Why did the first big, complex organisms spring to life in deep, dark oceans where food was scarce? A new study finds great depths provided a stable, life-sustaining refuge from wild temperature swings in the shallows.
Stanford researchers have mapped local susceptibility to human-made earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. The new model incorporates physical properties of the Earth’s subsurface and forecasts a decline in potentially damaging shaking through 2020.
Pumping an aquifer to the last drop squeezes out more than water. A Stanford study finds it can also unlock dangerous arsenic from buried clays – and reveals how sinking land can provide an early warning and measure of contamination.
Geologists assume when they find molecules called sterols in soils or rocks they indicate the presence of plants, animals or fungi in ancient environments. In new research from Paula Welander, discovering how some bacteria also produce and modify sterols could change those interpretations.
Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes – big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can’t find enough food.