Monday, December 26, 2011

Spider Brains Overflow into Legs

Researchers have found the brains of smaller spider species are proportionally larger compared to total body volume, so much so that some can fill up to 80% of the body cavity including about 25% of their legs.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Japan Quake Shifted Satellites

The Tōhoku earthquake that struck Japan last March was so strong as to alter Earth's gravitational field enough to change the orbit of the twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, sensitive NASA instruments designed to map Earth's gravity field from 500 km above the surface.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Unknown Carvings in Jerusalem

A set of newly discovered "V"-shaped carvings dating back at least 2800 years in the limestone floor of the City of David excavation site in eastern Jerusalem have experts stumped as to the use and purpose of the design.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Biggest Black Holes

Astronomers have identified astonishingly massive black holes (NGC 4889, NGC 3842) with diameters ten times the size of our solar system and masses equal to 21 billion and 9.7 billion Suns, respectively, providing additional insight into the formation of the largest and oldest galaxies in the universe.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Voyager Hits Stagnation Region

NASA's Voyager 1 probe has entered a "stagnation region" at the edge of our solar system, a calm region at the border of the heliosphere where the charged solar wind has stopped and the magnetic field has increased in intensity in response to the interstellar medium.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Habitable Planet Found

NASA's Kepler satellite has identified its first planet (Kepler-22b) existing within the so-called "habitable zone," an orbit around a star with conditions where liquid water could exist and therefore the possibility of life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crab Grows Its Own Food

The newly discovered yeti crab (Kiwa puravida) that lives in the deep sea off the shores of Costa Rica cultivates "gardens" of symbiotic bacteria in its bristled claws that it periodically harvests and eats as its primary food source.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wasps Recognize Faces

Researchers have demonstrated that the golden paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus) can recognize individuals of its same species from their facial markings, an ability thought to be a product of their highly social lifestyle.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Outsider's View of Galaxy

The twin Voyager space probes are now far enough away from our own solar system to detect the Lyman-alpha wavelength of light from the Milky Way's center for the first time, a trace indicator of star formation unable to be detected from Earth.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baby-Filled Dinosaur Nest

A "breathtaking" fossilized nest has been discovered in Mongolia containing 15 juvenile protoceratops estimated to be about one year old when they died, providing evidence for extended parental care among dinosaurs.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Turtle Eggs Communicate

Researchers have found that the eggs of the Australian river turtles (Emydura macquarii) all hatch at the same time, despite temperature differences between the top and bottom of the nest that should affect development and hatching times, suggesting possible chemical communication among the clutch.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Invasive Ants Vanish

One of the world's most invasive species, colonies of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) are collapsing and disappearing from New Zealand without human intervention, with speculation that low genetic diversity has made then susceptible to widespread disease.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bones from Inkjet Printer

Researchers have used standard inkjet printer technology to build a three-dimensional scaffolding material of calcium phosphate, zinc and silicon to be used in orthopedic procedures and dental work for real bones to grow and heal as it dissolves within the body.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Psychopath's Brains Are Different

Diffusion tensor (DFI) and functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) of prisoner's brains reveal reduced connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala in persons diagnosed as psychopaths, possibly explaining their callous and impulsive antisocial behavior.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Da Vinci's Rule for Trees

The natural shape of trees has been demonstrated in mathematical models to follow a simple rule first proposed by Leonardo da Vinci, that at any height the total cross-sectional area of all branches is roughly the same as that of the trunk, with such a design proving to resist wind breakage.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Body of Water on Europa

Scientists have discovered evidence of a large body of liquid water the size of the combined Great Lakes on Jupiter's moon Europa, hidden beneath collapsing ice shelves.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rubbing Boulders of Atacama

Geologists have discovered the boulders of Chile's Atacama Desert have been rubbed smooth not by typical mechanisms of water or wind erosion but by the previously unknown method of jostling about by periodic earthquakes grinding stones against each other.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Missing Planet Calculated

Inclusion of a missing fifth gas giant hurled into space some 4 billion years ago in computer simulations of the formation of our solar system produce reasonably accurate results of its planetary structure, whereas prior computer models continue to fail to explain the current makeup resulting in four gas giants and the inner rocky planets.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Huge Ancient Greek City

Excavations in the Greek colonial city of Selinunte on the island of Sicily have uncovered a huge commercial area dating from the 7th to the 3rd century B.C., providing insight into not only daily life and commercial enterprises but also proactive city planning and organization.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ancient Alaskan Buckle

Researchers have found the an ancient cast bronze buckle at an Inupiat excavation site in Alaska, the first prehistoric bronze artifact to be found in that state and likely originating from trade with East Asia.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Viking Navigational "Sunstones"

Researchers investigating Icelandic spar recovered from Viking shipwrecks have found the crystal separates polarized from unpolarized light, and these crystals may be the historical "sunstones" used to navigate even on cloudy days by locating the position of the hidden sun.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Phase of Water

Unable to be tested with today's technology, researchers have used an advanced computer simulation to discover a new liquid-liquid phase transition for ordinary water that may exist below −54°F with the liquid having a greater capacity for heat conduction.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wearable Cotton Transistors

Researchers have combined gold nanoparticles with a conductive polymer to make cotton thread conductive enough to be used in constructing transistors and simple fabric-based wearable sensors.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Artificial Intelligence and Fossils

Researchers are using neural network software and other artificial intelligence tools to scan satellite images for potential dig sites and areas of greatest probability of finding fossil-rich deposits when planning their fieldwork.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

GALEX Discovers Extreme Stars

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) ultraviolet space telescope has discovered so-called "extreme" stars being born, or stars originating outside of galaxies and in places where the gas density was too poor and stars were believed incapable of forming.