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  How did life begin?

Four billion years ago, something started stirring in the primordial soup. A few simple chemicals got together and made biology  the first molecules capable of replicating themselves appeared. We humans are linked by evolution to those early biological molecules. But how did the basic chemicals present on early Earth spontaneously arrange themselves into something resembling life? How did we get DNA? What did the first cells look like? More than half a century after the chemist Stanley Miller proposed his "primordial soup" theory, we still can't agree about what happened. Some say life began in hot pools near volcanoes, others that it was kick-started by meteorites smashing into the sea.

  What makes us human?

Just looking at your DNA won't tell you  the human genome is 99% identical to a chimpanzee's and, for that matter, 50% to a banana's. We do, however, have bigger brains than most animals  not the biggest, but packed with three times as many neurons as a gorilla (86bn to be exact). A lot of the things we once thought distinguishing about us  language, tool-use, recognising yourself in the mirror  are seen in other animals. Perhaps it's our culture  and its subsequent effect on our genes (and vice versa)  that makes the difference. Scientists think that cooking and our mastery of fire may have helped us gain big brains. But it's possible that our capacity for co-operation and skills trade is what really makes this a planet of humans and not apes.

  What is the universe made of?

Astronomers face an embarrassing conundrum: they don't know what 95% of the universe is made of. Atoms, which form everything we see around us, only account for a measly 5%. Over the past 80 years it has become clear that the substantial remainder is comprised of two shadowy entities  dark matter and dark energy. The former, first discovered in 1933, acts as an invisible glue, binding galaxies and galaxy clusters together. Unveiled in 1998, the latter is pushing the universe's expansion to ever greater speeds. Astronomers are closing in on the true identities of these unseen interlopers.

  Are we alone in the universe?

Perhaps not. Astronomers have been scouring the universe for places where water worlds might have given rise to life, from Europa and Mars in our solar system to planets many light years away. Radio telescopes have been eavesdropping on the heavens and in 1977 a signal bearing the potential hallmarks of an alien message was heard. Astronomers are now able to scan the atmospheres of alien worlds for oxygen and water. The next few decades will be an exciting time to be an alien hunter with up to 60bn potentially habitable planets in our Milky Way alone.

  What is consciousness?

We're still not really sure. We do know that it's to do with different brain regions networked together rather than a single part of the brain. The thinking goes that if we figure out which bits of the brain are involved and how the neural circuitry works, we'll figure out how consciousness emerges, something that artificial intelligence and attempts to build a brain neuron by neuron may help with. The harder, more philosophical, question is why anything should be conscious in the first place. A good suggestion is that by integrating and processing lots of information, as well as focusing and blocking out rather than reacting to the sensory inputs bombarding us, we can distinguish between what's real and what's not and imagine multiple future scenarios that help us adapt and survive.

  Where do we put all the carbon?

For the past couple of hundred years, we've been filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide  unleashing it by burning fossil fuels that once locked away carbon below the Earth's surface. Now we have to put all that carbon back, or risk the consequences of a warming climate. But how do we do it? One idea is to bury it in old oil and gas fields. Another is to hide it away at the bottom of the sea. But we don't know how long it will stay there, or what the risks might be. Meanwhile, we have to protect natural, long-lasting stores of carbon, such as forests and peat bogs, and start making energy in a way that doesn't belch out even more

Will you supply a free quote

Yes, we are happy to pop round at your convenience, look over the job and supply you with a written estimate. Our quotes are valid for 90 days and cover labour and materials.


What if I want changes to the original design

We are very flexible. We know that you will have ideas that are dynamic. If we can accommodate your changes in the original budget, we will incorporate your changes at no cost, otherwise we will will always agree any extras before we make changes. This way you always know where you stand regarding the total budget.


Will you help me design my new kitchen

We have many years experience and have installed countless kitchens and bathrooms. We are happy to sit down with you over a coffee and guilde you through the many decisions you need to make.


Are you Corgi registered

Yes, we have gas-safe and Corgi registered plumbers. All our tradesmen are highly qualified.


Do you supply references that I can call ?

Yes, we can provide you with references that are similar to the work that you are looking to undertake. We have a great reputation and are proud of the fact that most of our busines comes from word of mouth and recommendations.


  Will you help me design my new kitchen

We have many years experience and have installed countless kitchens and bathrooms. We are happy to sit down with you over a coffee and guilde you through the many decisions you need to make.

  Will you supply a free quote

Yes, we are happy to pop round at your convenience, look over the job and supply you with a written estimate. Our quotes are valid for 90 days and cover labour and materials.

  What if I want changes to the original design

We are very flexible. We know that you will have ideas that are dynamic. If we can accommodate your changes in the original budget, we will incorporate your changes at no cost, otherwise we will will always agree any extras before we make changes. This way you always know where you stand regarding the total budget.

  Are you Corgi registered

Yes, we have gas-safe and Corgi registered plumbers. All our tradesmen are highly qualified.

  Do you supply references that I can call ?

Yes, we can provide you with references that are similar to the work that you are looking to undertake. We have a great reputation and are proud of the fact that most of our business comes from word of mouth and recommendations.

 

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Donec placerat diam id massa venenatis, sed semper dui fermentum. Aenean vulputate at purus ullamcorper placerat. Phasellus vitae maximus odio, nec luctus tellus. 

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