September 1st, 2016
Episode 110 of 118 episodes
Snow on Isua Supercrustal Belt in Greenland has melted to reveal something quite unexpected. Scientists think the uncovered rock could contain signs of very early life, dating back to as far as 3.7 billion years ago. The evidence is thought to represent stromatolite fossils, the longest-lived lifeforms made up of sediment and bacterial growths. The work suggests that life might have formed 200 million years earlier than we previously thought. Lucy Fell from Tree Lucy was a hominin - Australopithecus afarensis - an early human species, who died over 3 million years ago. With 40% of her fossilised bones recovered, scientists have been examining them to learn more about her life and death. A recent, highly detailed, CT scan has revealed some surprising results, Lucy could have died from falling out of a tree. Methane from Cows Cows produce large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane. As part of the EU-funded RuminOmics project led by the University of Aberdeen, scientists have been measuring the methane production and energy efficiency of a group of cows. Could breeding cows that produce less methane be a more environmentally friendly way to farm in the future? Alien Signals There have been a lot of headlines and tweets recently about alien radio signals from a distant star. The signal was so powerful that if it were from aliens, the aliens would have spectacularly harnessed the entire power of the sun. However, it seems more likely that this signal is from here on Earth than from a star 94 million light years away, so let’s not get too excited yet. Gravitational Waves About to be switched back on, LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, led to the momentous detection of gravitational waves. These are mysterious ripples in space generated from the collision of two black holes. The European equivalent - VIRGO is also being upgraded. And there’s still talk of LISA – a gravitational wave detector in space. So what does the future hold in gravitational wave research? Presenter: Marnie Chesterton Producer: Fiona Roberts (Photo: Stromatolites found in ancient rocks from Greenland. Credit: UOW)
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.