Since prehistoric times, humans have used clays for medicinal purposes. Whether through ingestion, mud baths, or as a way to stop bleeding from wounds, clay has long helped keep humans healthy. Scientists have found that certain clays possess germ-killing abilities, but how these work has remained unclear. A new discovery by Arizona State University (ASU)… Read more

It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to a recent study. Before now, it was not known how quickly Earth’s oceans and atmosphere became oxygenated, and whether animal life… Read more

Earthquakes triggered by human activity follow several indicative patterns that could help scientists differentiate them from naturally occurring temblors, a new study by Stanford researchers suggests. One of the study’s main conclusions is that the likelihood of large-magnitude manmade, or “induced,” earthquakes increases over time, independent of the previous seismicity rate. A reservoir simulation model… Read more

Supervolcanoes, massive eruptions with potential global consequences, appear not to follow the conventional volcano mechanics of internal pressure building until the volcano blows. Instead, a new study finds, such massive magma chambers might erupt when the roof above them cracks or collapses. A supervolcano is defined as one with more than 500 cubic kilometers of… Read more

Diamonds may not be quite as rare as you think, scientists report. Johns Hopkins University geochemist Dimitri A. Sverjensky, whose research on the subject appears in Nature Communications, says: “Diamond formation in the deep Earth—the very deep Earth—may be a more common process than we thought.” The findings “constitute a new quantitative theory” about how… Read more