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Researchers find earliest intact Mushroom Fossils dating back to 99 Million Years

The discovery highlights the palaeo-diversity of mushrooms, pushing back the presence of agaric mushrooms by at least 25 million years

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Mushrooms (representational Image), VOA
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Beijing, Mar 17, 2017: Researchers from China, New Zealand and the US have found four intact mushroom fossils, sources said on Friday.

The four, well preserved in Burmese amber (fossilised sap of extinct trees) for at least 99 million years, are the earliest complete mushroom fossils ever found, according to the sources with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The findings represent four species of mushroom. A stalk and a complete cap containing distinct gills are visible in most of the mushrooms, which are two to three mm long, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The research team led by professor Huang Diying from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, reported the finding after researching more than 20,000 pieces of Burmese amber collected over 10 years.

The discovery highlights the palaeo-diversity of mushrooms, pushing back the presence of agaric mushrooms by at least 25 million years.

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Mushrooms are common and morphologically diverse fungi. Their bodies are soft and ephemeral and therefore extremely rare in fossils.

Until the recent discovery, only five species of mushrooms were known exclusively from amber. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)