the climate crisis and destruction of the natural world above ground. Crucially, it takes thousands of years for soils to form, meaning

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Australian research voyage to investigate how life in the Southern Ocean captures and stores carbon from the atmosphere — ScienceDaily

A fleet of new-generation, deep-diving ocean robots will be deployed in the Southern Ocean, in a major study of how marine life acts as a handbrake on global warming.

The automated probes will be looking for ‘marine snow’, which is the name given to the shower of dead algae and carbon-rich organic particles that sinks from upper waters to the deep ocean.

Sailing from Hobart on Friday, twenty researchers aboard CSIRO’s RV Investigator hope to capture the most detailed picture yet of how marine life in the Southern Ocean captures and stores carbon from the atmosphere.

Voyage Chief Scientist, Professor Philip Boyd, from AAPP and IMAS, said it would be the first voyage of its kind to combine ship-board observations, deep-diving robots, automated ocean gliders and satellite measurements.

“The microscopic algae in the ocean are responsible for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as much as the forests on land

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Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield’s life and career rise, in photos

  • Stewart Butterfield founded Slack in 2013 after selling his first startup, Flickr, to Yahoo for more than $20 million.
  • Slack became one of the fastest-growing companies ever, achieving a $1 billion valuation less than a year after it officially launched.
  • Butterfield, whose birth name was Dharma before he changed it at age 12, was born in British Columbia and majored in philosophy in college. 
  • He’s currently engaged to a fellow tech founder: Jennifer Rubio, the cofounder of luggage startup Away.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Stewart Butterfield is on a roll.

In the early 2000s, Butterfield created Flickr, which sold to Yahoo for over $20 million. Now, his latest venture, Slack, one of the fastest-growing business apps ever, has been acquired by Salesforce for $27.7 billion.

The workplace messaging app, born out of a now-defunct gaming startup Tiny Speck, will help Salesforce compete with its chief rival, Microsoft,

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Despite development slowdown, the state’s life science industry keeps on building

From the industry’s traditional hub in Cambridge’s Kendall Square to emerging hot spots in Fort Point and the Fenway to vast campuses in more distant locations such as the former Fort Devens, life science companies are launching a wide array of projects, fueled by investors attracted to a fast-growing industry.

“There’s just tremendous interest in investing in these sort of projects,” said John Bonnano, chief investment officer at IQHQ, a real estate firm that’s launching two major life science developments here, and earlier this month closed on a $1.7 billion fund to finance more in Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego. “There’s an awful lot of capital out there right now.”

It’s chasing a market that has only become stronger relative to other real estate sectors. Traditional office tenants now occupy about 3 million fewer square feet of space across Greater Boston than they did at the start of the

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Researchers discover life in deep ocean sediments at or above water’s boiling point — ScienceDaily

An international research team that included three scientists from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography has discovered single-celled microorganisms in a location where they didn’t expect to find them.

“Water boils on the (Earth’s) surface at 100 degrees Celsius, and we found organisms living in sediments at 120 degrees Celsius,” said URI Professor of Oceanography Arthur Spivack, who led the geochemistry efforts of the 2016 expedition organized by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Germany’s MARUM-Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. The study was carried out as part of the work of Expedition 370 of the International Ocean Discovery Program.

The research results from a two-month-long expedition in 2016 will be published today in the journal Science.

The news follows an announcement in October that microbial diversity below the seafloor is as rich as on Earth’s surface. Researchers

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Discovery Life Sciences and Scientist.com Partner to Advance Liquid Biopsy Development and Immunotherapy Research

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec 3, 2020–

Scientist.com, the healthcare industry’s leading marketplace for outsourced research, and Discovery Life Sciences™ (Discovery), a global leader in biospecimen solutions, genomic, cell and immunohistochemistry (IHC) services, have partnered to offer researchers online access to Illumina’s TruSight™ Oncology 500 (TSO500) technology. The TSO500 technology was recently added to HudsonAlpha Discovery™, Discovery’s highly regarded sequencing and bioinformatics laboratory.

“HudsonAlpha Discovery’s TSO500 platform combined with Discovery Life Sciences’ comprehensive biospecimen solutions, which are also available through Scientist.com, will accelerate immuno-oncology and liquid biopsy biomarker studies through delivery of actionable NGS data across patient-matched tumor and plasma biospecimens,” stated Kevin Lustig, PhD, CEO and founder of Scientist.com. “This cutting-edge technology is now available to all Scientist.com users under one pre-established legal agreement, accelerating preclinical research and enabling faster science.”

Illumina’s TSO500 solid Tumor (FFPE) and ctDNA technology enables genomic characterization across a broad range of tumor types through the

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Healthcare Life Science & Chemical Instrumentation Market Research Report 2020 Analysis and Forecast To 2025 With The Impact of Covid-19

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Dec 03, 2020 (Heraldkeepers) —
The report covers detailed competitive outlook including the market share and company profiles of the key participants operating in the global market. Key players profiled in the report include Agilent Technologies Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Becton, Dickinson, & Company, Bruker Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Illumina Inc., PerkinElmer Inc., Danaher Corporation, Shimadzu Corporation, and Waters Corporation Company profile includes assign such as company summary, financial summary, business strategy and planning, SWOT analysis and current developments.

The Global Healthcare Life Science & Chemical Instrumentation Market is expected to exceed more than US$ 62.0 billion by 2024 and will grow at a CAGR of more than 6% in the given forecast period.

Browse Full Report: https://www.marketresearchengine.com/reportdetails/healthcare-life-science-and-chemical-instrumentation-market

The Global Healthcare Life Science & Chemical Instrumentation Market is segmented on the lines

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The Social Life of Forests



The Social Life of Forests

Trees appear to communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. What are they sharing with one another?

By Ferris Jabr
Photographs by Brendan George Ko

As a child, Suzanne Simard often roamed Canada’s old-growth forests with her siblings, building forts from fallen branches, foraging mushrooms and huckleberries and occasionally eating handfuls of dirt (she liked the taste). Her grandfather and uncles, meanwhile, worked nearby as horse loggers, using low-impact methods to selectively harvest cedar, Douglas fir and white pine. They took so few trees that Simard never noticed much of a difference. The forest seemed ageless and infinite, pillared with conifers, jeweled with raindrops and brimming with ferns and fairy bells. She experienced it as “nature in the raw” — a mythic realm, perfect as it was. When she began attending the University of British Columbia, she was elated to discover forestry: an entire

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Potential life on ancient Mars likely lived below the surface, study says

If life ever existed on ancient Mars, it may not have found a way on the surface — but several miles below it. A new study suggests that the most habitable part of Mars in the past was likely its subsurface.



a body of water: This is a vertically exaggerated, false-color rendering of a large, water-carved channel on Mars called Dao Vallis.


© ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, 3D rendered and colored by Lujendra Ojha
This is a vertically exaggerated, false-color rendering of a large, water-carved channel on Mars called Dao Vallis.

The study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

Life, as we understand it on Earth, requires some basic ingredients. Water is one of those. And for years, NASA’s succession of robotic missions has been “following the water” on Mars to learn more about the planet’s history, including if it ever supported life.

While many scientists believe that Mars was warm and wet billions of years ago before it became the frozen desert it is today, others point to the faint young

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