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Free Access to Science Research Doesn't Benefit Everyone

Free Access to Science Research Doesn't Benefit Everyone | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

Open is better than closed. That rule applies for a lot of things: presents, beer, restaurants. And, many argue, science.

The open-science movement has a lot of interlocking parts. Open-access publishing advocates want papers to be available to anybody, open-data supporters want data to be downloadable, and those arguing for open source want the software scientists use to be shared with everyone. The idea is simple: The more people who have access to papers, data, and software, the better it is for the world.

And the drumbeat of openness is getting louder. Last month, CERN opened up its vast datasets to the public and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that any research it funded would have to be published only in journals that offer open access. “We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated,” they wrote in their policy statement.

There is a lot of promise in open access. But there are a lot of problems too.


Via Florence Piron
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Oceans arrived early on Earth: Primitive meteorites were the likely source of water

Oceans arrived early on Earth: Primitive meteorites were the likely source of water | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: Where did Earth's water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.

 

"The answer to one of the basic questions is that our oceans were always here. We didn't get them from a late process, as was previously thought," said Adam Sarafian, the lead author of the paper published Oct. 31, 2014, in the journal Science and a MIT/WHOI Joint Program student in the Geology and Geophysics Department.

 

One school of thought was that planets originally formed dry, due to the high-energy, high-impact process of planet formation, and that the water came later from sources such as comets or "wet" asteroids, which are largely composed of ices and gases.

 

"With giant asteroids and meteors colliding, there's a lot of destruction," said Horst Marschall, a geologist at WHOI and coauthor of the paper. "Some people have argued that any water molecules that were present as the planets were forming would have evaporated or been blown off into space, and that surface water as it exists on our planet today, must have come much, much later -- hundreds of millions of years later."

 

The study's authors turned to another potential source of Earth's water -- carbonaceous chondrites. The most primitive known meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, were formed in the same swirl of dust, grit, ice and gasses that gave rise to the sun some 4.6 billion years ago, well before the planets were formed. "These primitive meteorites resemble the bulk solar system composition," said WHOI geologist and coauthor Sune Nielsen. "They have quite a lot of water in them, and have been thought of before as candidates for the origin of Earth's water."

 

In order to determine the source of water in planetary bodies, scientists measure the ratio between the two stable isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and hydrogen. Different regions of the solar system are characterized by highly variable ratios of these isotopes. The study's authors knew the ratio for carbonaceous chondrites and reasoned that if they could compare that to an object that was known to crystallize while Earth was actively accreting then they could gauge when water appeared on Earth.

 

To test this hypothesis, the research team, which also includes Francis McCubbin from the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico and Brian Monteleone of WHOI, utilized meteorite samples provided by NASA from the asteroid 4-Vesta. The asteroid 4-Vesta, which formed in the same region of the solar system as Earth, has a surface of basaltic rock -- frozen lava. These basaltic meteorites from 4-Vesta are known as eucrites and carry a unique signature of one of the oldest hydrogen reservoirs in the solar system. Their age -- approximately 14 million years after the solar system formed -- makes them ideal for determining the source of water in the inner solar system at a time when Earth was in its main building phase. The researchers analyzed five different samples at the Northeast National Ion Microprobe Facility -- a state-of-the-art national facility housed at WHOI that utilizes secondary ion mass spectrometers. This is the first time hydrogen isotopes have been measured in eucrite meteorites.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Earth's Ozone Layer is Making an Impressive Recovery | Big Think

The Earth's Ozone Layer is Making an Impressive Recovery | Big Think | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
Scientists have confirmed a sizable improvement in ozone levels over the past decade. The news is a testament to the world's noble dedication to reducing usage of hazardous chemicals.

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Paleontologists just found the dinosaur Dreadnoughtus, an 85-foot-long titan - the most massive ever discovered

Paleontologists just found the dinosaur Dreadnoughtus, an 85-foot-long titan - the most massive ever discovered | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

Today an international team of paleontologists unveiled the newest Mesozoic giant: Dreadnoughtus schrani. Weighing in at an astonishing 65 tons, standing two stories high at the shoulder, and measuring 85 feet long, this titan is the heaviest dinosaur we've ever (accurately) measured. And its discovery represents the most fossil mass ever found for a single organism—a paleontologist's dream. 

