Saturday, October 9, 2010

Exoskeleton Helps the Paralysed Walk Again

From New Scientist:

Amanda Boxtel, a wheelchair user, is about to stand up. A skiing accident 18 years ago partially severed her spinal cord leaving her paralysed from the waist down. She slowly pushes herself out of the chair with crutches, teeters backward for a second, then leans forward – and takes a step. Soon she is walking around the warehouse in Berkeley, California, under her own direction.

Read more ....

Friday, October 8, 2010

'Living Dinosaurs' in Space: Galaxies in Today's Universe Thought to Have Existed Only In Distant Past

A simulation of a star forming galaxy similar to those observed. Cold gas (red) flowing onto a spiral galaxy feeds star formation. (Credit: Rob Crain, James Geach, the Virgo Consortium, Andy Green & Swinburne Astronomy Productions)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2010) — Using Australian telescopes, Swinburne University astronomy student Andy Green has found 'living dinosaurs' in space: galaxies in today's Universe that were thought to have existed only in the distant past.

The report of his finding -- Green's first scientific paper -- appears on the cover of the Oct. 7 issue of Nature.

Read more ....

What Farming Ants Can Teach Us About Bioenergy

A leaf-cutter ant foraging trail. These ants can form foraging trails in the rainforest that are hundreds of meters long containing thousands of workers. Credit: Jarrod Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

From Live Science:

What new methods will allow us to create biofuel from plants? Garret Suen, a computational microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in the Department of Bacteriology is trying to find out. Suen is a post-doctoral researcher working in the lab of Cameron Currie and in January of 2011, he will be joining the faculty in the Department of Bacteriology and starting up his own lab and research program. Suen grew up in Toronto (before moving to Calgary for college), and being from Canada, he thoroughly enjoys Wisconsin winters. Suen’s current work at UW centers on how to convert cellulose found in plants into a fermentable sugar that can be used to make ethanol for fuel.

Read more ....

'Mini-Pompeii' Found In Norway

From Discovery News:

Norwegian archaeologists have unearthed a Neolithic “mini Pompeii” at a campsite near the North Sea, they announced this week.

Discovered at Hamresanden, not far from Kristiansand’s airport at Kjevik in southern Norway, the settlement has remained undisturbed for 5,500 years, buried under three feet of sand.

“We expected to find an 'ordinary' Scandinavian Stone Age site, badly preserved and small. Instead, we discovered a unique site, buried under a thick sand layer,” lead archaeologist Lars Sundström, of the Museum of Cultural History at the University in Oslo, told Discovery News.

Read more ....

Giant Moon Collision 'May Have Formed Saturn's Rings'

Saturn's rings are largely made up of icy chunks

From The BBC:

Saturn's rings may have formed when a large moon with an icy mantle and rocky core spiralled into the nascent planet.

A US scientist has suggested that the tidal forces ripped off some of the moon's mantle before the actual impact.

The theory could shed light on the rings' mainly water-ice composition that has puzzled researchers for decades.

The scientist announced her idea at a conference in Pasadena, US.

Read more ....

TechBytes: Amazon Apps Store

From ABC News:

Amazon is reportedly getting ready to open a new online application store. The Wall Street Journal reports that the apps would be for smartphones running Google's Android software. Google also has its own online store with about 80,000 apps. Apple's store has about 250,000 apps.

Read more ....

Could An 'Elixir Of Life' Really Increase Your Lifespan?

From New Scientist:

A chemical elixir can add 10 years to your life! According to the media, anyway. How much of the claim that an amino acid cocktail can boost longevity should be taken with a pinch of salt?

For starters, the study was carried out in mice. Giuseppe D'Antona at Pavia University in Italy and his colleagues added a cocktail of three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) - isoleucine, leucine and valine - to the feed of young nine-month-old mice.

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Video: Apollo 11 Launch At 500 Frames Per Second

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.

