Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Satellite Uncovers Lost Libya

Using enhanced satellite images and photographs over post-Gaddafi Libya, archaeologists have pieced together more than 100 fortified farms and structures dating to the little-known pre-Islamic civilization of the Garamantes, who flourished in the first few centuries A.D.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Names for New Elements

Names and symbols for three new elements added to the periodic table -- elements 110, 111 and 112, named darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn), respectively -- have been officially approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ancient U.S. Megadrought

Analysis of tree growth rings have revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought for the southwestern United States around the second century A.D., suggesting this area may have periodic extended periods of severe aridity.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

de Soto Reached Interior U.S.

Glass beads and other jewelry found at a site in Georgia have historians redrawing the route of conquistador Hernando de Soto's 16th-century expedition, reaching further into what is now the United States' interior than previously believed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fossil Zombie Worms

Traces of the bone-eating "zombie" worms of the genus Osedax have been found among Mediterranean whale fossils, suggesting this soft-bodied worm was widespread across the oceans 6 million years ago and may be responsible for erasing parts of the fossil record by destroying bones before they fossilized.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Snake Blood Makes Heart Grow

With the hearts of some species of snakes nearly doubling in size in response to blood demand, researchers have discovered blood plasma from recently fed snakes can stimulate mammal hearts to grow without scarring, leading to potential medical treatments for human heart disease.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Complex Organic Matter

Analysis of the spectra of the dust from exploding stars reveals that complex organic molecules are unexpectedly common throughout the universe, and can be sythesized by stars and not solely the byproducts of other life processes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dinosaur Migration from Teeth

By measuring isotopes of oxygen in the tooth enamel of the fossilized remains of Camarasaurus and comparing those levels to known sedimentary compositions, researchers have produced the first hard evidence of dinosaur seasonal migration.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Extreme Life at Sea Bottom

Exploring the deep Mariana Trench at depths of more than 10,000 meters, researchers have documented extreme life forms called xenophyophores abundant on the sea floor, single-celled animals that can reach 10 cm in length and play host to dozens of other extreme species.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Snakes Store Sperm for Years

A rattlesnake kept isolated in a private collection in Florida gave birth to 19 young a full five years after being caught, and with DNA analysis ruling out parthenogenesis this is the first documented case of female snakes storing sperm for years until needed -- a mechanism still poorly understood.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ancient American Hunters

Detailed CT scans and radiocarbon dating of a weapon embedded in a mastodon bone have revealed the first hunters in North America (what is now the state of Washington) were active 13,800 years ago, some 800 years before the rise of the Clovis culture.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Computers from Bacteria and DNA

Scientists have successfully constructed some basic computational logic gates out of gut bacteria (E. coli) and modified DNA that function just as their semiconductor counterparts, suggesting the feasibility of biological computers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Viking Burial Site in Scotland

Archaeologists have uncovered a Viking chief boat burial site on the Ardnamurchan Scottish peninsula estimated to be at least 1000 years old and complete with many artifacts, one of the most significant Norse discoveries yet found in the UK.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Panda Poop Analyzed

In an attempt to discover how pandas live on an all-bamboo diet without the physiological or enzymatic traits common to most herbivores, zoologists have identified thirteen species of bacteria known to break down cellulose present in their feces, with seven of those species unique to pandas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Unknown Gamma-Ray Sources

NASA's Fermi space telescope has completed its second all-sky map of energetic gamma-ray sources, with approximately 600 of the 1873 identified sources corresponding with no known object capable of producing such energy bursts, leaving these sources complete mysteries.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Robotic Evolution of Flight

Experiments with adding powered wings to a robotic bug have demonstrated that although the addition aided the robot's mobility it did not provide enough for powered flight from the ground, lending support to the idea that full flight evolved instead from gliding tree-dwellers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weird New Form of Carbon

A new type of "reversible" carbon allotrope has been discovered, a pliable commercial substance used for industrial purposes for decades, which obtains diamond-like hardness under extreme pressures and returns to its softer state when the pressure is removed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ancient Greek Ships' Cargo

Modern DNA analysis of amphorae recovered from Mediterranean shipwrecks show that ancient Greek merchant ships carried a wide range of foods including fish, olives, legumes, ginger, walnut and juniper and herbs such as mint, thyme and oregano.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Most Complete Dinosaur Fossil

Athough yet to be named or scientifically described, the fossil remains of a therapod dating back 135 million years found in southern Germany may be the most complete dinosaur fossil ever found, with 98% of its skeleton perfectly preserved with an unmatched clarity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oldest Artist's Workshop

Researchers have discovered a prehistoric paint pot at a site described as an "artist's workshop" in the Blombos cave of South Africa, revealing evidence of grinding tools and powdered mineral mixing some 100,000 years ago.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Computer Analysis of Torah

Researchers have developed a computing algorithm specifically to analyze the books of the Bible to identify individual contributing sources by focusing strictly on writing style instead of content, specifically the use of function words and synonyms.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

T. rex Computational Analysis

Using advanced three-dimensional solid modeling techniques, researchers have computationally reconstructed Tyrannosaurus rex growth patterns beginning from high-definition scans of actual bones, revealing that the dinosaur grew significantly heavier and faster than previous calculations predicted.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Channel-type Nanostructure Laser

Inspired by the structure of bright, iridescent bird feathers, researchers have constructed a new type of laser with a channel-type nanostructure that will allow them to self-assemble, making their fabrication easier, cheaper and faster.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bacteria Affecting Climate

Scientists have discovered bacterial communication via secretion of various chemical signals (often to determine if other similar bacteria are in the proximity), and that such chemical means of communication in ocean-based microorganisms at depth could affect Earth's natural carbon cycle.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Piranhas Use Sound

Using underwater microphones, scientists have discovered piranhas use at least three distinct sounds to communicate when confronting one another by vibrating their swim bladders using high-speed muscles.

Friday, November 4, 2011

DNA of Black Death

Scientists have sequenced the full genome of the bacterium that causes the plague (Yersinia pestis) from teeth samples taken from victims buried in London in 1348, the first time an ancient pathogen has been restored for scientific study.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fossil Rodent Teeth

Tiny fossil teeth of ancient rodent species found in Peru date back some 41 million years, 10 million years older than previously known examples, and indicate an evolutionary line descended from similar African species.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Substanial" Roman Ruins

A supermarket construction site at Camelon, Scotland, has yielded a "substantial" cache of Roman artifacts at an ancient fort including discarded shoes, jewelry, pottery, coins and animal bones dating back to the second century A.D., one of the largest Roman sites ever found in Scotland.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rensch's Rule Holds for Plants

Researchers have confirmed that Rensch's rule, which states that males are larger in big-bodied species like humans and females are larger in small-bodied species like insects, applies just as well for dioecious plant species.