Saturday, June 30, 2012

Oldest Crater Found in Greenland

Geologists have discovered evidence of Earth's oldest known impact crater centered along the western coast of Greenland, the remains of an asteroid 30 km in diameter smashing into the surface about 3 billion years ago and creating a crater 25 km deep and 600 km wide.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Exoplanet Atmosphere Changes

The first changes ever detected in an exoplanet's atmosphere have been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, detecting significant variations in the atmosphere of the gas giant HD 189733b in response to a large solar flare erupting from its host star.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lines of Arrested Growth

One of the strongest arguments that dinosaurs were cold-blooded is in doubt as so-called lines of arrested growth characteristic in fossilized bone, once thought to be limited to cold-blooded animals such as reptiles or amphibians, have been discovered in 41 different species of modern mammals regardless of the environment in which they live.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ancient Text Describes Supernova

Eighth-century entries in the historical Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describing a "red crucifix" in the heavens after sunset may point to a previously unknown supernova responsible for a carbon-14 radiation spike recently found in Japanese tree rings dating to A.D. 774.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Mineral from Meteorite

Scientists studying the Allende meteorite that landed in Mexico in 1969 have discovered a new mineral embedded in the rock, a titanium oxide dubbed panguite, a mineral previously unknown to science and believed to be one of the oldest minerals formed in the solar system.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shark Species More Diverse

Researchers studying the genetic makeup of thousands of sharks and ray specimens have discovered scores of potentially new or overlooked species that could lead to a reorganization of the family tree of these animals.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Historical Ethiopian Genomes

Researchers studying the genome of Ethiopian populations have discovered an unexpected diversity and similarity to those of populations from Syria and Israel, potentially a genetic heritage reflecting the arrival of the Queen of Sheba mentioned in both the Bible and the Qur'an.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nanoparticles in Moon Dust

Researchers using a synchrotron-based nano tomograph have discovered glassy nanoparticles -- some no larger than individual molecules -- mixed in with lunar soil samples that explain many strange properties observed in lunar soil contrary to conventional soil behavior.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Electrical Bursts Warn of Collapse

Researchers have detected mysterious bursts of electricity from densely packed powdery materials in the seconds before structural failure, an unexplained phenomenon that might be exploited to monitor bridges, engines and other structures before collapse.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Triple-Bonded Boron

Scientists have created a crystal composed of the first stable triple chemical bond between two boron atoms, a bond previously only possible for two other nonmetal elements of carbon and nitrogen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heavier and Faster Electrons

Scientists have shown that electrons in certain crystalline substances can behave as if they were a thousand times more massive due to a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, while at the same time retaining their superconducting properties when cooled.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mammoths Went Extinct Slowly

Tracking the pattern of woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) populations over 45,000 years, researchers have discovered the species survived the Pleistocene extinction that wiped out other megafauna and disappeared about 4000 years ago after a long, slow decline in numbers with no single or specific cause.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Children of Older Fathers

An analysis of the DNA of young adults finds that the genetic makeup of sperm changes as a man ages, and that children born to older fathers and even older paternal grandfathers appear to inherit this genetic bias for a longer lifespan.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Unknown Plant Communications

Experiments involving chili peppers (Capsicum annuum) and fennel plants (Foeniculum vulgare) show the peppers sprout more quickly around the fennel even when enclosed in an airtight box preventing chemical transfer, suggesting an as-yet unknown sense may exist between plants to facilitate communication.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bacteria Form Electrical Grids

New research shows bacteria and other microbial life can use conductive minerals in the soil as electrical grids, allowing for the transfer of electrons necessary to produce and consume the chemicals they need to survive.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cosmic Blast Discovered in Trees

A study of growth rings in cedar trees from Yaku Island in southern Japan reveal a spike in the amount of carbon-14 between the years A.D. 774 and 775, revealing a previously unknown and unrecorded astronomical event that was the source of a cosmic ray bombardment.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crustacean Inspires Body Armor

Analysis of the club-like arm of the mantis shrimp, a specialized claw that survives impact as it closes faster than a .22-caliber bullet, reveals a highly complex three-tiered structure that could be adapted for new designs of personal body armor and vehicle shielding.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Remnants of War in Beach Sand

Geologists have discovered small shrapnel grains, rounded iron beads and fragments of glass in the sand of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, remnants of the D-Day invasion of World War II only now revealed under a scanning electron microscope.