Monday, October 31, 2011

New Superhard Form of Carbon

Scientists have discovered a new allotrope of elemental carbon that is as hard as pure diamond but has an amorphous atomic structure instead of crystalline, with potential applications for high-strength industrial uses.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dinosaur Tracks in Arkansas

A new field of fossilized dinosaur tracks spanning roughly 600 feet has been discovered in southwestern Arkansas, featuring tracks from the large predator Acrocanthosaurus atokensis.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ozone Layer on Venus

The ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has discovered a thin ozone layer about 100 km above the surface of Venus at concentrations of no more than 1% that found on Earth, leading scientists to believe that merely the presence of such a layer is not sufficient to suggest evidence of prior life on a planet.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Energetic Pulsar Gamma Rays

Astrophysicists have detected gamma-ray bursts in excess of 100 GeV from the pulsar at the heart of the Crab Nebula at strengths beyond the theoretical limit of what current theory predicts pulsars can produce.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quaternary Rainbow Photo

The third- and fourth-order reflections (so-called tertiary and quaternary rainbows) have been captured on film for the first time, appearing after a storm in Kaempfelbach, Germany.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Europe's Little Ice Age

A new analysis of data has provided a scientific cause-and-effect link for the first time between climate change and large-scale historical crises, showing agriculturally based food shortages and health problems in European nations coinciding with the harshest years of the "Little Ice Age" from 1560 to 1660.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Complexity of Human Nose

Researchers have found the receptors within the human nose are not randomly distributed but are organized into "hot spots" of nasal neurons that help the brain by preprocessing scent information for pleasant and unpleasant aromas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cat Urine Rocket Fuel

Researchers have identified a common bacterium present in cat urine (anammox) that thrives in the absence of oxygen and is useful in converting ammonium, a compound present in urine, into hydrazine, a component of rocket fuel.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cannibalism in Ancient Mexico

New analysis of bones found at a remote Mexican site in Cueva del Maguey show evidence of boiling and defleshing, providing support that the Xiximes people of the 15th century practiced cannibalism.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nose Reveals Time of Death

Researchers have discovered the tiny cilia inside the human nose continue to pulse in a predictable rate up to 20 hours after death and are relatively unaffected by environmental factors, providing an additional tool for forensic investigators.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Superfast Muscles in Bats

Researchers have found bats to be the first mammals known to possess superfast muscles in their throat used for echoloation, a type of tissue previously only known to exist in songbirds and some snake species.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Renaissance Halo Diagram

Believed destroyed in World War II, a document by Jesuit scholar Christoph Scheiner has been rediscovered that records the "seven suns" optical halo effect that appeared over Rome in 1630, the earliest known documentation of that phenomenon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Life in Dead Sea

Results from a 2010 diving expedition to the bottom of the Dead Sea reveal an "impressive" network of about 30 craters with freshwater springs and a host of new microbial life forms living in the otherwise harsh hypersalinity of the location.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mercury Weirder than Expected

The first major release of data from NASA's MESSENGER probe in orbit around Mercury have caused scientists to question many theories about this planet's formation, including an unknown type of landform, volatile elements long thought to have been baked out, surface chemistry and its magnetic field.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Extra-solar Debris Discs

Astronomers have discovered planetary debris discs similar to our own asteroid and Kupier belts orbiting the stars TrES-2 in the constellation Draco and XO-5 in the constellation Lynx, providing valuable clues to planetary formation and evolution.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Self-Cleaning Cotton

Scientists have developed a self-cleaning cotton fabric bonded with 2-anthraquinone carboxylic acid (2-AQC) that kills bacteria and breaks down toxic compounds when exposed to light.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Electronic Brain in Rat

Researchers have successfully implanted an electronic device in the cerebellum of a rat with brain damage that allows it to function normally, detecting sensory information from the body, interpreting it and communicating that information directly to the brain stem.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stronger Immunity in Women

A new study of the X chromosome shows it contains up to 10% of all microRNA yet known of the human genome, which have important functions in immunity and cancer and may explain why women (XX) generally have stronger immunity and disease resistance than men (XY).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Colors of Fossil Beetles

A new study of ancient beetles shows how their original colors are altered over time and with the chemistry and preservation of fossilization, as colors experience a subtle "redshift" from violet to blue to green.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frankenstein's "Shining Moon"

An astronomer's calculations have confirmed Mary Shelley's account of her historical inspiration for writing the gothic horror novel Frankenstein, that of a "bright and shining moon" over Lake Geneva during a "waking dream" in June 1816.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Antimagnet" Developed

Researchers have developed an "antimagnet" that is effectively invisible to magnetic fields and even shields magnetic items within from superconducting and newly developed metamaterials, with potential applications in both security and medical technology.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Aboriginal Australian Genome

Scientists have used a lock of hair from an Aboriginal man of the early 20th century to isolate DNA for a sample with no European or Western contribution, and have subsequently sequenced and demonstrated that the original Australians descended from Asian populations about 50,000 years ago.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greater Civil War Losses

Calculations based on recent data sets of census and population data comparing the decades before and after the American Civil War reveal that the number of casualties was greatly underreported, with actual totals ranging from 650,000 to 850,000 instead of the historically accepted 620,000.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Proton-Based Transistor

Scientists have developed a proton-based transistor using the organic compound chitosan that could potentially communicate electronic signals via ion exchange with living tissue, providing a direct interface with implications for biological sensing or prosthetics.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Fossil Raptor Species

A fossil from the Late Cretaceous period discovered in southern Utah in 2008 has become the first new troodontid raptor species (Talos sampsoni) discovered in North American in more than 75 years.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yawning Cools the Brain

A new study shows that yawning varies with season and ambient temperature, suggesting that regulating brain temperature may be one of the purposes of this poorly understood phenomenon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Missing Heat" in Oceans

New computer simulations have indicated that the "missing heat" expected by some climate models that has not been detected even with rising greenhouse gas emissions has actually been absorbed into the oceans, accumulating at depths of 1000 feet or more.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Frog Species

A team of Indian researchers has discovered 12 frog species new to science as well as three more species thought to be extinct, all within the national borders of India.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Dolphin Species

Confirmed by DNA analysis, a new species of dolphin (the Burrunan dolphin) has been discovered living in the coastal waters off the urban areas of Melbourne, Australia.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mollusc CNS Evolved Four Times

By statistically analyzing genetic sequences of molluscs (including gastropods, cephalopods and bivalves) researchers have regrouped the Mollusca evolutionary tree and found the similar centralized nervous systems of these animals evolved independently at four separate times, a remarkable occurrence for complex structures such as these.