Sunday, May 27, 2012

Measurement of Yarkovsky Effect

Scientists working with NASA's OSIRIS-REx space probe to measure asteroid 1999 RQ36 have done so with such accuracy as to measure a force known as the Yarkovsky effect, the tiny push generated by the body absorbing sunlight and emitting that energy as heat.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

WWII Fighter Found in Sahara

An oil-exploration team has discovered a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk British fighter plane that crashed in the Sahara some 70 years ago and, despite desert weathering and some vandalism, is the best-preserved example of a World War II aircraft seen in many decades.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fossilized Ink Sac

Researchers have identified the pigment called eumelanin, a type of melanin, present in 160-million-year-old fossil ink sacs from a cuttlefish-like animal, with chemical similarities to modern animals suggesting this defensive device has not changed much at all.

New Sensory Organ in Whales

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown grapefruit-sized sensory organ in the chin of rorqual whales that is believed to help coordinate the biomechanics of their extreme lunge-feeding technique.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Asteroid Vesta Is Protoplanet

New observations from NASA's Dawn probe show the asteroid Vesta, the second-largest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is actually an ancient protoplanet left over from the formation of the solar system with a mix of physical characteristics unknown on any other body.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Evidence of Biblical Cult

Excavations in the ancient town of Khirbet Qeiyafa south of Jerusalem have uncovered shrines dating back some 3000 years to the time of King David, providing the earliest physical evidence of a biblical cult.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Ancient Language Discovered

Archaeologists working in Ziyaret Tepe in southeast Turkey have discovered a 2500-year-old clay tablet containing a previously unknown cuneiform language, possibly that of emigrants from the Zagros Mountains to the Assyrian city of Tušhan.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Light from Alien World

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected infrared light directly from 55 Cancri e, a so-called "super-Earth" planet 41 light years distant, the first time such light has been seen from this class of rocky planets.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Biological Magnetic Storage Media

Scientists have extracted the protein certain strains of bacteria use to convert absorbed iron into magnetic nanoparticles and have applied that biotechnology to the production of magnetic mass-storage media with capacities far greater than current industrial chemical methods.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Motion Cameras Detect Autism

Researchers are using the motion-detection camera from Microsoft's commercial gaming system Kinect to observe young children at play and detect early signs of autism spectrum disorder, tracking each child's motion and activity level as an aid to professional diagnosis.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oldest Known Blood Cells

Examination of the wounds of the 5300-year-old mummified remains known as "Ötzi" by an advanced nano-sized probe have revealed individual red blood cells, the oldest human blood sample known, and have proven the man died quickly from the traces of fibrin in the wound.

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Gene Made Human Brains

Researchers have determined that a single gene (SRGAP2) duplicated itself 3.5 million years ago and then duplicated itself again 1 million years later, with the effect of this rare duplication slowing down the maturation of the human brain and giving it more time to develop its modern complexity.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Subatomic Particle Found

Predicted by theory but never before observed, a new subatomic particle has been detected at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an extremely short-lived baryon named Xi(b)*.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Signs of Volcanoes on Mars

High-resolution images of a group of valleys near the Martian equator named the Athabasca Valles show more than 250 coiling spiral patterns that resemble the lava flows on the Big Island of Hawaii, suggesting once-active volcanoes on Mars.