HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
The Milky Way shaped life on Earth

Frenzied star-making in the Milky Way Galaxy starting about 2400 million years ago had extraordinary effects on life on Earth. Harvests of bacteria in the sea soared and crashed in a succession of booms and busts, with an instability not seen before or since. According to new results published by Dr. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center in the journal Astronomische Nachrichten, the variability in the productivity of life is closely linked to the cosmic rays, the atomic bullets that rain down on the Earth from exploded stars. They were most intense during a baby boom of stars, many of which blew up.

'The odds are 10,000 to 1 against this unexpected link between cosmic rays and the variable state of the biosphere being just a coincidence, and it offers a new perspective on the connection between the evolution of the Milky Way and the entire history of life over the last 4 billion years,' Dr Svensmark comments.

Dr Svensmark looked at the long record of life's bounty given by counts of heavy carbon atoms, carbon-13, in sedimentary rocks. When bacteria and algae in the ocean grow by taking in carbon dioxide, they prefer the ordinary carbon-12 atoms. As a result, the sea becomes enriched in carbon-13, which is acceptable to sea creatures building their carbonate shells. Variations in carbon-13 therefore record how much photosynthetic growth was in progress when the shell-makers were alive in other words, how productive the biosphere was at that time.

To his surprise, Dr Svensmark noticed that the biggest fluctuations in productivity coincided with high star formation rates and cool periods in Earth's climate. Conversely, during a billion years when star formation was slow, cosmic rays were less intense and Earth's climate was warmer, the biosphere was almost unchanging in its productivity.

This reveals a link more subtle than any straightforward idea of, say, a warm climate being life-friendly or a cold climate
'"/>

Contact: Dr Henrik Svensmark
hsv@spacecenter.dk
452-063-4740
Danish National Space Center
14-Nov-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Facial attraction -- choice of sexual partner shaped the human face
2. Why is the heart heart-shaped?
3. Whats shaped like a pear and has two genomes? Check the pond
4. Three at MIT conceive cell-shaped building
5. Evidence human activities have shaped large-scale ecological patterns
6. A sea otter-shaped rubble pile in space
7. First high-flex knee replacement implant shaped specifically to fit womans anatomy
8. Why are letters and other human visual signs shaped the way that they are?
9. MicroRNAs have shaped the evolution of the majority of mammalian genes
10. For two primates, patience takes different forms, shaped by ecology
11. Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/20/2016)... and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016   Valencell ... sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a ... of electronics applications, announced today the launch of ... for biometric wearables that includes ST,s compact ... Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in terms ... from 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be USD ... by 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system market ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... --  WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: WGBS ... that on December 13, 2016, it received a letter ... Market LLC which acknowledged that, as of December 12, ... had been at $1.00 or greater for ten consecutive ... Rule 5550(a)(2) of the Nasdaq Stock Market. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association ... Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, said data sharing plans ... policy. AMIA recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers to produce and execute ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 18, 2017 The global biotechnology services ... billion by 2025, according to a new report ... been adaptive of the function of outsourcing certain ... Among the services outsourced, clinical trial management and ... & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company to ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA Module, ... into a compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and production-ready ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Parent Project ... fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , ... the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem ... exploration of robotic technology to assist people living ... incorporate NJIT,s technology – an embedded computer, software, a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: