Monday, April 30, 2012

Pigeons "Hear" Magnetic Fields

New research shows that cells from the part of the inner ear of pigeons called the lagena seem to encode information regarding a magnetic field's direction, intensity and polarity, possibly contributing to the bird's remarkable sense of navigation.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Uncategorized Protozoan

Genetic analysis of a new protozoan species (unnamed, simply referred to as the protozoan) discovered in a lake in Norway show the organism does not fit into any known branch of the tree of life and may provide insight into ancient life from 1 billion years ago.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ancient DNA in Modern Mammals

Research on 38 different species of mammals have revealed traces of ancient endogenous retrovirus DNA that invaded the genome of a common ancestor some 100 million years ago and has propagated by incorporating its genes into our own.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dark Matter Near Solar System

The most accurate study to date of the motions of more than 400 stars in the Milky Way galaxy has shown no evidence of the presence of dark matter in a large volume around the Sun and solar system, contradicting widely held theories about the prevalence of dark matter.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Evidence for Female Gladiators

New analysis of a 2000-year-old bronze statue of a shirtless woman holding an unidentified tool adds to the support for evidence of females participating as gladiators in fights to the death in Roman amphitheaters, a rare occurrence but a practice acknowledged by first-century historians.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Purple Crab Species

A new colorful purple crab (Insulamon palawanense) is one of four new crab species recently discovered on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, with its brilliant coloration possibly evolving by chance and not associated with a specific function or adaptation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Molecules Carry Genes

Biologists have discovered six new artificial XNA (xeno-nucleic acids) molecules that are capable of encoding genetic information and then copying that information onto a new XNA molecule, a life process that was previously thought unique to DNA.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Printable, Flexible Electronics

The application of a nanoscale conducting polymer as a stable functioning electrode has advanced the technology of flexible and printable electronics, allowing the technology to be mass-produced and avoiding the chemical oxidation used in conventional thin-film electronics.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ferroelectricity in Amino Acid

Researchers have detected the first proof of ferroelectricity in the simplest known amino acid, glycine, a rare property for biological materials that may lead to a new field of bioelectronic devices and biological interfaces with conventional electronics.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

3000 Buddhas Found in China

Archaeologists have unearthed more than 3000 Buddha statues in Handan, China, made of white marble and limestone, estimated to be about 1500 years old and most likely buried to preserve them from an emperor's attempted purge of Buddhism.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lack of Neutrinos from GRBs

The failure of the South Pole's IceCube telescope to detect any neutrinos knocked down the leading theory on  their connection to gamma ray bursts (GRB), removing a leading explanation for the origin of ultra high energy cosmic rays.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Geologic Cause for Cambrian Life

New research suggests a dramatic sedimentary boundary named the "Great Unconformity" of about 600 million years ago represents a shift in geologic conditions resulting in continental weathering of rock exposed by retreating seas, leading to biomineralization and the sudden great diversity of life known as the Cambrian Explosion and the emergence of hard shells and skeletons.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Electron Decay Observed in Solid

Electrons has been observed splitting into two particles (named "spinion" and "orbiton") within the copper-oxide compound Sr2CuO3, each carrying the spin and orbital quantum properties but restricted only within the material in which they were produced.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Majorana Fermion Detected

The first evidence has been found of a theoretical particle called a Majorana fermion, a strange particle that is its own antiparticle and whose existence was first predicted by Italian physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Earliest Farming Site in Europe

Closed to Western researchers until the collapse of communism, one of the earliest sites of human farming in continental Europe has been discovered in the town of Vashtëmi in a former wetlands region in southeastern Albania, dating to around 6500 B.C.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Auroras Seen on Uranus

With careful observations using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have viewed and photographed auroras  present on Uranus lasting only a few minutes, the first time such phenomena have been captured with an Earth-based telescope.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Human Urine Not Sterile

Researchers have identified live bacteria in the urine of a sample of healthy women, challenging the long-held notion that human urine is a sterile substance.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Deadly Bat Fungus from Europe

The mysterious "white nose syndrome" responsible for the deaths of millions of North American bats since it was identified in 2006 has been traced to an invasive-species fungus with European origins, possibly introduced to North American bats by human tourists.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mammoth Butchered by Humans

The remains of a woolly mammoth discovered on the Siberian plains estimated at 10,000 years old show evidence of human butchering after death, including removal of internal organs, the skull, pelvis, ribs and other bones and then the burial of the remaining carcass, presumably an early effort at preservation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Largest Feathered Dinosaur

Newly discovered fossils from northwestern China have revealed the largest feathered animal yet known, a 30-foot long dinosaur predator (Yutyrannus huali) that lived about 125 million years ago.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ash Shows Origins of Cooking

Ash of burnt grass, leaves, brush and bone fragments found in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa shows that hominins were using fire to cook food at least occasionally some 1 million years ago, the earliest evidence yet found for this practice.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Data Supports Einstein's Idea

New data obtained from the South Pole Telescope provides further support of Einstein's cosmological constant, the leading model to explain the existence of "dark energy" and the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Earth as Sole Origin of Moon

Comparative analysis of titanium isotopes in Earth, meteorites and lunar samples from material brought back by the Apollo missions indicates Earth as the sole originator of the Moon some 4.5 billion years ago, conflicting with the popular theory that the Moon was the result of a collision with a third body.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Animal-Shaped Mounds in Peru

Numerous earthen animal-shaped mounds have been identified along the coastal plains of Peru, ranging from only a few meters to over 400 meters long and dating back some 4000 years, each with unique astronomical orientations in their construction.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New "King of Wasps" Found

A newly discovered, bizarre-looking, giant species of wasp (Megalara garuda) has been discovered in Indonesia, with males growing to about two inches long and possessing long, sickle-shaped jaws.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ancestor Had Ape-Like Feet

A fossil found in Ethiopia suggests a separate and distinct branch of hominins lived with our human ancestors (Australopithecus afarensis) about 3.4 million years ago, this new branch having grasping feet and suggesting a life primarily lived in trees whereas the foot for Au. afarensis had already adapted for upright walking.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Class of Landform on Mars

Images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed a new class of geologic landform named periodic bedrock ridges on the surface of Mars, a structure similar to sand dunes but formed by the wind erosion of bedrock material.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fossilized Rain Shower

Raindrops captured in the soft ash of a volcanic eruption in South Africa 2.7 billion years ago have been used to calculate the density of Earth's prehistoric atmosphere, a value no greater than 1.3 kilograms per cubic meter and very close to today's value of 1.2 kg/m3.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ovaries on the Outside

Researchers have discovered a new species of acorn worm (Allapasus aurantiacus) living on the deep ocean floor that is unique in that it has its ovaries attached to the outside of its body, a design that possibly facilitates fertilization from the male.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hints of Water Ice on Mercury

Data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft have identified craters at Mercury's poles that are permanently in shadow, creating so-called "cold traps" that strongly reflect radar signals, a characteristic of water ice even on a world with surface temperatures exceeding 400 C.