Short Science, May 10, 2015

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 May, 2015, 7:32am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 May, 2015, 7:32am

Deep Sea microbesa missing link

Deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Norway, scientists have found microorganisms they call a missing link connecting the simple cells that first populated earth to the complex cellular life that emerged roughly two billion years ago. The researchers said a group of microorganisms called Lokiarchaeota, or Loki for short, were retrieved from the inhospitable, frigid seabed about 2.35km under the ocean surface not too far from a hydrothermal vent system called Loki's Castle, named after a Norse mythological figure. The discovery provides insight into how the larger, complex cell types that are the building blocks for fungi, plants and animals including people, a group called eukaryotes, evolved from small, simple microbes, they said. The Lokiarchaeota are part of a group called Archaea that have relatively simple cells lacking internal structures such as a nucleus. But the researchers found the Lokiarchaeota share with eukaryotes a significant number of genes, many with functions related to the cell membrane. These genes would have provided Lokiarchaeota "with a starter-kit to support the development of cellular complexity," said evolutionary microbiologist Lionel Guy of Sweden's Uppsala University. Archaea and bacteria are together known as prokaryotes. Reuters


Particle smasher starting up again

The world's largest particle smasher resumed colliding protons last week as it gradually reboots following a two-year upgrade, Europe's physics lab Cern said. The low-energy collisions took place in the Large Hadron Collider.

The protons collided at an energy of 450 giga-electronvolts (GeV), allowing the scientists to fine tune the collider's detectors as they prepare to crank the power up to allow collisions at an unprecedented 13 tera-electronvolts (TeV), it said. Experiments at the collider are aimed at unlocking clues as to how the universe came into existence by studying fundamental particles, the building blocks of all matter, and the forces that control them. In 2012, the LHC was used to prove the existence of Higgs Boson, the particle that confers mass, earning the 2013 Nobel physics prize for two of the scientists who had theorised the existence of the so-called God particle. AFP


Genie can delivermeals in 30 seconds

It's a revolution in food technology that could deliver your food fantasy to your plate in less than a minute. The Genie, similar in size and appearance to a coffee maker, can produce an unlimited variety of meals using pods, that contain natural dehydrated ingredients. So whether salty or sweet, an appetiser or a dessert, the device can create the food you crave in 30 seconds. Developed by Israeli entrepreneurs Ayelet Carasso and Doron Marco from White Innovation company, the device uses a mobile app to operate. Meals are prepared in 140-gram portions in recyclable containers. Reuters