Geologists are using 3-D printing to study the pores within limestone reservoir rocks. A better understanding of the pore networks within the rocks could help industry get at more oil.
Despite the fact that tropical forests are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, more is known about belly-button bacteria than bacteria on trees in the tropics. Scientists working on Panama's Barro Colorado Island discovered that small leaf samples from a single tree were home to more than 400 different kinds of bacteria. The combined sample from 57 tree species contained more than 7,000 different kinds.
A single group of microorganisms may be responsible for much of the world's vitamin B12 production in the oceans, with implications for the global carbon cycle and climate change, researchers have discovered. Thaumarchaeota, they say, are likely dominant vitamin B12 producers.
To isolate quantum fluctuations that define the properties of a metallic material, scientists probed it at temperatures colder than interstellar space. The research provides new methods to identify and understand promising new materials, including superconductors.
Conditions on Earth during its first 500 million years may have been cool enough to form oceans of water instead of being too hot for life to form. This alternate view of Earth's first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland, which has been proposed as a possible geological analog for early Earth.
The single most important calcifying algae of the world's oceans is able to simultaneously adapt to rising water temperatures and ocean acidification through evolution. A unique long-term experiment with the species Emiliania huxleyi shows that the evolutionary potential of the algae is much greater than previously thought. In their laboratory evolution experiment, the scientists have shown for the first time that evolutionary adaptations to multiple stress factors do not necessarily interfere with each other.
As soon as lava flows from a volcano, exposure to air and wind causes it to start to cool and harden. Rather than hardening evenly, the energy exchange tends to take place primarily at the surface.
A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it's not the source many people may have feared.
Mosses have existed on Earth for more than 400 million years. During this period they survived many climate catastrophes that wiped out more robust organisms such as, for example, dinosaurs. Recently, scientists brought single moss plants back to life after they had been frozen in the Antarctic ice for 1,500 years. Why are these small plants so resilient to climate changes?
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding are of a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators now know once held water.