Monday, February 28, 2011

Magnetic Sense in Sea Turtles

Research with newly hatched loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) reveals a sensitivity to a strong magnetic field, suggesting these sea turtles instinctively use Earth's magnetic field to navigate during migratory periods.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Magnetic "Sausage Waves"

Astronomers studying the Sun have observed so-called magnetic "sausage waves" channeling energy from the core to the surface through coronal holes called pores that periodically increase and decrease in size, providing insight into various processes of coronal heating.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Self-Healing Mammal Hearts

Researchers have discovered that newborn mice have the capacity to regenerate large amounts of lost or damaged cardiac tissue through proliferation of cells called cardiomyocytes and eventually regaining full normal function, an ability that is lost mere days after birth.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gaze-Following in Wolves

The ability to follow another's gaze, an important attribute of social animals in collaborative efforts of hunting or survival and a key to understanding intention and attention, has been observed in wolves whereas previously such behavior had only been documented in birds and primates.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Solar-Powered "Super Skin"

Researchers at Stanford have created a pliable sensor that incorporates a flexible organic transistor and solar cell able to be stretched up to 30% past its original length without damage or loss of power, allowing the possibility of pressure and biochemical detection built into a self-powered "super skin" for robotic appliances.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Walking Cactus" Fossil

A recently discovered fossil of a "walking cactus" (Diania cactiformis) has provided clues to the evolution of the jointed legs common among modern arthropod species, implying arthropods developed hardened limbs before hardened bodies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heaviest Antimatter Created

Scientists at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) have created the antihypertriton from high-energy collisions of gold ions, an antiparticle about 200 MeV heavier than antihelium and the heaviest antimatter yet created.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Extinct" Frog Species Found

A conservation group has rediscovered several "lost" frog and amphibian species living on the Indian subcontinent thought to be extinct, including many not seen for over a century.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Portable Hydrogen Rechargers

A private company has introduced a commercial hydrogen cartridge designed to provide mobile battery charging for portable devices with rechargeable batteries such as cell phones, computers and GPS units, all with environmentally friendly byproducts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Anti-Laser Built

Scientists have built the first "anti-laser," more accurately named the coherent perfect absorber (CPA), which forces incoming beams of light to interfere with one another to perfectly cancel themselves out and dissipate the energy as heat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ancient Briton Cannibals

Researchers examining 15,000-year-old human bones from Gough's Cave in southern England have found evidence those early Cro-Magnons ate other humans and used their skulls as drinking vessels.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Flies Detect Isotopes

Research shows that common fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) can detect the difference between atomic isotopes of hydrogen and deuterium, which may provide insight into the nature of how olfaction operates by atomic vibration instead of receptor shape.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flea's Jumping Ability

Scientists have finally determined the mechanism behind the flea's relatively remarkable jumping ability, with their hind legs working as multi-jointed levers to amplify the sudden release of an internal "coiled spring" effect from a stretchy protein called resilin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ice Age Fossil Cache

A rich and diverse high-altitude cache of at least 600 Ice Age fossils has been discovered by construction workers near Snowmass Village, Colorado, that includes American mastodons, Columbian mammoths, tiger salamanders, and a Jefferson's ground sloth dating back about 130,000 years.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Early Hominids Walked Upright

Based on an analysis of a fourth metatarsal fossil from an Australopithecus afarensis early human ancestors had foot arches like modern humans, indicating they were suited more to walking upright than climbing trees.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bloated Stars, or "Bloatars"

Nine stars spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope in the cluster NGC 3603 are too cool to be ordinary stars but too bright to be brown dwarfs, leading to the theory of bloated stars or "bloatars" that spawned planetary systems only to subsequently consume and reabsorb those planets.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Death of Decapitated Brain

Researching humane methods of euthanizing laboratory animals, scientists have discovered a wave of electrical activity in the brains of rats roughly a minute after decapitation, with corresponding phenomena found in the brains of human patients taken off life support, which may signal a final biochemical effort to restart failing brain function and provide a clear demarcation of brain death.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dollo's Law and Frog Teeth

One tree frog species (Gastrotheca guentheri) has redeveloped teeth in its lower jaw whereas all frog species lost similar teeth about 200 million years ago, a contradiction of Dollo's law which claims that species' traits lost to evolution are never regained.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Legs of Ancient Snakes

New x-rays of fossil remains of the ancient snake species Eupodophis descouensi reveal an internal leg structure similar to that of land-based lizards, suggesting they evolved from legged reptile species.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nanolasers Grown on Silicon

By growing indium gallium arsenide nanopillars directly onto a silicon surface, engineers at UC Berkeley have developed a method to manufacture subwavelength nanolasers that could lead to a new generation of faster, more efficient optoelectronics and biochemical devices.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Whole Sun Imaged

NASA's twin STEREO probes have moved into their final positions in orbits on polar opposite sides of the Sun, beginning an eight-year mission and allowing real-time imaging of the star as a whole for the first time.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Venomous New Pseudoscorpion

A new species of venomous pseudoscorpion (Cryptogreagris steinmanni), 0.5-inch long and nearly blind, has been discovered living exclusively in the high-altitude caves near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New State of Stellar Matter

Observations of the neutron star at the heart of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A reveal that its core has cooled by about 4% since its discovery ten years ago, an enormous rate that implies the onset of neutron superfluidity.

Friday, February 4, 2011

1500-Year-Old Church

Archaeologists have discovered a 1500-year-old Byzantine church in Israel at Hirbet Madras just south of Jerusalem that includes an unusually well-preserved mosaic floor depicting lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Biggest Bear Found

Analysis of fossils found in Argentina in 1935 reveal the South American giant short-faced bear to be the largest bear ever found, living about 500,000 to 2 million years ago and growing up to 3500 pounds and standing 11 feet tall.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alternative to Silicon

New research has shown that molybdenite (MoS2), an abundant semiconductor used primarily in steel alloys and lubricants, would allow the manufacture of transistors and other nanoelectronic components smaller and more energy-efficient than using silicon or graphene and requiring up to 100,000 times less energy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New African Wolf Discovered

Using genetic analysis, scientists have discovered that the animal most commonly referred to as the Egyptian jackal is actually a new and distinct species of African wolf more closely related to the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf.