A Yellowstone guide to life on Mars

A geology student is helping NASA determine whether life existed on other planets. He is helping find a marker for ancient bacterial life on Mars. The research could help scientists put to rest one of our most fundamental mysteries.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Hey Jojo. I know I said I’d be gone for a while but since you’re really academic I just wanted to ask how do you deal with exam stress? Bc for me I have my exams for my final undergrad year in a week and a bit and I have my notes ready and I’m on schedule mostly and revising but I just feel really scared. I feel like this stuff won’t stick in my head and I’ll open up the paper and not be able to answer well (especially since I have to write scientific essays) so I cry quite a bit and stress out

oh man, i hope this isn’t too late!! i’m a really good test taker and i’ve never really had anxiety about it; in general here’s some good advice:

  • everything you’ve learned is in your head. just because you can’t spontaneously remember it right now doesn’t mean it won’t come back at the slightest prompting. that’s how it works!! trust yourself. it’s all in there. 
  • flip through the entire test. you really don’t want to realize you have five minutes left and oh yeah, wait, there really is a long question on the back page.
  • answer what you can first. you’ll feel better once you’ve got something down. and write fast, don’t hesitate, just start smacking down answers. it’ll get your mind going and i can’t count the number of times i’ve been at a loss on some other question on my first read through and had it come rushing back to me as soon as i started going through the motions. it’ll give you more time to work on the long stuff!
  • never leave anything blank. e v e r. this is especially true for math tests. literally make up an equation and start solving it if you have to. just make it look like you thought you knew what you were doing. they want to see effort and critical thinking and confidence in your knowledge. show ‘em.
  • cross out stuff you’ve done. if it’s a long question, i go through piece by piece and start crossing out the portions i’ve answered. sometimes i even number/letter the different parts of the question and put little numbers/letters on my answer next to each part so the grader can see that yes, i really did do each part of this. and then you don’t forget anything!
  • write nicely and keep it organized. the best advice i ever got was “if you want something from someone, give them a way to give it to you” so give your professor or the test grader the chance to see the best in your work. don’t hide answers from them. box and underline whatever you have to.
  • don’t be afraid to write notes on your paper. mine always end up covered in little arrows and messages “like this is the answer assuming ____ is true, if not ____ would obviously be the right answer.” there’s no hard and fast rule that you can only put down one answer tbh. 
  • don’t look at anyone else’s paper. i know, i know  you want to glance around to see how far along everyone else is. just don’t. focus on you. you are a bubble of serenity, and no one knows how to do this better than you do.
  • and most importantly: put down everything you know. this is your chance to prove you know this stuff, and you do. you absolutely do. every single thing you think is relevant to an answer? put it down. do parentheses, do sidebars, do whatever you have to. especially in a science course, they’re never going to mark you down for more for improper essay structure than they will for not showing a full answer.

i think that’s it!! good luck on exams everyone!!!!

Geology Nerd

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Collapse of the Atlantic Ocean heat transport might lead to hot European summers

Severe winters combined with heat waves and droughts during summer in Europe. Those were the consequences as the Atlantic Ocean heat transport nearly collapsed 12,000 years ago. The same situation might occur today.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Applying network analysis to natural history

By using network analysis to search for communities of marine life in the fossil records of the Paleobiology Database, biologists were able to quantify the ecological impacts of major events like mass extinctions and may help us anticipate the consequences of a ‘sixth mass extinction.’
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Human-like walking mechanics evolved before the genus Homo

A close examination of 3.6-million-year-old hominin footprints discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, suggests our ancestors evolved the hallmark trait of extended leg, human-like bipedalism substantially earlier than previously thought.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Dodo’s violent death revealed

The famous Oxford Dodo died after being shot in the back of the head, according to new research. Using revolutionary forensic scanning technology and world-class expertise, researchers have discovered surprising evidence that the Oxford Dodo was shot in the neck and back of the head with a shotgun.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Unprecedented wave of large-mammal extinctions linked to prehistoric humans

Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size — by way of extinction — at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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New ancestor of modern sea turtles found in Alabama

A sea turtle discovered in Alabama is a new species from the Late Cretaceous epoch, according to a new study.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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New new genus and species of extinct baleen whale identified

Paleontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand’s ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of baleen whale, alive more than 27.5 million years ago and found in the Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Marine fish won an evolutionary lottery 66 million years ago

Why do the Earth’s oceans contain such a staggering diversity of fish of so many different sizes, shapes, colors and ecologies? The answer, biologists report, dates back 66 million years ago, when a six-mile-wide asteroid crashed to Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and approximately 75 percent of animal and plant species worldwide.
Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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