"For the largest dinosaurs, which we call titanosaurs, finding anything around 20 percent of the fossil is usually considered a home run," says Kenneth Lacovara, the lead Drexel University paleontologist behind the find. "Normally you only find a handful of bones, and the previous record was a 27 percent complete skeleton. With Dreadnoughtus we found 70 percent." 

Near-Complete: The reason near-complete finds are so rare is because fossilization requires a quick burial in sediment. As you can imagine, it's an extraordinary occurrence for something as big as a Dreadnoughtus to be buried so quickly. But according to Lacovara, the scientists believe a rapid pair of floods, caused by broken earthen levees in the valley where Dread was found, are behind the impressively complete find. Sedimentary records in nearby areas back up this idea.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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An Effective Filter for IBD Detection in Large Data Sets

An Effective Filter for IBD Detection in Large Data Sets | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Paleontologists Discover Treasure Trove of Fossils at New Burgess Shale Site | I Fucking Love Science

Paleontologists Discover Treasure Trove of Fossils at New Burgess Shale Site | I Fucking Love Science | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
“ Canada is home to Burgess Shale: an expansive fossil field that contains a diverse array of preserved organisms dating all the way back to the Middle Cambrian, 505 million years ago. There are two well-known sites: one in the Yoho National Park and another 42 km (26 miles) away at Kootenay National Park. Another site has been discovered in Kootenay and could be the richest fossil site ever discovered. ”
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The Bones That Forever Changed Australia’s History

The Bones That Forever Changed Australia’s History | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
“Mungo Man” emerged from the Australian Outback 40 years ago this week, but his story is very much unfinished.
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Paleontologists Discover a Hidden Dinosaur

Paleontologists Discover a Hidden Dinosaur | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
There's more than one way to make a significant dinosaur discovery. You can fill up water bottles, slather on sunscreen, and strike out across exposed stone in the hope that luck and a sharp eye wi...

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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Canada At The Forefront Of 3D Printing

Canada At The Forefront Of 3D Printing | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

 

TORONTO - Three-dimensional printers have already begun addressing present-day demands around the world by churning out everything from food to firearms, but Canada's contributions seem geared toward different times,

 

Canadian researchers in medicine and paleontology are hard at work pioneering projects intended to either make life easier in the future or shed light on the past.

 

Innovations emerging from Canadian hospitals and university labs have potential to ease the pain of severe burns and joint replacements, while experiments scheduled to begin this year in a Canadian museum will deepen understanding of a poorly understood dinosaur that lived and moved in water.

 

The common thread between these divergent projects is a piece of technology that has already made international headlines for its versatility.

 

Three-dimensional printers, which use chemical compounds in place of ink to reproduce 3D models of computer-generated files, have been put to work in fields ranging from architecture to archiving.

 

The U.S.-based Smithsonian institution has begun an effort to catalogue its vast collection through 3D printing with a view to making its exhibits accessible to a broader audience. A British company has developed a 3D-printed material resembling marble and already produces enough annual output to construct 12 two-storey buildings.

 

Other enterprising individuals have managed to produce guns, clocks, clothing and even chocolate using devices that work in the home.


Via Annie Theunissen
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Getting to Know Joe, an Adorable Little Dinosaur

Getting to Know Joe, an Adorable Little Dinosaur | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
Who doesn't dream of finding a dinosaur? There are no prehistoric creatures quite so cherished, and stumbling across their fossilized remains is always a joyous occasion. And pride in uncovering su...

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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"Darwin's Dilemma" --Enigma of Evolution's Cambrian "Big Bang" Solved

"Darwin's Dilemma" --Enigma of Evolution's Cambrian "Big Bang" Solved | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
In the geologic timescale, the

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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Following in the Steps of Late, Great Dinosaurs

Following in the Steps of Late, Great Dinosaurs | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
No one knows exactly how dinosaurian dominance came to an end. Paleontologists and geologists have identified the triggers for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction that devastated life on Earth 66 mi...

