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Missing link of cellular life found

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 2 billion years ago.

The researchers said on Wednesday a group of microorganisms called Lokiarchaeota, or Loki for short, were retrieved from the inhospitable, frigid seabed about 2.35 km under the ocean surface. The discovery provides insight into how 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 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. 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.


More info


Utah professor signs amicus brief arguing same-sex marriage is bad for families

SALT LAKE CITY – Matthew Petersen and 55 other medical students at the University of Utah have sent a letter to one of their professors, demanding he explain his views on same-sex marriage.

“We saw his signature on the amicus brief that said that legalizing same-sex marriage would cause 900,000 abortions,” he said. “[That] didn’t make sense to us.”

Dr. Richard Farnsworth was among 100 medical professionals who signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, arguing that same-sex marriage is bad for families.

They claim legal gay marriage will lead to an additional 900,000 abortions and 600,000 more children being born to unmarried women.

“Basically, because we are students here and he is an adjunct faculty here, we had some questions that were regarding what he put his name to, the research he backed by signing,” Petersen said.



Wisconsin Republicans Would Spend Millions To Micromanage Poor People’s Shopping

Wisconsin would have to spend millions of dollars to realize a Republican scheme to restrict how poor people shop for food, state fiscal analysts revealed Wednesday.

The measure would prohibit stores from accepting food stamps to pay for any form of shellfish and put a new limit on how much a food stamps recipient could spend on a long list of other foods including dry beans, spaghetti sauce, and cooking spices. It provoked outrage from Democrats in the legislature, who used a recent committee hearing on the bill to point out bizarre foibles in the list of foods that Rep. Robert Brooks (R) proposes to constrain.

But at the time of that hearing, no one was able to say how much it would cost the state to implement Brooks’ idea. Now the state’s official bean counters have made their perspective on the bill publicly available, giving opponents more ammunition.

While exact costs are impossible to guess, the analysts wrote, “costs for Wisconsin would total several million dollars.” They base that estimate on very different SNAP programs in other states that required similar overhauls of cash registers and state computer systems. The analysis notes that the expenses would be too large for existing departmental budgets to absorb, meaning that the state would have to come up with new money for implementing the grocery store constraints at a time when the state is expecting zero revenue growth and Gov. Scott Walker (R) is proposing enormous cuts to the state budget.



America's poor are 'envy of the world,' says richest Congressman

Source: CNN

Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made "our poor somewhat the envy of the world."

Asked by CNNMoney whether he feels personally responsible to address income inequality in the United States, the Republican Congressman from California said "absolutely." But he noted that America is the richest country on earth and implied that those in poverty here are better off than the poor in other nations.

"If you go to India or you go to any number of other Third World countries, you have two problems: You have greater inequality of income and wealth. You also have less opportunity for people to rise from the have not to the have," said Issa. In the U.S., he noted there is better availability and access to quality public education.

Issa's personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/07/news/economy/issa-poor/index.html

One of Jeb Bush’s top advisers on Israel: George W. Bush

When asked this week at an exclusive Manhattan gathering about who advises him on U.S.-Israel policy, Jeb Bush surprised many of the 50-plus attendees by naming his brother, former president George W. Bush, as his most influential counselor.

“If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him,” Bush said Tuesday, speaking to a crowd of high-powered financiers at the Metropolitan Club, according to four people present.

The remark came as part of an answer to a question about Bush’s political advisers and their policy views. Bush was pressed for details about who he surrounds himself with and consults as he thinks through his positions, guests said.

The Republicans in the room spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge information about the proceedings, where confidentiality was insisted upon by the event’s host, GOP mega-donor Paul Singer.



I just gotta wonder, how was W's presidency good for Israel? Iraq was already contained, Syria wasn't doing anything, Egypt was quiet. Now Israel is surrounded by chaos.

Spiders Ingest Nanotubes, Then Weave Silk Reinforced with Carbon

Spider silk is one of the more extraordinary materials known to science. The protein fiber, spun by spiders to make webs, is stronger than almost anything that humans can make.

The dragline silk spiders use to make a web’s outer rim and spokes is amazing stuff. It matches high-grade alloy steel for tensile strength but is about a sixth as dense. It is also highly ductile, sometimes capable of stretching to five times its length.

This combination of strength and ductility makes spider silk extremely tough, matching the toughness of state-of-the-art carbon fibers such as Kevlar.

So it goes without saying that the ability to make spider silk even stronger and tougher would be a significant scientific coup. Which is why the work of Emiliano Lepore at the University of Trento in Italy and a few pals is something of a jaw-dropper.

These guys have found a way to incorporate carbon nanotubes and graphene into spider silk and increase its strength and toughness beyond anything that has been possible before. The resulting material has properties such as fracture strength, Young’s modulus, and toughness modulus higher than anything ever measured.



Thursday TOON Roundup 3- The Rest










Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - Texas vs. USA

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