Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The African acacia plant has been found to secrete chemical signals that send the ants living on them into a defensive frenzy when under stress, revealing a rather complex symbiotic relationship between plant and insect.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Scientists have created the first transistor made from a single benzene molecule connected to two gold contacts, manipulating the molecule's energy states depending on the applied voltage to behave just like a silicon transistor.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The European Space Agency's Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite has produced the most detailed map ever of variations in gravitational strength on the Earth's surface, measuring differences as small as one part in 10 trillion.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Paleontologists have discovered the fossilized remains of a venomous raptor (Sinornithosaurus) in China, a close relative to the ferocious Velociraptor, that lived 128 million years ago and is the first example of venom in the raptor lineage that leads to modern birds.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The discovery of fog (mostly methane and ethane) on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, reveals that moon may be the only other body in our solar system to have significant quantities of liquid on its surface, thus the only known active hydrological cycle outside of Earth.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
A team of physicists has constructed a stable model of Borromean rings using three lithium atoms bound together, providing experimental proof to the solution of the three-body problem proposed mathematically in 1970.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Astronomers have discovered a new rocky planet (GJ 1214b, dubbed "super Earth") that is only 2.7 times the mass of the Earth and likely to consist of at least half water by mass, albeit at temperatures and pressures to extreme to support life as we know it.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Scientists have discovered a veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) in Indonesia that carries and prepares coconut shells for shelter, possibly the first evidence of the use of tools by an invertebrate species.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The latest images of Saturn sent back by the orbiting probe Cassini show the most detailed photos of a long-lived mysterious hexagon pattern in the jet stream surrounding Saturn's north pole, the origin of which remains unexplained.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Data from the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn has solved a centuries-old mystery of why the moon Iapetus has a two-toned surface: It is created by dust settling on the leading side of Iapetus from another of Saturn's moon.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A recent study has shown that the Sumatran volcano Toba, which erupted about 73,000 years ago, released about 800 cubic kilometers of ash into the air that blanketed the planet for about six years, dropping temperatures about 16°C and triggered an Ice Age that lasted 1800 years.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
In a study of the migratory European bird species blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), researchers have discovered that the human act of feeding birds during the winter has changed the blackcap species into two reproductively isolated groups on their way to a separation of species in as little as 30 generations.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope has directly detected high-energy gamma rays from Cygnus X-3, a mysterious binary system and one of the strongest x-ray sources that is believed to be a micro-quasar possibly powered by an accompanying black hole.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
A recent study provides "incontrovertible evidence" for the eruption of the supervolcano Toba on the island of Sumatra 73,000 years ago, an event that deforested much of India and initiated an "instant Ice Age" lasting about 1800 years and which threatened the human race with extinction.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A new NASA map adds further evidence that an ancient ocean once covered up to one third of Mars' surface, with extensive valley networks that imply heavy rainfall that would feed such a large body of water.
Monday, November 23, 2009
In the latest update of the ten-year Census of Marine Life, about 5600 new species of deep-sea creatures have been identified living below the level where sunlight ceases, ranging from single-cell animals and tubeworms to large squid and crabs.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Termites have been shown to farm certain species of mushrooms and raise them in sustainable monoculture farms for the benefit of their colonies, even to the point of becoming dependent upon their domestic farming production for food.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Three new prehistoric crocodile species have been discovered in Africa, two 20-foot-long predators (one with a flat pancake-like head) and one miniature "RatCroc" barely three feet long, revealing a much more diverse crocodilian world that existed 100 million years ago.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission that smashed into the Moon's surface about a month ago has revealed evidence of water in the lunar soil—and a significant amount of water instead of just the trace that was expected.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Two unusual Earth-sized dwarf stars have been found with oxygen-rich atmospheres, remnants of the collapse of massive supernovae and missing the hydrogen or helium envelopes that typically shield the oxygen from view.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Described as an evolutionary "missing link," a new dinosaur species (Aardonyx celestae) discovered in South Africa could provide insight into how some sauropods transitioned from walking on two legs to four, allowing them to grow to a massive size.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a three-body planetary system surrounding the star HR 8799 that shows evidence of a cloud of fine dust kicked up by collisions among smaller bodies, possibly showing a system still in formation with planets yet to have settled into stable orbits.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Paleontologists are beginning to re-analyze many dinosaurs and reclassify them as different growth stages of the same previously named species, a move that may eliminate as many as one third of all known dinosaur species.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A new study demonstrates that common elevated mammalian body temperatures (37°C in humans) hinders the growth of most fungal strains, lending a new theory for the rise of mammals as the dominant species after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Instruments aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed the relative shape of the heliosphere to be almost spherical instead of the predicted comet-shaped as it moves through the interstellar medium, forcing revisions of decades-old theoretical models.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Data from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has produced a sky map at the edge of our heliosphere, revealing a bright ribbon of detail or emissions not previously detected by either of the Voyager probes and not consistent with any current theory of this boundary with the local interstellar medium.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Scientists have found evidence of an impact crater in the Shiva basin off the western coast of India that is four times as large as that beneath the Yucatan Peninsula, leading to speculation that this may have been the asteroid impact leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Paleontologists in northeast China have discovered fossils of a new flying dinosaur, named Darwinopterus, possessing features of both primitive and advanced flying reptiles and that may fill in a gap between earlier and older pterosaurs.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a large, faint ring of ice and dust surrounding Saturn millions of miles out from the planet and is believed to be the early stages of another ring formation.