Volcanoes Wiped out Neanderthals, New Study Suggests

The Semeru volcano in Indonesia. New research suggests that climate change following massive volcanic eruptions drove Neanderthals to extinction and cleared the way for modern humans to thrive in Europe and Asia. (Credit: iStockphoto)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — New research suggests that climate change following massive volcanic eruptions drove Neanderthals to extinction and cleared the way for modern humans to thrive in Europe and Asia.

The research, led by Liubov Vitaliena Golovanova and Vladimir Borisovich Doronichev of the ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg, Russia, is reported in the October issue of Current Anthropology.

Read more ....

Comet May Not Have Rocked Stone Age World

From Live Science:

While most scientists agree that a large object from space likely crashed into Earth and led to the eventual demise of the dinosaurs, a new study takes aim at theories that suggest similar events spelled bad news for large animals and Stone Age hunters nearly 13,000 years ago.

For about three years, scientists have debated over what caused drastic climate changes and gaps in the archaeological record at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, a period of time spanning from about 1.8 million to 11,500 years ago.

Read more ....

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery

The disappearance of the ancient magnetic field may have triggered the loss of the Martian atmosphere, and NASA have just announced a mission to investigate. Credit: NASA

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery -- Cosmos/AFP

WASHINGTON: The U.S. space agency NASA announced it has given the green light to a mission to Mars aimed at investigating the mystery of how the ‘red planet’ lost its atmosphere.

NASA gave the approval for "the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission," the agency said in a statement, noting that the project may also show Mars' history of supporting life.

Read more ....

The End Of The World As We Know It?

The universe began in a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding at an ever accelerating rate ever since. iStockPhoto

From Discovery Magazine:

Save the date: Less than 3.7 billion years from now, the world is going to end, according to a new study.

A new study suggests the universe and everything in it could end within the Earth's lifespan -- less than 3.7 billion years from now -- and we won't know it when it happens.

But one expert says the result isn't valid because the researchers chose an arbitrary end point.

The universe began in a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding at an ever accelerating rate ever since.

Read more ....

Soyuz Launches To Space Station

From The BBC:

A Soyuz capsule carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut has left Earth bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

Lift-off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan occurred at the scheduled time of 0510 (2310 GMT).

Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka and Scott Kelly are due to reach the orbiting platform on Saturday.

The men will complete a five-month tour of duty aboard the laboratory as part of the Expedition 25 and 26 crews.

Read more ....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Statue of King Tut's Grandfather Unearthed in Luxor

From Discover News:

Part of an ancient statue of King Amenhotep III, believed to be the grandfather of King Tutankhamun, has been unearthed, Egypt's Ministry of Culture announced on Saturday.

The 4-foot (1.3-meter) by 3-foot (0.95-meter) red granite statue depicts the Egyptian pharaoh in all his power. Amenhotep III wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with a sacred asp, or uraeus, and is seated on a throne next to the Theban god Amun.

Read more ....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Powerful Supercomputer Peers Into The Origin Of Life

New research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains how a ribonucleic acid enzyme, or ribozyme (pictured), uses magnesium ions (seen as spheres) to accelerate a significant reaction in organic chemistry. (Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2010) — Supercomputer simulations at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping scientists unravel how nucleic acids could have contributed to the origins of life.

A research team led by Jeremy Smith, who directs ORNL's Center for Molecular Biophysics and holds a Governor's Chair at University of Tennessee, used molecular dynamics simulation to probe an organic chemical reaction that may have been important in the evolution of ribonucleic acids, or RNA, into early life forms.

Read more ....

Grain of Hope: Researchers Seek A Super-Rice

From Live Science:

Food scientists are furiously racing to come up with new rice varieties and growing techniques to meet the rising demand presented by a growing population in Asia.

To discuss the challenge, rice scientists and world officials met at a symposium in New York last week, where the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Asia Society jointly released a task force report, "Never an Empty Bowl: Sustaining Food Security in Asia."

Read more ....

