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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Meteorites Brought Gold to Earth
7 September 2011 1:06 pm
Gold and platinum shouldn't be rare on Earth—they shouldn't be here at all. Or at least, they shouldn't be in Earth's crust. These elements, along with iridium and similar metals, love iron, and thus they were sucked into our planet's molten iron core soon after Earth formed. So where did all of the material for our fancy jewelry come from? According to high-precision measurements of two isotopes, or atomic variants, of tungsten in 4-billion-old rocks from Greenland published online today in Nature, precious-metal-bearing meteorites struck Earth around this time, coating the planet in a veneer containing gold, platinum, and other elements long after their native counterparts had disappeared into the planet's core. Proof positive that your bling really is out of this world.
See more ScienceShots.