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Experiments show record of early life could be full of ‘false positives’

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Washington [US], January 29 (ANI): New experiments by geobiologists Julie Cosmidis, Christine Nims, and their colleagues, published in the journal Geology, could help settle arguments over which microfossils are signs of early life and which are not.
They have shown that fossilized spheres and filaments–two common bacterial shapes–made of organic carbon (typically associated with life) can form abiotically (in the absence of living organisms) and might even be easier to preserve than bacteria.
“One big problem is that the fossils are a very simple morphology, and there are lots of non-biological processes that can reproduce them,” Cosmidis said.
“If you find a full skeleton of a dinosaur, it is a very complex structure that is impossible for a chemical process to reproduce,” he added.
It’s much harder to have that certainty with fossilized microbes.
Their work was spurred by an accidental discovery a few years back, with which both Cosmidis and Nims were involved while working in Alexis Templeton’s lab.
While mixing organic carbon and sulfide, they noticed that spheres and filaments were forming and assumed they were the result of bacterial activity. But on closer inspection, Cosmidis quickly realized they have formed abiotically.
“Very early, we noticed that these things looked a lot like bacteria, both chemically and morphologically,” she said.
“They start just looking like a residue at the bottom of the experimental vessel,” researcher Christine Nims says, “but under the microscope, you could see these beautiful structures that looked microbial. And they formed in these very sterile conditions, so these stunning features essentially came out of nothing. It was really exciting work.”
“We thought, ‘What if they could form in a natural environment? What if they could be preserved in rocks?'” Cosmidis says. “We had to try that, to see if they can be fossilized.”
Nims set about running the new experiments, testing to see if these abiotic structures, which they called biomorphs, could be fossilized, like a bacterium would be.
By adding biomorphs to a silica solution, they aimed to recreate the formation of chert, a silica-rich rock that commonly preserves early microfossils.
For weeks, she would carefully track the small-scale ‘fossilization’ progress under a microscope. They found not only that they could be fossilized, but also that these abiotic shapes were much easier to preserve than bacterial remains.
The abiotic ‘fossils,’ structures composed of organic carbon and sulfur, were more resilient and less likely to flatten out than their fragile biological counterparts.
“Microbes don’t have bones,” Cosmidis explains. “They don’t have skins or skeletons. They’re just squishy organic matter. So to preserve them, you have to have very specific conditions”–like low rates of photosynthesis and rapid sediment deposition–“so it’s kind of rare when that happens.”
On one level, their discovery complicates things: knowing that these shapes can be formed without life and preserved more easily than bacteria casts doubt, generally, on our record of early life. But for a while, geobiologists have known better than to rely solely on morphology to analyze potential microfossils. They bring in chemistry, too.
The “organic envelopes” Nims created in the lab were formed in a high-sulfur environment, replicating conditions on early Earth (and hot springs today). Pyrite, or “fool’s gold,” is an iron-sulfide mineral that would likely have formed in such conditions, so its presence could be used as a beacon for potentially problematic microfossils.
“If you look at ancient rocks that contain what we think are microfossils, they very often also contain pyrite,” Cosmidis says. “For me, that should be a red flag: ‘Let’s be more careful here.’ It’s not like we are doomed to never be able to tell what the real microfossils are. We just have to get better at it.” (ANI)

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Mandy Moore shares adorable photo of newborn son August Harrison

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Washington [US], February 28 (ANI): Days after announcing that she and husband Taylor Goldsmith had welcomed their first child together, American actor Mandy Moore shared an adorable new photo of their baby boy.
The ‘This Is Us’ star took to Instagram to share cute pictures of the baby boy August Harrison, on Saturday (local time) and wrote, “One week earthside.”

The image showed her newborn looking cosy underneath a blanket, and went on to share that it has been “the best week ever.”
Ending on a humorous note, the singer included a hashtag referencing both her hit NBC show as well as her son: “This Is Gus.”
Although Moore’s birth plan had to be altered, her baby boy arrived right on time.
While announcing her bundle of joy’s arrival, she wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday,”Gus is here.”

