Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Predicting Sunspots

Astronomers can now use acoustic waves generated deep within the Sun to predict the appearance of sunspots days in advance by measuring their speed of travel through the Sun in a method similar to seismic waves through Earth.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dogs Smell Lung Cancer

Researchers have found that dogs can reliably detect lung cancer from patients' breath alone -- even distinguishing between those with tumors and those with similar-symptom COPD -- although the precise compounds in the breath being detected are still unidentified.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Younger Moon

A new analysis of a Moon rock brought back by Apollo 16 astronauts in 1972 reveals the Moon's age to be 200 million years younger than previously calculated, suggesting the oldest crust on both Earth and Moon formed at about the same time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pre-Roman Planned Town

Archaeologists have unearthed an Iron Age town beneath the Roman town of Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) near Reading that is laid out on a grid, the first pre-Roman evidence of urban planning found in Britain.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Primitive Eel Discovered

Researchers have discovered a new species of eel (Protoanguilla palau) in the reefs off the coast of the Pacific island-nation of Palau, an animal with features so primitive and unknown to science that creation of a new genus and family were required to accommodate the species.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Self-Fertilizing Scales

Females of an agricultural pest known as the cottony cushion scale have been found with female offspring that contain excess sperm from the father growing in their tissues, effectively becoming a self-fertilizing variant in a species that normally reproduces sexually.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Plesiosaurs Bore Live Young

A 78 million-year-old fossil unearthed in Kansas two decades ago has only recently been reexamined to discover it was a pregnant plesiosaur (Polycotylus latippinus), providing the first evidence that these dinosaurs bore live young.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three New Dwarf Planets

Fourteen new bodies have been discovered in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune, three of which may be large enough to join the ranks of Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea, and Makemake in their status as dwarf planets.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Electronic "Tattoos"

Researchers have developed "epidermal electronics," a method of applying thinly layered microelectronics in the same method as rub-on temporary tattoos that can be used to monitor patient's vital signs and transmit that data remotely for a short time before wearing off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meteorites Carried Nucleobases

New analysis has determined that meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites carried at least three nucleobases unique to DNA and RNA and rare or absent in terrestrial samples, providing at least some of the basic building blocks for early life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Optical Diode

Engineers have developed a silicon waveguide only 200 nm thick and 800 nm wide that transmits light in only one direction -- a precursor to an optical diode, a key component for the development of optical computing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3000-Year-Old Turkish Lion

Archaeologists have unearthed a Tayinat gate complex to the ancient citadel of Kunulua, the capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina in Turkey that flourished about 3000 years ago, including a magnificently carved Iron Age lion.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ancient Palace in Sudan

An ancient palace has been discovered in the city of Meroë in central Sudan, the oldest structure yet found in this city predating the Kushite and Nubian civilizations, and dates to around 900 B.C.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Earth's Antiproton Ring

The European PAMELA satellite has detected a ring of naturally occurring antiprotons that surrounds Earth, confined by the inner magnetic field of the Van Allen radiation belts in much the same way scientists trap antiprotons in the laboratory.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Salt Water Grooves on Mars

Images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed narrow grooves that periodically appear on slopes in the warmer regions of Mars that suggest salty water may still flow at rare times on the surface.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Triad of Felines" in Mexico

Part of an Olmec stone monolith has been unearthed in Chalcatzingo, Mexico, depicting three large cats (possibly jaguars, dubbed the "Triad of Felines") that is believed once part of a large decorative hillside wall dating circa 700 B.C.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First "Printed" Aircraft

Engineers have assembled and flown the first aircraft produced by a nylon laser sintering process that fabricates plastic or metal objects by "printing" layers of materials to build up three-dimensional pieces, including wings, control surfaces and access panels.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Satellite Dish" Plant

A fruit-bearing plant discovered in Cuba (Marcgravia evenia) that relies upon bats for pollination has developed leaves with shapes that maximize bats' echolocation signals and attract the flying mammals, the first such adaptation seen in the plant world.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ancient Pre-Inca Sacrificer

A tomb has been discovered at the Chotuna-Chornancap site in Peru that is of an elite 14th-century pre-Inca executioner, aged between 20 and 30 years old, complete with ornate ceremonial knives and other valuable artifacts.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trojan Asteroid Discovered

Undiscovered until seen by NASA's Wise space telescope, an asteroid known as a "trojan" (2010 TK7) shares Earth's orbit around the Sun in a stable gravitational position 60 degrees ahead of Earth known as the Lagrange point.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Volcanoes on Far Side of Moon

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has found dormant rare silicate volcanoes on the far side of Earth's Moon, different from the more common basaltic types previously seen and revealing a more complex geology on the Moon than previously known.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dolphins Sense Electrical Fields

Researchers have discovered that dolphins can sense and react to the mild electric fields generated by fish, the first time electro-sensory reception has been documented in true mammals.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chaos Radar Sees Through Walls

By adding a "chaotic oscillator" to generate a signal, researchers have sharpened the reception of ultra-wideband (UWB) radar, allowing the use of this radar in complex structures such as practical automotive applications and survivor location tools for disaster areas.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Enceladus Rains Water on Saturn

New observations from the ESA's Herschel space telescope have revealed that Saturn's moon Enceladus expels water from a collection of jets at its southern polar region, forming a giant torus of water vapor surrounding Saturn and becoming the only moon known to influence the chemical composition of its planet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Archaeopteryx Not First Bird

A newly discovered fossil from China of a small deinonychosaur (Xiaotingia zhengi) shares many anatomical features with Archaeopteryx, challenging the older fossil's classification as the iconic "first bird" and common ancestor of all modern birds.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Human Brain Shrinkage Unique

New research shows that the age-related shrinking of the human brain is unique among the primates, with the average human brain losing 15% of its original weight by age 80 for reasons not completely understood, whereas chimp brains do not shrink at all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ancient Bell from Old Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered a small engraved gold bell (with clapper still included) in the ancient sewers beneath the Old City of Jerusalem, a rare find once used as clothing ornamentation on a wealthy resident 2000 years ago.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Subatomic Particle

Physicists of Fermilab's CDF collaboration have announced the detection of a new subatomic particle, the Xi-sub-b (Ξb0), predicted by the Standard Model and composed of a strange quark, an up quark and a bottom quark.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Pregnant Lizard Fossil

A recently discovered fossil of a nearly complete 120-million-year-old lizard (Yabeinosaurus) includes at least 15 fully developed fossilized embryos in its body, the oldest evidence of live birth from a land-based reptile.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wasp Nest in Dinosaur Eggs

Eight cocoons from a prehistoric wasp (Rebuffoichnus sciuttoi) found inside a fossilized rotting titanosaur egg are the first example of this parasitic behavior and reveal new information about this wasp's behavior and the surrounding Cretaceous food chain.