Friday, November 15, 2013

Oldest String Found

Researchers have found an artifact of twisted plant fibers at a site in southeast France dating back 90,000 years, providing evidence that the manufacture of string and cordage may have been known and used by Neanderthals before the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Low-Density Kuiper Belt Object

Astronomers have identified an intermediate-sized body of rock and ice (2002 UX25) in the Kuiper belt with a measured density significantly less than liquid water, challenging present planetary formation theories.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Algae Forced into Multicellularity

Using a centrifuge technique, biologists have forced a single-celled alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) to evolve and cluster into a true multicellular organism, compressing the hundreds of millions of years of evolution of multicellular life into a sufficiently short timeframe for real-time study.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Clean Room Microbe

A rare new strain of microbe (Tersicoccus phoenicis) that survives harsh sterilization techniques and with almost no nutrients has been discovered in two spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South Africa, a bacteria so different from known species it has been classified with a new genus.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rembrandt's First Elephant

Results from a DNA and anatomy study of the remains of the type specimen for the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) reveal it to actually be an African elephant (Loxodonta spp.), and biologists searching for a new type specimen settled on a description published in 1693 of what is now the preserved skeleton of an individual elephant named Hansken -- an animal who's likeness was captured in sketches by Rembrandt in 1637.

Friday, November 1, 2013

T. rex Larger Than Fossils Suggest

Examining layers of bone within fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex collections, paleontologists have found indications most museum specimens were still growing at the time of their death and that the adult animals were more massive and bulkier than current remains suggest.