“He was punctual and arrived right on his due date, much to the delight of his parents. We were prepared to fall in love in all sorts of brand new ways, but it goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” Moore added.
The star went on to reveal the sweet story behind her son’s name, which Moore said she and her husband decided on early into their pregnancy.
“It was last August when @taylordawesgoldsmith and I found out we were having a boy (it’s also Taylor’s birth month) and we always loved the name,” she wrote days later alongside a photo of the newborn sleeping with a small grey blanket with his name embroidered across it.
Moore also shared that her son’s blanket holds even more sentimental value for the couple.
“For our anniversary in November, T gifted me with this blanket with the ‘A’ (for Amanda) made from extra material from my wedding dress and ‘T’ (for Taylor) from his wedding shirt,” she wrote.
“Felt like a very fitting amalgamation of our whole story. I can’t wait to pass this on to our sweet August one day.” (ANI)

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‘I’ve had to find another way’: Judi Dench on maintaining successful career despite eyesight loss

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Washington [US], February 28 (ANI): Oscar-winning British actor Judi Dench, on Saturday (local time) revealed about maintaining her successful career despite experiencing eyesight loss.
According to People Magazine, the ‘Philomena’ star recently appeared in a London-based charity event where she disclosed her condition, caused by age-related macular degeneration.
The 86-year-old actor also talked about how she used to memorise her scripts ever since she stopped being able to read.
“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult. I’ve had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again,” Dench told.
“So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!” she added.
The ‘Iris’ actor also revealed in an interview that she hates being labelled as a ‘national treasure’ as it reminds her of her age.
“For one thing, it’s a terrible label. So dusty, so dreary. For another, it relegates me to being an 86-year-old woman. Whereas in my mind’s eye I’m 6ft and willowy and about 39.”
People Magazine reported that Dench went on to explain that she feels suffocated by the title.
“Do you know what it’s like? It’s like they’ve picked me up and put me inside a little glass-fronted cabinet. Then they’ve locked the door so I can’t get out,” she told. (ANI)

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Here’s the tale uncovered behind documentary, ‘Delhi Riots: A tale of burn and blame’

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): A documentary based on violence that took place in North East Delhi in February last year was released on Tuesday.
Talking about what had inspired him to make a documentary on such a sensitive issue, Indian filmmaker Kamlesh K Mishra said he felt that grief that people had gone through on losing their loved ones needs to be shown.
Kamlesh K Mishra, the writer-director of the 66th National Film Award-winning film ‘Madhubani: The Station of Colors’ has directed the documentary titled ‘Delhi Riots: A Tale Of Burn and Blame’. It has released on the (OTT) platform ‘Voot’ on February 23, this year.
The movie has sought to capture the real picture of violence, first-hand account of eyewitnesses and the ‘agenda and propaganda’ that triggered mindless violence, bloodshed and resulted in the killing of about 53 people.
Talking about the whole idea of creating the documentary, the filmmaker said, “In 2020, on February 22 evening, North East Delhi got chocked down. Because CAA protesters blocked the 2 main roads which connect it to other parts of Delhi. After that the violence that took place, the media started false narrating the story. The other thing was people were constantly dying and people were concerned only about who did it.”
“I felt that grief that people had gone through on losing their loved ones needs to be shown. The brutality that people had gone through was very painful. Hence I decided to make a documentary. So I went to those people to know in-depth about the issue. So I came to know that it’s planning was happening from before hand and there was a lot of international conspiracy involved,” he added.
He continued and explained all sources he used to collect the proper content for his movie, “So all of those I got with documentary proof and even police too that how weapons were made for this riot. So these were the few things which I really wanted to convey I wanted to bring out the suffering and pain that common people went through. So I wanted to convey the story through real victims, eyewitnesses and police without giving opinion in it.”
The filmmaker further shared that there were a lot of books on Delhi violence but he didn’t want to take reference from printed material.
“I wanted to gather information on the ground level and people who were the part of this violence and victims. It was done purposely during the time of Trump coming to India.”
Mishra also shared about his objective of bringing out the story to the big screen and explained that he wanted to convey that such kind of brutality and violence is a question on humanity as it affects the lives of many innocents.
“The title is inspired by people who burnt the Delhi were the ones blaming others. It also features people who were brainwashed and were been provoked for this brutality. So we shot, and took bytes from police commissioner and big journalists,” he told. (ANI)

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Teresa Palmer announces pregnancy, expecting fourth baby with husband Mark Webber

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Washington [US], February 28 (ANI): Australian actor Teresa Palmer recently announced that she is pregnant and expecting her fourth child with husband and racing driver Mark Webber.
In a post on Instagram, the ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ star on Friday said,”35 years ago right around now I was born in sunny Adelaide. Today I am thinking of my mothers transition to motherhood and feel grateful to her for all she has done for me.”

