Monday, January 27, 2014

Space River of Hydrogen Found

Astronomers have discovered a very faint, tenuous filament of hydrogen gas known as a cold flow winding through intergalactic space and into nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946, supporting new theories of star formation using extragalactic sources of matter.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dog Cancer Preserves Genes

Genetic analysis of the communicable cancer canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) suggests it appeared in dogs about 11,000 years ago and preserves the identical DNA of the dog from which it originated, allowing a rare comparison of ancient versus modern animals.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Dolphin Species Discovered

Scientists have discovered a species of river dolphin previously unknown to science in the Araguaia River of Brazil, only the fifth such freshwater species known and the first discovered since 1918.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cosmic Background "Web" Seen

Using a distant quasar to backlight a gas cloud two million light years across, cosmologists have imaged filaments in the gas of what is believed to be a dark matter "web" providing a large-scale structure to the expanding universe as predicted by computer simulations.

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Data on Ball Lightning

While recording a thunderstorm in China, a team of researchers captured a ball lightning event on their instruments for the first time with spectrographic readings indicating the composition of the lightning the same as that of the soil, speculating the origin of ball lightning to be a combination of vaporization of silicon oxide and the resulting shockwave of the strike.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Antarctic Sea Anemone

A research team has discovered a species of tiny sea anemone previously unknown to science living in the Ross Ice Shelf off Antarctica, the first such species living in pure ice instead of soil and the first to live upside down, hanging from the underside of the ice shelf.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Redefining the Ampere

In an effort to revise the current 1948 definition of the SI unit of electrical current (ampere) that relates current to a given force through a thought experiment, researchers have succeeded in tracking single electron charges (e) as they travel across barriers driven by voltage pulses.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bird-Eating Fish

Long suspected but never proven until now, evidence has been captured on video of the freshwater African tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus) hunting, catching and eating low-flying barn swallows in a South African lake in Mapungubwe National Park.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Accuracy of Measured Universe

Using baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) as a standard unit of measure, astronomers with the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey have measured the distances between galaxies in the universe to within 1% accuracy covering 10,000 square degrees of sky.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Earthquake Lights Explained

New research finds that mysterious lights reported for centuries before or during seismic activity are associated with areas of geological rift zones, and are theorized to be electrical charges generated from stresses between rocks that travel vertically along fault lines.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Unique Supervolcano Eruptions

Using models and simulations, volcanologists have determined that supervolcanoes erupt by very different mechanisms than smaller volcanoes, with the buoyancy of the molten rock creating stress that cracks open the top of the chamber instead of underground pressure building until it breaches the surface.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Primate Duplicate Genes

Small fragments of DNA called core duplicons replicated and spread across the chromosomes of select primates between 8 million and 12 million years ago, a genetic characteristic not found in other animals and an evolutionary trait that may have "seeded" chromosomal development and fundamentally influenced human evolution and brain size.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gaseous Earth-Mass Exoplanet

The recent discovery of an exoplanet (KOI-314c) with a mass comparable to Earth yet covered with a thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium like a gas giant challenges theories on planetary formation and the assumption that Earth-mass planets necessarily be of a rocky composition.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Mutagenic Compounds Found

Researchers have discovered a new class of compounds called nitrogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAH) found naturally in combustion products such as vehicle exhaust and charred meat that can be up to hundreds of times more mutagenic than known carcinogens.

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Ardi" Links to Human Lineage

New research comparing the well-preserved cranial base of the contested 4.4 million-year-old African primate species Ardipithecus ramidus ("Ardi") found in Ethiopia reveals a closer evolutionary relationship to Australopithecus and modern humans rather than to apes, placing the species in the human evolutionary lineage.