Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Iridescence in Prehistoric Birds

Paleontologists have found evidence of nanostructures responsible for vivid colorful iridescence in 40-million-year-old bird feather fossils.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New "Bomber" Worms Discovered

Seven new species of deep-sea worms, including one that casts off bioluminescent body parts to evade predators, have been discovered living at 6000 to 12,000 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amino Acids Found in Comet

NASA's Stardust spacecraft has detected at least one simple amino acid (glycine) in the tail of the comet Wild 2, lending support to the theory comets may have seeded a primeval Earth with organic matter.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why Flamingos Use One Leg

Through an exhaustive study of Caribbean flamingos, scientists have determined that the wading birds rest on one leg as a means of bodily thermoregulation as they stand in cooling waters.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Planet Orbits Backwards

A newly discovered planet orbits the wrong way compared to its parent star in what is known as a retrograde orbit, possibly the result of an ancient near-collision with another object.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cache of Cunieform Tablets

A cache of cunieform tablets dated between 600 and 1200 B.C. has been discovered at the site of an ancient Turkish temple, and believed to be an archive that may provide insight into Assyrian imperial history.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Carnivorous Plant Discovered

A new species of giant carnivorous pitcher plant, named Nepenthes attenboroughii after naturalist David Attenborough, has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturn's Rings Disappear

Saturn's rings will "disappear" from view on August 11th as the rings align edge-on with the viewing plane as part of a 15-year cycle, reflecting only a minimum of sunlight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Speeding Stars Puzzle

Stars in galaxies some 11 billion light years distant have been measured moving at speeds in excess of 1 million miles per hour, yet the galaxies they reside in remain inexplicably massive and compact instead of expanding and thinning, as predicted.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spleen Function Identified

Researchers have identified the function of the human spleen as a reservoir of monocytes, specialized immune cells held in reserve and deployed in cases of trauma or large-scale infection.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mystery Spot on Venus

An amateur astronomer has discovered a new and mysterious spot appearing in Venus' atmosphere, most likely the result of a major volcanic eruption.