#14 — New evidence pushes the Moon's age back 40 million years

New analysis of crystals brought back from the moon by Apollo astronauts suggests that the moon is 40 million years older than previously thought.

#14 — New evidence pushes the Moon's age back 40 million years
The moon.

A recent study, using crystals from the moon brought back by Apollo astronauts, has determined that the moon is at least 4.46 billion years old, 40 million years older than previously thought. Researchers used an analytical method called atom probe tomography to examine the lunar crystals, revealing their age by measuring the radioactive decay of isotopes within the crystals. This discovery provides valuable insights into the moon's formation and its role in stabilizing Earth's rotational axis and shaping our planet's natural systems.

Scientists engineer plants to detect toxic pesticides

Green plants turn red in the presence of the toxic pesticide. Photos Credit: Sean Cutler/UCR.

Researchers at UC Riverside have successfully engineered plants to change color in the presence of a banned, toxic pesticide, azinphos-ethyl. By modifying the plants' receptors to respond to this chemical, they created an environmental sensor without affecting the plant's natural functions. While not yet ready for commercial use, this breakthrough holds promise for various applications, from detecting pesticides to monitoring drugs in water supplies.

Photo of the day

Hubble captures the spiral galaxy IC 5332 face-on

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures the face-on spiral galaxy, IC 5332. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar, J.

Tracing the first European settlers

Scientists, led by CNRS researchers, have examined skull fragments from the Buran Kaya III site in Crimea dating back to 36,000 and 37,000 years ago to trace the first modern humans who settled in Europe. By comparing their DNA to existing databases, they discovered genetic links to both ancient and modern Europeans, especially those associated with the Gravettian culture, known for its iconic female figurines. These individuals not only contributed genetically but also technologically to the civilization that emerged around 5,000 years later, shedding light on the early settlers of Europe.

Quote of the day

Marie Curie

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."

Innovative catalyst promises a greener solution to plastic recycling


Video credit: Md Arifuzzaman et al., Materials Horizons (2023)

Traditional plastic recycling methods often fall short, with most mixed plastics ending up in landfills or incinerators. However, scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a novel catalytic recycling process that can efficiently deconstruct mixed plastics into pristine monomers for reuse in new plastic production. This environmentally friendly approach not only reduces greenhouse gases but could also help save billions of barrels of oil annually by closing the loop on plastic recycling, making it a promising solution for addressing the global plastic waste problem.

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