“I celebrate her, a healthy full life and the miracle of birth. Reflecting on this surrounded by my darling babies, including our newest little love,” she continued.
Teresa cheekily added the hashtags, “We have so many children” and “the best kind of birthday present.”
The star’s famous friends gushed over the couple’s baby news. Rumer Willis commented, “Happy Birthday Beautiful, and congratulations.”
“Happy Birthday!! So excited for you guys,” Claire Holt replied with Michelle Monaghan adding, “Goodness gracious!!!! Congrats on your beautiful, growing brood!”
While the Australian star actor announced her pregnancy, she did not share too many details about her little one. This will be her and Mark’s fourth child together, as they are already parents to 7-year-old Bodhi Rain, 4-year-old Forest Sage, and 1-year-old Poet Lake.
Mark is also a dad to his son Isaac from a previous relationship.
As reported by E!News, Teresa has been open and honest about her motherhood journey.
Last summer, the actor explained how becoming a parent “liberated” her after she shared that she suffered from the eating disorder orthorexia.
The disorder is described as “an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating,” according to the National Eating Disorder Association.
“My body just blossomed and I had this big belly and I could feel life within me, and it was just incredible seeing what my body could do,” she said about her pregnancy on the ‘Me After You’ podcast, E!News reported.
“I was getting stretch marks on my boobs and cellulite all over my bum and the backs of my thighs.”
“I was finally liberated from these judgments that I had surrounding my body, which I realized had existed since I was … a teenager,” she continued.
“Since being a mom, I have embraced it all. The lumps and the bumps and the stretch marks… it’s a map of my journey of bringing my babies into the world,” added Palmer. (ANI)

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Sonali Bendre shares funny weekend meme, asks ‘Can we please make Mondays optional?’

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): As the weekend is about to get over, Bollywood star Sonali Bendre Behl on Sunday shared a funny meme and said ‘Can we please make Mondays optional?’
The ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ star took to Twitter to share a funny meme that features her and how she feels when she realises Monday is just a few hours away.
The picture is a collage of two, the first one sees Bendre in a joyous and happy mood as she flashes a million-dollar smile, with a caption that reads, ” Me: Enjoying Sunday afternoon (with a smiling emoticon).”

On the other hand, the second one sees a shocked Sonali as she does a shocked face, and the picture read, ” Me: Realising Monday is only a few hours away. (with a shocking emoticon).”
Adding a pinch of humor in the caption to the post, the ‘Sarfarosh’ star wrote, “Can we please make Mondays optional? ” (along with a pair of eye emoticon and nervous face emoticon)
Scores of fans chimed into the comments section with one writing, “Not only you we all fear Monday…..”
Another wrote, “Oohhh beautifully depicted…”
Another one joined in the quirky meme and asserted, “Option to skip it,” and added a wink eye emoticon. (ANI)

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Manish Malhotra shares glimpse of ‘perfect Sunday’

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): Taking a stroll amid nature and sunlight, celebrity fashion designer Manish Malhotra on Sunday showcased how a perfect Sunday seems to him.
The 54-year-old celebrity stylist put out a selfie on Instagram in which he is seen all masked up for a Sunday outing.
In the picture, Malhotra is seen dressed in a classy black designer crew neck T-shirt while he clicked the snap in the backdrop of what seems to be the garden of his lavish home. As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, the celebrity costume designer is also seen sporting a matching mask to his attire.

Talking about how the scenario of a ‘perfect Sunday’ seems like to him, Malhotra wrote in the caption, “#nature #sunlight The perfect #sunday #mask @manishmalhotraworld.”
In appreciation of the post, fans chimed into the comments section and left heart and fire emoticons.
Malhotra keeps on posting on social media about his activities and his get-together with Bollywood stars.
Earlier last week, the former fashion designer hosted a party at his residence in Bandra and shared a glimpse from ‘perfect Saturday night’.
The pictures see the young stars of Bollywood including Sara Ali Khan, Parineeti Chopra, Kiara Advani, Rakul Preet Singh, and film director Karan Johar as they cherish the party at the renowned designer’s home. (ANI)

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