Sunday, July 31, 2011

Medieval Soldiers in Heavy Armor

A new study shows that European medieval soldiers in heavy armor spent double the energy than a normal soldier simply moving about in their armor, exhausting them even before battles and possibly affecting the outcomes of several historical conflicts.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pluto's Fourth Moon Found

The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a fourth moon in orbit around Pluto with an estimated diameter of less than 20 miles, and remains as-yet unnamed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ancient "Frankenstein" Insect

Fossils of ancient "Frankenstein" insects have been discovered in Brazil that contain attributes of many diverse modern insect species, such as dragonfly wings and body segments, praying mantis forelegs and mayfly wing veins -- requiring the creation of a new order, Coxoplectoptera.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tool Use in Fish

A study of blackspot tuskfish off the coast of Australia has documented the fish bashing a cockle against a rock to get at the fleshy bits inside, the first evidence of tool use among fish in the wild.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tsunami Airglow Signature

Using a ground-based camera, researchers detected a distinct airglow signature 250 km above Earth's surface that preceded the March 11th earthquake and subsequent tsunami near Japan by about an hour, suggesting a new method for an early warning system.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last Dinosaur Discovered

The fossil remains of a ceratopsian (likely a Triceratops) found in Montana buried just five inches below the K-T boundary indicate dinosaur species existed up to the point of the mass extinction 65 million years ago, and that the lack of fossil evidence within the so-called anomalous "three-meter gap" may not exist at all.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Antarctic Subsea Volcanoes

A string of a dozen underwater volcanoes has been discovered in the Antarctic seas south of the South Sandwich Islands, many of them still active and some as tall as 10,000 feet above the ocean floor.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Comet's Death Photographed

For the first time in astronomical history, both the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured the disintegration of a "sun-grazer" comet over a 15-minute period as it plunged into the Sun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Viking Tooth Modification

Viking graves in Denmark, Sweden and England have revealed a 10th-century cultural tradition of tooth modification among Viking warriors with neat horizontal lines filed into two or more front teeth.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tomb Filled with Human Bones

A newly discovered 5000-year-old tomb in northern Scotland, dubbed "Tomb of the Otters," contains thousands of human bones and is one of the best preserved Neolithic sites discovered there in decades.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Capturing Ambient Energy

Engineers have developed technology to collect energy from ambient electromagnetic broadcasts such as radio and television, wireless communication networks and satellite transmissions and use that energy to power small electronic devices.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Synthetic Windpipe

Surgeons in Sweden have carried out the first synthetic organ transplant, growing a new windpipe from a patient's own stem cells over an organic scaffolding and successfully implanting it into a 36-year-old man.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ancient Mantle Plume

Evidence found in the African and Indian tectonic plates indicates a mantle plume originating about 67 million years ago propelled the Indian plate toward Asia for about 5 million years while at the same time slowing the motion of the African plate significantly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hydrogen Peroxide in Space

The APEX telescope in Chile has detected molecules of hydrogen peroxide in space for the first time around the Rho Ophiuchi star formation, a key compound linked to two other molecules of life, oxygen and water.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meat-Farming Ants

Entomologists studying the Melissotarsus ants of Africa and Madagascar believe they raise the smaller armored scale insects within their own burrows as a direct food source, the first example of pure animal husbandry in the animal kingdom.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Screw and Nut in Nature

Entomologists studying weevil families of Papua New Guinea (Trigonopterus oblongus) have shown that weevil legs attach to their body and are moved via a screw and nut mechanism no different than the ridges on the industrial connectors.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Neptune's Rotation Determined

Planetary scientists have accurately determined the rotational speed of Neptune for the first time, discovering one of the greatest improvements in measuring this planetary attribute of gas giants in over 350 years.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Primitive Yet Powerful Eyes

Fossils dated at 515 million years old show that compound eyes such as those found in modern insects and crustaceans evolved rapidly, with predators developing excellent vision quickly after the Cambrian Explosion of life 540 million years ago.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ancient Roman Sewer

An ancient Roman cesspit recently excavated beneath the town of Herculaneum is revealing a wealth of information about the daily lives, diets and health of ordinary Roman citizens before being buried by Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birds Tweet Using Grammar

A new study shows the songs of Bengal finches follow defined rules of order, or "grammar," that consists of learned syntax and rules as to the sequential ordering of syllables in their songs.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Estimating Age from Saliva

Geneticists have developed a test that can accurately determine a person's age from nothing more than an ordinary saliva sample by measuring methylation patterns, a process so strongly correlated with aging it can estimate a person's age within five years.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Galaxies Either Asleep or Awake

A new astronomical survey including even young galaxies 12 billion light years away finds that galaxies are either distinctly "awake" (actively forming new stars) or "asleep" (not forming new stars at all), with many more active galaxies than passive ones and very few found between stages.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Scent of a Carnivore

Researchers have identified a generic chemical called a trace amine-associated receptor (TAAR4) that is a common signal in the urine of all predators and allows animals to detect potential danger whether or not the two species have ever come in contact.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Seven New Mammal Species

Researchers have discovered seven new species of mammals in Luzon, Philippines, all of which are of the genus Apomys and are species of forest mice that inhabit small areas of the island.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Humans Sense Earth's Magnetism

Researchers have found a protein in the human retina (cryptochrome 2, hCRY2) that allows Drosophilia to sense a magnetic field once implanted into the flies, raising the question and field of research of human sensory magnetoreception similar to migratory birds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Historical Climate Change

Recreating the last 1500 years of climate from sediment records, a new study attributes declining temperatures and rising sea-ice as a contributing cause to the collapse of an established Norse Western Settlement in Disko Bay, Greenland, around AD 1350.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gladiator's Gravestone

Recent research has deciphered the 1800-year-old tombstone of Diodorus, a defeated Roman gladiator, with a message that suggests an error or treachery on the part of the referee (summa rudis) lead to his death in the arena.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sawfish Has Sixth Sense

New experiments suggest the long, tooth-lined snout of a sawfish can detect electric fields of passing prey, acting as an antenna for a "sixth sense" when visibility is limited in dark or murky waters.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Northern Dinosaur in Australia

A newly discovered dinosaur fossil from Victoria, Australia, is identical to that of Spinosaurids only found thus far north of the equator, suggesting northern and southern hemisphere dinosaurs had more in common than previously believed and may not be so easily categorized by region.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Magnetic Ropes" on the Sun

Astronomers have confirmed the existence of "magnetic ropes" on the surface of the Sun, a massive electromagnetic phenomenon that is thought to trigger solar storms producing violent eruptions of plasma outward.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Extinct" Frog Rediscovered

DNA analysis has shown the Chiricahua leopard frog of central Arizona to be indistinguishable from the "extinct" Las Vegas Valley leopard frog (Lithobates fisheri), thought to be the only endemic US frog to have died out in the modern era and not seen since 1942.