Earth is filled with incredibly strange creatures, from thermophiles like the one seen here that can survive in temperatures up to 121 degress Celsius to the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans
that thrives in 2000 times more ionising radiation than would fry a human. New Scientist features a survey of ten "extremophiles." The headline is a bit off though, reading: "The most extreme-life forms in the universe." Of course, studying these unusual organisms could give scientists insight into what life might exist on other planets, but all of the creatures in this article are found right here at home. From New Scientist:
There's hardly a niche on Earth that hasn't been colonised. Life can be found in scalding, acidic hot pools, in the driest deserts, and in the dark, crushing depths of the ocean. It has even found a toehold in the frigid polar regions and in toxic dumps.
"Life on Earth has radiated into every conceivable – and in some cases almost inconceivable – ecological niche," says Chris Impey of the University of Arizona in Tucson, US.
The very existence of these hardy organisms hints that life might be able to eke out an existence in the cold, dry climate of Mars, the icy, acidic conditions of Jupiter's moon Europa, or in countless other spots beyond our solar system.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you are camping during rainy season, or just want a TSA-approved lighter, these plasma torches make perfect travel companions. These gas-free lighters create a small plasma beam that’s safer than butane to use and more environmentally friendly. It creates a super-hot, splashproof flame so you can get a campfire going, or have a smoke […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]