Thursday, June 30, 2011

Iron-Age Brewing

Archaeologist have discovered carbonized barley grains as well as a nearby oven at a site in Roquepertuse, France, suggesting the area was malting grain and brewing beer some 2500 years ago.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Neutrinos Flip Flavors

The multinational T2K detector in Japan has seen preliminary data that suggests the phenomenon of "neutrino oscillation," that neutrinos spontaneously change between the flavors of electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino, which potentially could lead to an explanation of CP violation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rare "Hibernation" of Sunspots

Astronomers are predicting that instead of the eleven-year sunspot cycle approaching a maximum, observations of a missing jet stream and lower activity at the Sun's poles may indicate a rare sunspot "hibernation" period lasting decades called the Maunder Minimum, not seen since the 17th century.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Laser Produced by Living Cell

Using a light-emitting protein obtained from a jellyfish, scientists have engineered human kidney cells that produce a focused and intense green light when bathed in blue light between two microscopic mirrors that act as a "laser cavity."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Long-Lived Coelacanths

A multi-decade study of the deep-sea dwelling coelacanth estimates a 4.4% turnover in population each year, suggesting these fish may be extremely long-lived with lifespans of a century or more.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Vampire Stars" Spotted

A type of "vampire star" known as a blue straggler, so called because they cannibalize other nearby stars and appear younger, hotter and bluer than they are, have been spotted in the Milky Way for the first time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lighter, Stronger Steel

A private entrepreneur has developed a heat-treatment method to create steel (trademarked as Flash Bainite) that has tested stronger, lighter and more shock-absorbing than common alloys used in industry today -- all in a process that takes less than 10 seconds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Type of Supernova

Six new and unusually bright supernovae have been identified as a new type of supernova that do not fit into the existing two categories, with this type showing unusually high levels of energy output with extended lengths of brightness before dropping in intensity three times faster than normal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stem Cells Repair Heart

Researchers have found that a protein called called thymosin β4 (Tβ4) can activate stem cells in the hearts of mice to begin producing new muscle cells and growing new arteries in damaged hearts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Echo Mapping Caves' Interior

Using technology developed searching for al Qaeda in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, a new portable system quickly produces a map of a caves' interior using dual microphones and software to decode the acoustic signals of echoes produced from a few gunshots.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Superatoms with Magnetic Shells

Researchers have discovered a new class of "superatoms" containing nonmagnetic elements (FeMg8) that displays the magnetic strength of a single atom while allowing electrons of specific spin orientation to be distributed throughout the cluster.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Images of Photoreceptors

Using a system of adaptive optics similar to that used by astronomers, scientists have directly imaged living photorecptors (rods and cones) on the back of the human eye for the first time, a technique that could lead to greater and more accurate diagnostic tools.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two New Elements Added

Scientists from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) have officially added newly discovered elements 114 and 116 to the periodic table after a three-year review.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Underwater "River" Discovered

An underwater "river" of denser water that flows along the ocean floor at about a half-mile per day has been discovered off the western coast of Australia, the first time this phenomenon has been observed in sub-tropical waters.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spiders Have Too Many Legs

A new study examining the web-building habits and predatory behavior of spiders that have lost one or two legs has shown they suffer no loss of function or ability to catch food, leading to the theory that the animals evolved more legs than necessary to survive the loss of one or more.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Early Humans in Eurasia

Stone artefacts found in sediment layers 1.86 million years old found at the Dmanisi site in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia give evidence of toolmaking millions of years before Homo erectus was thought to have evolved and migrated out of Africa, challenging its African-only origins.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Elements Added to Table

After a three-year review, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has added two new elements to the periodic table, temporarily designated only by their unofficial names of ununquadium (Uuq, 114) and ununhexium (Uuh, 116).

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Model for Mars' Size

A new mathematical model and simulation of the formation of our solar system explains why Mars has only one tenth the mass of Earth or Venus, with Jupiter migrating to within 1.5 AU of the Sun while accumulating mass, robbing Mars of much of the raw material for planet formation.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Moving Mirrors Create Light

Physicists have developed a method of drawing light from an empty vacuum by causing tiny superconducting mirrors to "wiggle" at around 5% the speed of light, collecting virtual photons into a light source and confirming a basic tenet of quantum mechanics.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Deepest-Living Animal

A newly discovered nematode species (Halicephalobus mephisto) has been found living at a depth of 2.2 miles under the Earth's surface, making it the deepest-living animal yet found and suggesting a richer biosphere at those depths than previously suspected.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dolphins Killing Porpoises

Three acts of unprovoked dolphin aggression have been documented with animals off the coast of California in which groups of bottlenose dolphins rammed and drowned lone porpoises and then played with the carcass, supposedly due to frustrations of breeding males without access to females.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Female Fish with Testes

A recent study of Atlantic croaker fish living in the Gulf of Mexico show that the annual low-oxygen "dead zone" caused by agricultural and waste runoff of the Mississippi River shows the female fish developing malformed testes, a result of hypoxia to the brain during sexual development reducing production of estrogen and necessary neurohormones with as little as ten weeks exposure.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Roman Fish Tanks

A Roman commerce ship dating back to the second century A.D. discovered off the coast of Grado in northeastern Italy included a mysterious lead pipe piercing its hull that archaeologists now believe was part of a pumping system to keep and transport live fish to markets across the Mediterranean Sea.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reindeer See Ultraviolet

A new study demonstrates that reindeer are able to see ultraviolet wavelengths, a relatively recent evolutionary adaptation since migrating to the Arctic 10,000 years ago in which frozen landscapes can reflect as much as 90% of UV light.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blackbeard's Ship Anchor

The recently discovered 13-foot-long anchor from pirate Edward Teach's ("Blackbeard") ship Queen Anne's Revenge is to be raised for the first time since the ship was sunk off the coast of North Carolina in 1718, the second-largest of more than 250,000 artifacts from the historic site.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Crystal Rain on Proto-Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected a proto-star in the constellation Orion that has tiny green crystals of the mineral olivine (forsterite) raining down on the star from its surrounding clouds of dust and gas.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Giant Ancient Sea Predators

Paleontologists have discovered extremely well-preserved fossils in Morocco of a group of prehistoric giant sea predators named anomalocaridids that grew larger and lived longer that previously believed, measuring over a meter long and spilling over into the Ordovician period when previously thought extinct at the end of the Cambrian.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Densest Matter Created

Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has created a quark-gluon plasma, the densest known material outside of black holes and a state that has not existed naturally since a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bacteria in Hailstones

A high concentration of bacteria have been discovered at the inner core of hailstones recovered after storms, suggesting that airborne microorganisms may play a part in weather events as nucleating particles for precipitation.