Infinity Imagined
Multicellular Organic
Neural Network
Lives in Nitrogen-Oxygen Atmosphere
270 K - 300 K
Eats, Breathes, Thinks, Creates

I sat down on the heather. Overhead obscurity was now in full retreat. In its rear the freed population of the sky sprang out of hiding, star by star.

On every side the shadowy hills or the guessed, featureless sea extended beyond sight. But the hawk-flight of the imagination followed them as they curved downward below the horizon. I perceived that I was on a little round grain of rock and metal filmed with water and with air, whirling in sunlight and darkness. And on the skin of that little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived in labour and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing hunger for community was but a flicker in one day of the lives of stars.
If one could know whether among that glittering host there were here and there other spirit-inhabited grains of rock and metal, whether man’s blundering search for wisdom and for love was a sole and insignificant tremor, or part of a universal movement.

electricspacekoolaid:

The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades star cluster, looking over  Reunion & Mauritius Islands in a moonlit Indian Ocean captured by NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg from the International Space Station 19:57 GMT 25 August 2013.
Fragile Oasis
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Here it is standing: atoms with consciousness; matter with curiosity.
Stands at the sea, wondering: I… a universe of atoms
an atom in the universe.
vintagenatgeographic:

Single crystal of metal at the tip of a platinum needle magnified 750,000 times
National Geographic | September 1958
Biology is a science of three dimensions. The first is the study of each species across all levels of biological organization, molecule to cell to organism to population to ecosystem. The second dimension is the diversity of all species in the biosphere. The third dimension is the history of each species in turn, comprising both its genetic evolution and the environmental change that drove the evolution. Biology, by growing in all three dimensions, is progressing toward unification and will continue to do so.
freshphotons:

One of the binding sites from aloe lectin, a mannose binding protein from the plant Aloe Arborescens. Rendering by Anna Tanczos.
nothing-without-science:

Methane-digesting Enzyme

Scientists used X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to characterize the first enzyme in the pathway that bacteria use to convert methane to methanol. This important breakthrough is helping researchers improve the synthesis of methanol—a process that would make natural gas a viable energy alternative to petroleum.

Credit: A.C. Rosenzweig and R.L. Lieberman (Northwestern University) using Argonne National Lab’s Advanced Photon Source
We only need to look at our own bodies to discover mysterious monsters and amazing creatures—if one can agree that such things sometimes come in very small packages. In case you didn’t know, you are a minority in your own skin. You are a walking ecosystem of immense complexity and diversity. So much so, that the space occupied by your body is less “you” and more “other creatures.” By this I mean that some ten trillion cells are “yours” in the sense that they contain your DNA, but there are more than one hundred trillion parasites, predators, freeloaders, and helpful cohabitants that…
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