Japan's Murata Girl Bot Unicycles On A Curved Balance Beam (Video)

From Popular Science:

Following in the footsteps of many robots we’ve seen who perform awesome but random feats, Japanese electronics company Murata has revealed an update of their Little Seiko humanoid robot for 2010. Murata Girl, as she is known, is 50 centimeters tall, weighs six kilograms and can unicycle backwards and forwards. Whereas in her previous iteration, she could only ride across a straight balance beam, she is now capable of navigating an S-curve as thin as 2.5 centimeters (only one centimeter wider than the tire of her unicycle)

Read more ....

Asteroid Lutetia Has Thick Blanket Of Debris

Photo: About 100km wide, Lutetia is the biggest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft

From The BBC:

Lutetia, the giant asteroid visited by Europe's Rosetta probe in July, is covered in a thick blanket of dusty debris at least 600m (2,000ft) deep.

Aeons of impacts have pulverised the space rock to produce a shattered surface that in terms of texture is much like Earth's Moon, scientists say.

The finding is one of the first to emerge from the wealth of data gathered by Rosetta during its close flyby.

The details are being discussed this week at a conference in Pasadena, US.

Read more ....

New Chip Captures Hard-to-Find Tumor Cells

Image: Capturing cancer cells: A new microfluidics chip designed to isolate tumor cells from blood captures clusters of cancer cells, shown here, which may play a role in cancer’s spread. Credit: PNAS

From Technology Review:

The devices may one day help patients skip invasive and painful biopsies.

Technologies that analyze cancer cells that circulate through a patient's bloodstream could provide a less invasive way of monitoring cancer and selecting the best treatments. So Mehmet Toner and collaborators at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a microfluidics chip that effectively captures these rare cells, which make up just one in a billion cells in blood, in high enough numbers to analyze them for molecular markers. The device also isolated clusters of tumor cells for the first time, which may help shed light on cancer's ability to spread, or metastasize, from its initial birthplace.

Read more

RIM's PlayBook vs. Tomorrow's iPad

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is seen as a natural for the enterprise.

From Computer World:

The PlayBook might not easily displace the iPad in the enterprise.

Computerworld - RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, unveiled last week, is the latest entry in what has become a rapidly growing field of iPad competitors. But unlike most upcoming Android tablets -- the big exception being Cisco's Cius -- the PlayBook isn't meant to compete with the iPad in the consumer market. Despite its touted capabilities for multimedia, the PlayBook is primarily designed to be a business and enterprise tablet.

Read more ....

TechBytes: Google TV

From ABC News:

Google TV is a step closer to becoming a reality. The company announced that CNN, HBO and the NBA are on board to provide content, along with Netflix and Amazon's video store. Google TV aims to let viewers watch TV and surf the web on the same screen.

If you want to fly like an owl, you've got your big chance. A new video game is in stores, based on the animated movie "Legend of the Guardians, the Owls of Ga'hoole." Libe Goad of checked it out.

Read more ....

Signal Achievements In Army History (Photos)

In 1860, the man in the center of this photo, Albert Myer, became the first-ever signal officer of the U.S. Army. (He's seen here some months later during the Peninsula campaign of the Civil War.) While the government liked Myer's ideas on signaling well enough to establish the U.S. Army Signal Corps at that time, the early years of the undertaking faced any number of challenges--ungainly technology, bureaucratic infighting, lack of funding and staffing. But the seed was planted in those early days, and the Signal Corps has now been around for 150 years (making this year the sesquicentennial), at the forefront of technologies from the telegraph to radio, radar, and satellite communications. Photo by U.S. Army

CSN Editor: For more photos, go here.

Analyst: Competitors Can't Catch Up To iPad

Apple's iPad
(Credit: Apple)

From CNET:

A slew of upcoming iPad competitors won't be able to match Apple's tablet anytime soon, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said in a recent note to investors.

"We believe Apple's lead in the tablet market will prove difficult to close by the onslaught of competing products coming over the next several quarters," Whitmore said Monday in a research note obtained by Fortune. "Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user-experience standpoint while struggling to materially undercut the iPad on price."

Read more ....