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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Dinosaur-killer asteroid nearly wiped out mammals too

Dinosaur-killer asteroid nearly wiped out mammals too | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

The mass extinction event was thought to have paved the way for mammals to dominate, but researchers say many of them died out alongside the dinosaurs. During the Cretaceous period, extinct relatives of living marsupials – such as possums and kangaroos – thrived.

 

An international team of experts on mammal evolution and mass extinctions has shown that the once-abundant animals – known as metatherian mammals – came close to extinction. A 10-km-wide asteroid struck what is now Mexico at the end of the Cretaceous period, unleashing a global cataclysm of environmental destruction which led to the demise of the dinosaurs.

 

The study, including the University of Edinburgh scientists, shows that two-thirds of all metatherians living in North America also perished. This included more than 90 per cent of species living in the northern Great Plains of the US, which is the best area in the world for finding latest Cretaceous mammal fossils, researchers said.

 

Metatherians never recovered their previous diversity, which explains why marsupials are rare today and largely restricted to unusual environments in Australia and South America.

 

Species that give birth to well-developed live young – known as placental mammals – took full advantage of the metatherians’ demise. Placental mammals – which include many species from mice to men – are ubiquitous across the globe today, researchers said.

 

“This is a new twist on a classic story. It wasn’t only that dinosaurs died out, providing an opportunity for mammals to reign, but that many types of mammals, such as most metatherians, died out too – this allowed advanced placental mammals to rise to dominance,” said Dr Thomas Williamson from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

 

Researchers reviewed the evolutionary history of metatherians and constructed the most up-to-date family tree for the mammals based on the latest fossil records, allowing them to study extinction patterns in unprecedented detail.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Fossilized Nuclei and Chromosomes Reveal 180 Million Years of Genomic Stasis in Royal Ferns

Fossilized Nuclei and Chromosomes Reveal 180 Million Years of Genomic Stasis in Royal Ferns | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

It defies belief, but a 180 million year old fern fossil unearthed in Sweden is so exquisitely preserved that it is possible to see its cells dividing. So pristine is the fossil, reported scientists from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in the journal Science in March, that it is possible for them to estimate its genome size from the size of its cell nuclei — and that it has remained substantially unchanged from its living descendants since the early Jurassic.

 

The ferns were swallowed by a volcanic mudflow called a lahar, in which gas and rocky debris from an eruption mix with water and sediment. After entombment, hot salty water percolated into the coarse sediments around the ferns and acted as a preservative brine that immortalized the hapless plants. Their misfortune was our luck: 180 million years later, we can see details of their macro and micro anatomy so well that we can see how uncannily similar they are to their living descendants, royal and cinnamon ferns. They could be sisters!

 

Fossils from the family this fern belongs to had already been found from 220 million year-old rocks that were recognizable as the living species Osmunda claytonia — the interrupted fern — and other fossils from the Mesozoic have been found that are virtually indistinguishable from other genera and species in the fern’s family, the Osmundaceae (the royal ferns). But microscopic preservation of this quality has rarely been seen in any fossils before.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Microscopic Diamonds Suggest Cosmic Impact Responsible for Younger Dryas Climate Change 12,800 Years Ago

Microscopic Diamonds Suggest Cosmic Impact Responsible for Younger Dryas Climate Change 12,800 Years Ago | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it

A new study published in The Journal of Geology provides support for the theory that a cosmic impact event over North America some 13,000 years ago caused a major period of climate change known as the Younger Dryas stadial, or “Big Freeze.”

 

Around 12,800 years ago, a sudden, catastrophic event plunged much of the Earth into a period of cold climatic conditions and drought. This drastic climate change—the Younger Dryas—coincided with the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna, such as the saber-tooth cats and the mastodon, and resulted in major declines in prehistoric human populations, including the termination of the Clovis culture.

