Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Smart Paint for Structural Safety

A low-cost "smart paint" consisting of recycled semiconducting materials and carbon nanotubes could provide detection of microstructural faults and permit continuous and wireless monitoring of structures such as bridges, mines or wind turbines.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oxygen Survives High Pressures

Using computer models, researchers have shown that the oxygen molecule (O2) is remarkably stable under pressures up to 19 million times atmospheric pressure (1.9 terapascal) and displays some unique chemical properties, unlike other gases which do not survive such high pressures.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Graphene Transparent to Water

A new laminate membrane created from graphene oxide is thinner than a human hair yet displays some unique physical properties, such as being an excellent electrical and thermal conductor and impermeable to many gases and liquids but fully transparent to the passage of water vapor.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Death Valley Volcano Active

A new analysis of California's Death Valley Ubehebe Crater suggests that the volcanic blast that created the feature occurred more recently that previously believed, some 800 years ago instead of several thousand, recent enough to consider the volcano still potentially active.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bandages of Cured Salt Pork

A new medical study is recommending the application of cured salt pork as a method to stop chronic and severe nosebleeds, a folk remedy used for centuries that may have some medical value as yet unexplored.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Earth's Veil of "Cold Plasma"

Clouds of "cold plasma" consisting of the slow-moving nuclei of atoms with their electrons stripped by sunlight have been discovered surrounding Earth and reaching as much as 100,000 km above the atmosphere.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Magnetic Soap Invented

Scientists have developed the first magnetic soap, consisting of iron dissolved into inert surfactants of chloride and bromide ions, which can be removed by a magnetic field and has a potentially wide range of applications from cleaning oil spills to waste treatment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ancient Domesticated Dog Skull

The skull of a 33,000-year-old dog found in the Altai Mountains of Siberia provides some of the earliest evidence of human domestication, and together with other similar finds shows that domestication may have occurred independently in many locations around the world.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Zubair Island in Red Sea

A volcano in the Zubair island group in the Red Sea has erupted to create a new permanent island off the coast of Yemen, a barren and unnamed land mass measuring 1730 by 2300 feet.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ancient Peruvians Ate Popcorn

New studies of corncobs found at the Peruvian sites of Paredones and Huaca Prieta show that inhabitants of that area were eating popcorn and making flour from maize as early as 4700 B.C.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Multicellular Clusters Replicated

Scientists have replicated a key evolutionary step in the development of multicellular life using ordinary brewer's (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) yeast, forcing the normally single-celled organisms to "evolve" into clusters of cells working together over the course of a 60-day experiment.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Lost" Darwin Fossils

British scientists have found dozens of "lost" fossil samples originally collected and tagged by Charles Darwin and his scientific contemporaries more than 165 years ago, stored away in an old wooden cabinet in a corner of the British Geological Survey headquarters in London.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Singer in Valley of Kings

A 3000-year-old mummy named Nehemes-Bastet, the daughter of a priest and a singer for Amun, has been discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, the first mummy found in that valley not related to the ancient Egyptian royal families.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plant with Underground Leaves

Scientists have identified the plants Philcoxia minensis of the Brazilian savanna as having leaves that grow underground and serve as traps for catching and digesting roundworms in their nutrient-poor environment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hundreds of Earth Moons

New calculations show that hundreds of captured asteroids may be orbiting Earth at distances five to ten times greater than the orbit of the Moon, all too small and dim to be detected by typical NASA sky surveys

Saturday, January 7, 2012

50,000-Year-Old Moss

A species of peat moss (Sphagnum palustre) found in the Hawaiian Islands differs from that found elsewhere in that it reproduces strictly by cloning, with fossil records and genetic analysis suggesting it is as much as 50,000 years old.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Scorpion's Bodies UV Sensitive

Researchers have discovered a scorpion's body itself is sensitive to UV light and can function as a basic "eye," allowing the animal to navigate its environment even with its biological eyes blocked.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Species around Sea Vents

A rich "lost world" of dozens of species new to science has been discovered living around hydrothermal vents on the sea floor near Antarctica, where marine life thrive without sunlight and in waters reaching temperatures up to 382°C.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Hybrid Shark Found

Scientists have discovered the first hybrid shark species off the coast of Australia, the result of interspecies mating between Australian black-tip and common black-tip sharks, an adaptation possibly driven by changing sea temperatures.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ancient Khmer Droughts

Scientists have found evidence that two severe decades-long droughts about 600 years ago may have weakened the ancient Khmer civilization at Angkor, Cambodia, and were factors in that society's eventual collapse.