Friday, April 30, 2010

Ice Found on Asteroid

Originally thought to be too close to the sun to retain ice, scientists have detected frozen water ice and several organic molecules on the asteroid 24 Themis in the belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Moth Species

A new species of moth (Ectoedemia heckfordi), with a 6-mm wingspan and found only to the United Kingdom, has been identified by an amateur naturalist with a single unique specimen serving as the "type" for this species.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Undersea Asphalt Volcanoes

Seven huge mounds of extinct asphalt volcanoes have been discovered on the floor of the Pacific Ocean about 10 miles off the coast of California, the largest as tall as a six-story building and estimated to be about 35,000 years old.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mammals Make Morphine

New research shows that mammals, including humans, are capable of naturally producing trace amounts of the narcotic morphine in their bodies, leading to questions of how and why such a complicated and costly chemical process evolved.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Killer Whale Species

New genetic analysis of killer whales (orca) worldwide has lead scientists to propose classifying these animals in the wild into four or more distinct subspecies, each with distinct social and hunting behavior, vocalizations and physical appearance.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Bony-Skulled Dinosaur

A new species of dinosaur (Texacephale langstoni) has been discovered in southwest Texas that had a softball-sized lump of solid bone on top of its skull and was about as big as a medium-sized dog.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lungless Frog Found

A new frog species (Barbourula kalimantanensis) has been discovered on the island of Borneo that breathes without lungs, getting all necessary oxygen by respiring through its skin.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unknown Celestial Object

An unknown and mysterious object has been discovered in the nearby galaxy M82, turning on very rapidly over a year ago and even growing slightly as it is three to ten times brighter than previously known micro-quasars, which generally peak in brightness over a few days or weeks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Nose-Dwelling Leech

A new large species of leech (Tyrannobdella rex, or "tyrant leech king") has been discovered in the remote parts of the Upper Amazon with a preference for inhabiting the mucous membranes of people and animals, among a few other relatively unique physical features.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brain Limits to Multitasking

Researchers have shown how the human brain can handle two tasks at once by dividing attention between the two lobes of the medial prefrontal cortex (MFC), but this same physiology explains why we cannot effectively handle three or more tasks simultaneously.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Planets with Backward Orbits

A group of 27 exoplanets have been discovered with orbits in the opposite direction of their parent star's rotation and not even orbiting in the same plane as the star's rotational axis, challenging current theories of planet formation.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Natural Particle Accelerators

A lightning researcher has discovered that when particularly intense discharges in thunderstorms interact with cosmic rays high in the atmosphere, the conditions are right for a natural particle accelerator as free electrons stripped from air molecules can develop into narrow yet powerful particle beams.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Undersea Superhighway Found

Scientists have discovered an undersea "superhighway" amid a complex of newly disturbed hydrothermal vents responsible for repopulating an area after a recent eruption with tiny life forms from as much as 300 km away.

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Record of Mirror Neurons

Previously only a theory, researchers have proven the existence of so-called mirror neurons in the human brain, the mechanism by which we recognize, sympathize and empathize with others and which makes us unique among animals.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Greco-Roman Mummy

Archaeologists have discovered 14 Greco-Roman tombs dating to the third century A.D., including a female mummy still wearing jewelry, in the Egyptian necropolis at Bahariya Oasis south of Cairo.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lightning Grows Mushrooms

Recent Japanese experiments have demonstrated that lightning bolt-strength applications of electricity to the soil can more than double the yield of certain varieties of mushrooms, essentially proving an old farmer's superstition.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Revolutionary" Kidney Genes

The identification of 20 key genes that control kidney functions such as filtering wastes from the blood is being described as "revolutionary" toward an effective treatment for chronic conditions and disease.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Venus Is Geologically Active

New data from the ESA's Venus Express mission has shown evidence of recent lava flows on the surface of Venus, making it one of the few bodies in the solar system to be geologically active within the past 3 million years.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Hominid Discovered

Two skeletons of a new hominid (Australopithicus sediba) discovered in South Africa are being called the "Rosetta stone" of anthropology, possessing species traits of both older hominid ancestors and modern humans.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Animals Living Without Oxygen

Deep-sea studies in the Mediterranean have revealed new multicellular organisms (loriciferans) up to a millimeter in length living in 10,000-feet deep basins of completely anoxic (oxygen-free) water loaded with toxic levels of sulfides.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Dragon-Sized Lizard

A newly discovered fruit-eating monitor lizard (Varanus bitatawa) that lives in trees in the Philippines island of Luzon and can grow to six feet in length has been recognized as a new species, an extremely rare find for large land-dwelling vertebrates.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Element 117 Discovered

Russian and American scientists have created a mere six atoms of a new heavy element with atomic number 117, for now named "ununseptium" and awaiting confirmation from other laboratories.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Velociraptor Caught Feeding

Scientists have discovered the fossil remains of a Velociraptor caught feeding on the remains of a herbivore Protoceratops and suggesting a scavenging role for the predator, a rare example of evidence for dinosaur behavior.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Acoustic Lens Developed

Inspired by an office toy, researchers have developed an acoustic lens comprised of parallel rows of stainless-steel spheres that could lead to near photo-quality images of internal organs or even "sound bullets" that could be focused to act as sonic scalpels.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Roaming" Magnetic Fields

NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope has discovered massively large but weak "roaming" magnetic fields throughout the universe that may have served as "seed" fields for galactic formation but whose origins predate the galaxies and remain unclear.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Roadrunner" Dinosaur Found

Paleontologists have discovered a tiny "roadrunner" dinosaur (Xixianykus zhangi) in China, one of the smallest dinosaurs ever known and the first of its particular type, known as an alvarezsaurid theropod.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Southern T. rex Found

Paleontologists in Australia have discovered the first tyrannosaur fossils in the Southern Hemisphere, a distant and smaller relative to T. rex, where previously the species had only been known from fossils found on northern continents.