In 2006, some British scientists carried out research cruises in Icelandic waters. When the large net lowered by the ship slid across the seabed, the creatures that inhabited the seabed were also taken away. Among them is a mollusk with the longest known lifespan, the Arctic round clam “Ming”.
Clams also have “growth rings”
This clam looks ordinary, 8.7 cm long, and doesn’t seem to be any different from other large clams. But after counting the growth rings on its shell, everyone was surprised.
Like trees, clam shells also have “annual rings” that grow one more each year. To figure out Ming’s age, scientists decided to open it up and use a microscope to observe the growth rings on its ligaments. The answer is that it is 405 years old. Since it was speculated that it was born in the Ming Dynasty in China, scientists gave it a romantic name like “Ming”.
Hundreds of growth rings are squeezed on a small shell, which leads to the position of some growth rings being too close, or being too flattened, which is easy to cause errors in observation. In 2013, scientists decided to assess Ming’s age again, this time using more sophisticated measurements such as carbon-14 dating. As a result, the new count rose to 507, more than a century older than before.
The “Secret to Longevity” of Clams
Clams older than Ming are likely still lurking somewhere in the ocean’s depths. Arctic round clams over 100 years old are not uncommon, and clams over 100 years old have been found in the Irish Sea, North Sea and other waters. Sea clams from the North Atlantic have always been a common ingredient in clam chowder, and perhaps many people around the world have unknowingly eaten these hundreds of years old clams.
Why do arctic round clams live so long? Some people believe that because their oxygen consumption is very low and their metabolism is very slow, they have the superpower of “freezing age”; it is also suggested that the high protein stability of the arctic clams and the specificity of the cell turnover rate may also be The secret to their longevity.
The “record book” of the marine environment
The arctic round clams can easily grow to 100 years old, and their growth rings are like a miniature record that integrates information such as water temperature and food over time. environmental change. For example, by detecting various oxygen isotopes in the growth rings, scientists can determine the seawater temperature at which the shells formed. Therefore, a clam is a “record book” of the marine environment.
Changes in atmospheric conditions are driving changes in seawater temperatures and ocean currents since the Industrial Revolution, and these key findings will help us better understand the subsequent impacts of climate change. There are many ways to chart changes in climate on land, but in the oceans we have very limited data. Due to its longevity properties, arctic round clams can effectively help us fill this gap and provide us with very accurate ocean climate change data.
Although the life of “Ming” came to an abrupt end due to a scientific research, its appearance reminded the world that there are still many mysteries hidden in the ocean that humans have not yet discovered.
Gold is not only beautiful, but also talented. One of its talents stems from its chemical inertness – gold does not corrode and is extremely stable. However, the expensive value is destined that gold can only be used in a small amount of industrial products, but on the other hand, if gold is used in a certain product, then the gold in it must not be replaced, such as the gold plating in mobile phone circuits membrane.
Smartphones are highly integrated devices that, from a hardware perspective, require more circuitry to fit in a tight space, so circuit boards are getting smaller and wire diameters have to shrink accordingly.
The circuit usually uses copper as the wire, but the corrosion resistance of copper is not strong, and it is easy to rust. Once the fine copper wire has rust spots, the signal transmission will go wrong. If these copper wires are plated with gold, the wires are protected from oxygen and water corrosion. Of course, if you don’t count the cost, the effect is probably better if you use gold wire as the wire directly. After all, the conductivity of gold is similar to that of copper, and it is slightly lower than silver among all metals.
The mobile phone that almost everyone can’t live without today is a product “made” of gold, although the gold content in it is only a little – the amount of gold required to make a gold ring is enough for hundreds of thousands of units mobile phone use.