DNA is a unique biological molecule often referred to as the building block of life. In today’s society, identification of organisms or their relationships depends on DNA: For instance, determining someone’s identity from forensic evidence or conducting blood relation tests relies on an individual’s unique DNA sequence. This connection can be seen in our lives in situations like court cases and even as common as television shows! We trust the certainty of DNA to guide us in times of uncertainty.
You’re at a party. It’s pretty relaxed, people are chatting and you’re sitting in the living room with a friend. All of a sudden, “Last Friday Night” booms through the speakers. In a second, everyone is on the dance floor. “Yeah, we danced on tabletops, and we took too many shots / Think we kissed but I forgot / Last Friday night” Throwback after throwback plays, and by the end of the night your throat hurts from singing and you’re giddy from laughing with your friends. But what makes just one song capable of completely shifting the mood of so many people for an entire night? That’s a great question — it all has to do with the effect of nostalgia!
At this time of year, some animals are eating and sleeping more than usual to prepare themselves for the frigid weather ahead—and for their long winter ‘nap’. You see, these animals protect themselves in the harsh winter conditions by hibernating. Right now, you’re probably picturing a bear falling into a deep sleep throughout the winter, but there’s actually more to the story!
In 2011, researchers came across something puzzling on 3.4-million-year-old fossilized bones: cut marks. Someone had cleaned and cut these bones—possibly using a pointy stone! The culprit? A member of Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy’s species.
We like to think that we’re aware of what we’re putting in our bodies, picking out organic, lactose- and allergen-free food. But what if I told you that we each unknowingly eat a credit card’s weight of plastic every week?
Imagine being able to time travel back to 4.3 billion years ago, witnessing for yourself the origin of life. Your time machine then takes you through the main episodes of Earth’s history, allowing you to see the planet changing and life evolving. Finally, at 250 million years into the past, just before the start of the age of the dinosaurs, your journey ends.