Two million year-old DNA found in frozen soil has been sequenced, revealing a surprising picture of an ancient landscape. Extinct creatures including, unexpectedly, elephant-like mastadons turn out to be among the beasts roaming Greenland. Researcher Eske Willerslev explains how DNA found in the environment can be used to reconstruct the past as so-called ‘eDNA’ becomes a vital tool for palaeontologists.
The origins of ancient inscriptions are often shrouded in mystery. Writing carved into stone millennia ago can be hard to read and is often missing entire sections of the text. Now a neural network, trained on thousands of existing inscriptions, could help historians figure out when and where a piece of writing comes from – as well as fill in missing words and characters.
The Breitachklamm is a gorge created by the river Breitach in the Allgäu region in Southern Germany. It is located at the exit of the Kleinwalsertal near Tiefenbach, a city district of Oberstdorf. It is one of the deepest gorges of the Bavarian Alps and the deepest rocky gorge of Central Europe.
Every year around 300.000 visitors walk the 2.5 km long path through the gorge. The upper entrance of the Breitachklamm is located near the Walserschanz in Austria, with limited parking space, whereas the lower one in Oberstdorf-Tiefenbach offers a visitor center and ample parking. The Breitachklamm was formed only during the last 10,000 years after the Würm ice age. Glaciers had eroded soft rocks, and hard rocks remained. When the glaciers had melted, the Breitach river had to grind its way through the hard rocks, over a distance of 2.5 km and up to 150 metres (490 ft) deep.
“Sunday Morning” takes us to Lake O’ The Pines in east Texas at sunrise. Videographer: Scot Miller.
Lake O’ the Pines is a reservoir on Big Cypress Bayou, also known as Big Cypress Creek, chiefly in Marion County, Texas, USA. The reservoir also occupies a small part of Upshur and Morris Counties. The dam is located approximately 8.5 miles west of Jefferson.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterized by increased blood glucose levels. They affect almost half a billion people around the globe, and this number is projected to rise as we reach the middle of the century. In most individuals, blood glucose levels are kept within a healthy range by a hormone called insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, but this fine-tuned regulation can go wrong in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In this animation, we lay out our current understanding of these diseases and explore active areas of research that aim to restore the body’s blood glucose control.