 

With limited evidence, several rival theories have been proposed about the event that sparked this period, such as a collapse of the North American ice sheets, a major volcanic eruption, or a solar flare.

 

However, in a study published in The Journal of Geology, an international group of scientists analyzing existing and new evidence have determined a cosmic impact event, such as a comet or meteorite, to be the only plausible hypothesis to explain all the unusual occurrences at the onset of the Younger Dryas period.

 

Researchers from 21 universities in 6 countries believe the key to the mystery of the Big Freeze lies in nanodiamonds scattered across Europe, North America, and portions of South America, in a 50-million-square-kilometer area known as the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) field.

 

Microscopic nanodiamonds, melt-glass, carbon spherules, and other high-temperature materials are found in abundance throughout the YDB field, in a thin layer located only meters from the Earth’s surface. Because these materials formed at temperatures in excess of 2200 degrees Celsius, the fact they are present together so near to the surface suggests they were likely created by a major extraterrestrial impact event.

 

In addition to providing support for the cosmic impact event hypothesis, the study also offers evidence to reject alternate hypotheses for the formation of the YDB nanodiamonds, such as by wildfires, volcanism, or meteoric flux.

 

The team’s findings serve to settle the debate about the presence of nanodiamonds in the YDB field and challenge existing paradigms across multiple disciplines, including impact dynamics, archaeology, paleontology, limnology, and palynology.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Bernhard H. Schmitz's curator insight, September 16, 6:33 AM

And where is the center of the YDB field?

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Automatic Detection of Key Innovations, Rate Shifts, and Diversity-Dependence on Phylogenetic Trees

Automatic Detection of Key Innovations, Rate Shifts, and Diversity-Dependence on Phylogenetic Trees | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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End-Permian Extinction Happened Much Quicker Than Previously Thought | I Fucking Love Science

End-Permian Extinction Happened Much Quicker Than Previously Thought | I Fucking Love Science | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
“ 83% of all genera died out approximately 250 million years ago, in the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event. This was the largest extinction event that has ever occurred on this planet. For the first time, a highly specific timeline of the event has been developed which will help researchers understand exactly how the extinction event came about. ”
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Environmental change across a terrestrial Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary section in eastern Montana, USA, constrained by carbonate clumped isotope paleothermometry

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Dinosaur 13 and the Ghost of Tyrannosaurus Sue

Dinosaur 13 and the Ghost of Tyrannosaurus Sue | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
Of all the dinosaurs to have ever lived, none has been as embattled as "Sue" the Tyrannosaurus rex. One of the largest apex predators to have ever stalked the Earth, Sue undoubtedly scuffled with a...

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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Feathers for Tyrannosaurs

Feathers for Tyrannosaurs | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
Feathery dinosaurs can be an acquired taste. Not everyone likes seeing animals that have traditionally been wrapped in scales begin to sprout brightly-colored plumage, especially when such changes ...

Via Susan Clark Johanson
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Robotic dinosaurs on the way for next-gen paleontology at Drexel

Robotic dinosaurs on the way for next-gen paleontology at Drexel | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
Researchers at Drexel University are bringing the latest technological advancements in 3-D printing to the study of ancient life.

Articles about robotics: http://www.scoop.it/t/science-news?tag=robotics

 


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Auction Block Dinosaur Stirs Controversy at SVP

Auction Block Dinosaur Stirs Controversy at SVP | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
On November 19th, science may lose a pair of dinosaurs. Preserved next to each other - and given the dramatic title the "Dueling Dinosaurs" - the tyrannosaur and ceratopsid are going up for auction...

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GB3D Type Fossils | High resolution photographs and digital models of British type fossils

GB3D Type Fossils | High resolution photographs and digital models of British type fossils | Pal@eomatica | Scoop.it
The GB/3D Type Fossils Online project, funded by JISC, aims to develop a single database of the type specimens, held in British collections, of macrofossil species and subspecies found in the UK, including links to photographs (including 'anaglyph'...
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