Always had a tad crazy idea that there were more than one of me.
Now science said that I might be right…
[via ca.news.yahoo.com] Is our universe just one of many? While the concept is bizarre, it’s a real possibility, according to scientists who have devised the first test to investigate the idea.
The potential that we live in a multiverse arises from a theory called eternal inflation, which posits that shortly after the Big Bang that formed the universe, space-time expanded at different rates in different places, giving rise to bubble universes that may function with their own separate laws of physics.
The idea has seemed purely hypothetical, until now. In a new study, researchers suggest that if our universe has siblings, we may have bumped into them. Such collisions would have left lasting marks in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, the diffuse light left over from the Big Bang that pervades the universe, the researchers say.
“It brings the idea of eternal inflation and bubble collisions into the realm of testable science,” said research team member Daniel Mortlock, an astrophysicist at Imperial College London. “If it’s not testable, it’s hard to even call it science.” Read More.
The idea of other universes out there is mind-bending, but scientists say in some ways it actually makes sense.
“It helps explain some of the strange coincidences about our own universe,” Mortlock said. “Why is our universe so amenable to life?
“Many of the fundamental constants in our universe, such as the strength of gravity and the speed of light, seem perfectly calibrated to produce a universe in which galaxies, stars, planets and even life can form. If any of these constants had been tweaked at all, the universe would likely be empty, with no stars and no life.
But if our universe is one of many, then the fact that it’s so perfectly tuned for life isn’t such an unlikely coincidence. [7 Theories on the Origin of Life]
“One possibility is there are multiple different universes with different laws, and some are not right for life and so life doesn’t evolve, and some are right for life and so creatures evolve and make measurements and ask deep, twisty questions like this,” Mortlock said.
“For that reason [the theory] is very appealing.”However, the possibility of multiple universes also comes with some unsettling implications.
For example, some calculations suggest that a reality with infinite space and infinite universes would necessarily have to repeat itself sometimes, leading to the conclusion that copies of Earth and everyone on it exist somewhere else out there.
The idea of other universes out there is mind-bending, but scientists say in some ways it actually makes sense.”It helps explain some of the strange coincidences about our own universe,” Mortlock said.
“Why is our universe so amenable to life?”Many of the fundamental constants in our universe, such as the strength of gravity and the speed of light, seem perfectly calibrated to produce a universe in which galaxies, stars, planets and even life can form. If any of these constants had been tweaked at all, the universe would likely be empty, with no stars and no life. [Read more]
If you think this is science fiction? Think twice.
Something similar exists here on Earth. The concept of multi-organisms living in each other.
The Ultimate Symbiosis: Mealybugs have bacteria living inside their bacteria
[via io9.com]Lots of organisms rely on symbiotic relationships, in which two species rely on each other for survival and one lives inside the other.
But citrus mealybugs enjoy a triply symbiotic relationship unlike any we’ve ever seen…with one absolutely crucial exception.
Microbiologist John McCutcheon of the University of Montana and biologist Carol von Dohlen of Utah State University teamed up to study how symbiosis helps the citrus mealybug survive.
The bug must turn plant sap into nutrients, but it lacks the ability to do this on its own. It relies on the bacterium Tremblaya princeps to handle the conversion process…except this bacterium can’t do it all either.
Instead, Tremblaya princeps handles one part of the conversion into amino acids, and then it hands things over to a second, smaller bacterium Moranella endobia. This bacterium lives inside Tremblaya princeps, and neither bacterium possesses the necessary complement of biomachinery to turn the plant sap into nutrients. So this means the mealybug relies on both bacteria equally for food, Moranella needs to be housed inside Tremblaya, and Tremblaya must survive inside the mealybug.
It’s the first triple symbiosis we’ve ever seen.But that’s not the end of the story – Tremblaya has the smallest genome of any organism that we’ve seen so far. It has only 121 genes, compared to the 20,000 or so that humans possess. No truly independent bacterium could ever survive with so few genes – its pair of symbiotic partners have allowed it to lose superfluous genes while settling into its easygoing routine.
Crucially, the presence of a second bacterium in Moranella to handle some of its duties has allowed Tremblaya to lose even more genes that one might normally expect.
What we might be seeing here is a transitional stage in the development of organelles, which are semi-independent units found inside cells that possess a tiny portion of their own DNA and perform certain autonomous functions. In animals, those organelles are mitochondria, which are crucial for providing energy for the cell. The whole “tiny portion of their own DNA” thing is why mitochondrial DNA is so crucial to charting human ancestry.
In much the same way that Tremblaya and Moranella share metabolic functions and serve as equal partners in keeping their host alive, so too do organelles perform crucial functions for the survival of the cell and, by extension, the organism as a whole. With mealybugs, we might finally have a modern equivalent to the evolution of mitochondria and other organelles that took place millions of years ago. [Read more]
Multiverse and triple symbiotic relationships in bacteria?
This world is the strangest place to live. “winks”