Thursday, September 30, 2010

Longest Life-Cycle

Researchers looking for cold-loving microbes on the Norwegian coastal sea floor discovered a dormant species of bacteria that only germinated at temperatures above 50 C, making them the organism with the longest life-cycle as they lay in the freezing Arctic sediment for 100 million years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Human-Sized T. Rex

Recently discovered fossil specimens of early Tyrannosaurus species (including six last year alone) show that the giant Cretaceous predator was no larger than a human throughout most of its evolution, reaching its dominant size and ecological position only about 80 million years ago.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moon's Geologic Complexity

Data returned from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows a level of previously unseen compositional differences in the lunar crust from high-resolution infrared maps, revealing a more complex geological makeup than ever believed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Columbus' Crew DNA

A new study of DNA taken from a graveyard in La Isabela, Dominican Republic, reveals that Africans crossed to the New World more than 150 years earlier than previously thought, with at least two Africans serving among the crew of Columbus' second voyage there in 1494 when the site was first settled.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glucose Biofuel Cell

An implantable biofuel cell has been successfully test in a rat, drawing its power supply from the natural glucose and oxygen available in the body and producing a significant amount of electrical energy while the subject suffers no ill effects.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Giant Fossil Bird Found

An "exceptionally preserved" fossil skeleton more than 70% complete of a giant toothed bird (Pelagornis chilensis) has been found in Chile, with its 17-foot wingspan making it one of the largest flying birds to have ever lived.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nanodiamonds Found in Ice

A layer of microscopic nanodiamonds has been discovered in the Greenland ice sheet, providing further support for the theory that North American and Europe were struck by a large cometary fragment some 12,900 years ago.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Artificial Ovary Developed

Researchers have developed the first functional artificial human ovary composed of a three-dimensional model from donated tissue containing all three ovarian cell lines, with the prototype able to mature human oocytes from early antral follicle to full maturity.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artificial Skin for Robots

Engineers have developed an electronic skin for robots and prosthetics that can sense touch and pressure as fast as human skin, constructed from a sticky film containing nano-transistors and a flexible, pressure-sensitive rubber coating.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Deceptive Robots

Researchers have developed the first cases of deceptive behavior algorithms for robots, leading the way for future robots to adopt robot-robot and human-robot deception as a tool where it benefits their objectives for military or for search and rescue operations.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ancient Greek Pills

First discovered off the coast of Italy in 1989, archaeologists have finally analyzed well-preserved medicines recovered from a 2000-year-old Greek shipwreck and have found that ancient physicians were regularly prepraring tablets composed of a mixture of ten or more plant extracts, providing physical evidence for a science only previously known through their literature.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Class of Black Hole

The detection of an extreme ultra-luminous x-ray source, HLX-1, in the galaxy ESO 24349 some 300 light years away suggests the first evidence of an intermediate class of black holes with masses between a hundred and several hundred thousand times that of our Sun.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Humpbacked Dinosaurs

A new dinosaur species has been discovered (Concavenator corcovatus) with a distinct and noticable hump on its back, with speculation as to its function ranging from storage of body fats to regulating body temperature to communication with others of its species.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Antibiotic Insect Brains

Researchers have identified nine different molecules present in the brain and nervous systems of cockroaches and locusts that have strong antibiotic properties, including substances that are up to 90% effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli without harming human cells.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mixed, Varied Asteroids

A survey of near-Earth objects by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals a wide and mixed array of compositions with much greater diversity than expected, indicating that these asteroids may have a variety of origins.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Magnetic Space Ribbon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched an experimental craft to test the concept of manoeuvring in orbit using a 300-meter metallic ribbon to interact with Earth's natural magnetic field, essentially functioning as a large anode or cathode that would propel the craft into different orbits without the need for chemical fuel.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

UV Light Makes Water

Observations of the dying red giant IRC+10216 reveal it is surrounded by a gigantic cloud of water vapor too warm to have originated from comets that is then surrounded by an envelope of dust, with ultraviolet (UV) light from surrounding stars being the only mechanism able to penetrate this dust and break up larger molecules containing oxygen, which then reform with hydrogen as water.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ancient Beer and Antibiotics

A chemical analysis of 2000-year-old Nubian bone samples reveals regular doses of the antibiotic agent tetracycline in their diet, derived from streptomyces bacteria included in the soil that produced grain and cultivated in their brewing of beer intentionally for medicinal purposes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Early European Cannibals

Evidence has been found in western Europe of common and habitual cannibalistic behavior among 800,000-year-old fossils of Homo antecessor, as remains of butchered and defleshed humans were found discarded and mixed with those of game animals with no signs of food stress or ritualistic significance.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Humans Boosted Shellfish Size

Contrary to conventional wisdom, researchers have found that the humped conch (Strombus gibberulus) of the western Pacific islands has grown in size in accordance with the expansion of human activity over the past 3000 years, even despite relying upon the conch as a major food source.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stocky Velociraptor Found

Fossils of a "beefy" version related to the predatory Velociraptor species (Balaur bondoc) have been unearthed in Romania, featuring short and stocky legs and two large slashing claws on each foot, adapted more for strength than for speed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tectonic Plate Modeling

Researchers at Caltech have developed advanced computer algorithms that allow the simultaneous modeling of Earth's mantle flow, tectonic plate movements and fault zones to allow the simulation of the global interactive forces of plate tectonics with a resolution down to 1 km.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stretched Polymer Snaps Back

Chemists have discovered a polymer molecule of a class called gem-difluorocyclopropanes (gDFC) that responde to stretching and deformation by snapping back to a smaller shape than before, opening the field of research to "self-healing" materials.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Double Strike Killed Dinosaurs

Discovery of the Ukranian Boltysh Crater in 2002 has led scientists to believe that multiple impacts by comets or large meteors over several thousand years may have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs instead of one single event.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dry Weather Reveals Sites

Hundreds of ancient sites and crop marks throughout the south of England are becoming visible in aerial surveys due to an exceptionally dry summer, with some Roman campsites and prehistoric settlements newly discovered or visible for the first time since the drought of 1976.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunspots Affect Length of Day

Geophysicists have discovered a correlation between the 11-year cycle of sunspot activity and the effect it has on the length of Earth's rotation, with a still unknown mechanism able to alter the length of a day by milliseconds.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lost Peruvian Language

Notes scribbled on the back of a 400-year-old letter by an unknown Spanish author reveal a previously unknown Peruvian language, possibly related to the indigenous Quechua language but revealing a distinct local dialect unknown to modern scholars.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Similar Solar Cycles

Using a technique called stellar seismology that measures a star's acoustic fluctuations, astronomers have confirmed that the distant star HD49933 experiences the same cycles of activity and "starspots" as does our own local Sun.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wheat Genome Completed

The decoding of the wheat genome has finally been fully sequenced and published online, being five times longer than that of humans, with hopes that such data can improve the yields and quality of crops worldwide.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Dry Water" Developed

Chemists have developed a form of "dry water" that consists of water droplets coated by modified silica, which prevents the water from reforming into a liquid, that may provide a number of environmental, chemical and industrial applications.