ResearchBlogging editor’s selections: cells of ice, heavy metal flowers, white dwarf v. neutron star, and the Ig Nobels!

skyskull “Dr. SkySkull” selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of ResearchBlogging.org categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

  • Was Ice the Original “Cell” in Early Earth? Though scientists have a reasonably good grasp on the evolution of life on Earth, there is much less understanding of how life began. Michael Long of Phased describes an intriguing hypothesis which suggests that voids in ice crystals may have served as a cell wall, keeping primitive RNA strands together and accelerating their interaction.
  • HEAVY METAL SHIELDS FLOWERS FROM DISEASE. In what appears to be a major evolutionary win, it has been found that a certain small species of flower sucks up heavy metals, which in turn protects it from bacterial infection. Casey Rentz of Natural Selections discusses the research, and its potential practical impact.
  • What Happens When A White Dwarf Collides With A Neutron Star? It’s a question you’ve always wanted to know the answer to, right? Now researchers have simulated the results of such a clash of the titans; Joseph Smidt of The Eternal Universe summarizes the catastrophic results.
  • The Ig Nobels have been announced! Finally, it’s that time of year again: the winners of the awards for the most bizarre and entertaining research have been released! Christie Wilcox of Observations of a Nerd gives us the rundown on the prizes in all categories.

Check back next Monday for more “miscellaneous” suggestions!

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