Stuck Mars Rover Gets New Mission

Spirit's right-front wheel, visible in this October 2009 image, has not worked since 2006. It is the least-stuck of the rover's six wheels at the current location, called "Troy." NASA/JPL-Caltech

From Discovery News:

NASA's Mars rover Spirit, trapped in sand, has a new mission in store if and when it wakes from hibernation.

No one would begrudge NASA's Mars rover Spirit -- six years into a mission pegged for 90 days, stuck in sand and lacking power to phone home -- retirement.

Instead, in the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, scientists are preparing a new round of studies uniquely suited for a stuck Mars lander.

Read more ....

Marine Life Census Charts Vast Undersea World

This new copepod, Ceratonotus steiningeri, was first discovered 5,400 metres deep in the Angola Basin in 2006. It was also collected in the southeastern Atlantic, as well as some 13,000 kilometres away in the central Pacific Ocean. Scientists are puzzled about how it achieved such widespread distribution and avoided detection for so long. Credit: Jan Michels

From Cosmos:

LONDON: Results of the first ever global marine life census have been unveiled, revealing a startling overview after a decade-long trawl through the murky depths.

The Census of Marine Life estimated there are more than one million species in the oceans, with at least three-quarters of them yet to be discovered.

The US $650-million international study discovered more than 6,000 potentially new species, and found some species considered rare were actually common.

Read more ....

What Makes Us Age? Ticking of Cellular Clock Promotes Seismic Changes in Chromatin Landscape Associated With Aging

Each time a cell divides, the protective "caps" at the tip of chromosomes (red and green dots) erode a little bit further. As telomeres wear down, their DNA undergoes massive changes in the way it is packaged. These changes likely trigger what we call "aging." (Credit: Image: Courtesy of Dr. Jan Karlseder, Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2010) — Like cats, human cells have a finite number of lives: once they divide a certain number of times (thankfully, more than nine) they change shape, slow their pace, and eventually stop dividing -- a phenomenon called "cellular senescence."

Read more ....

UFO Forces Closure of Chinese Airport

From Live Science:

They're baaaaaack! A Chinese airport reportedly had to divert passenger jets to prevent them from colliding with a UFO earlier this month.

The airport in Baotou, Inner Mongolia kept three flights from Shangai and Beijing circling overhead and shut down for an hour on Sept. 11 until the mysterious bright lights had vanished.

Read more ....

Strong Magnets With Printed Poles Have Endless Engineering Applications

From Popular Mechanics:

The Brilliant Idea: Magnets printed with multiple poles, opening the door to myriad applications.

Larry Fullerton set out to invent a self-assembling magnetic toy that would fuel his grandchildren’s passion for science. Instead, he invented a way to manipulate magnetic fields that redefines one of the fundamental forces of nature.

Fullerton’s breakthrough tramples the long-held assumption that magnets have two opposing poles, one on each side. He found that if he used heat to erase a magnetic field, he could then reprogram material to have multiple north and south poles of differing strengths. “People look at magnets as having a north pole and a south pole. That limits your thinking,” he says. “I came along from the field of radar and said, ‘Hey, that’s not a magnet—it’s a vector field!’”

Read more ....

Micro-Engraved Lenses Give Perfect Vision To Both Near- And Far-Sighted Eyes

Bifocals (Old.) Frank C. Müller

From Popular Science:

Near-sighted? Far-sighted? Middle-sighted? It doesn't matter--this "scratched" lens has you covered.

An inability to see both near and faraway objects isn't uncommon, but the classic solution--bifocals--is hardly cutting-edge. I mean, thanks, Ben Franklin, but how about something more modern? A new type of engraved lens, invented by an Israeli researcher, allows the eye to see perfectly whether the object is nearby or in the distance, without adjusting perspective. No matter your vision, these lenses claim to provide perfect clarity.

Read more ....

Wind Farms Can Affect Local Weather Patterns

One of the solutions would be changing the rotor design

From The BBC:

Wind farms, especially big ones, generate turbulence that can significantly alter air temperatures near the ground, say researchers.

As turbines often stand on agricultural land, these changes could in turn affect crop productivity.

In the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the team says the impact could be reduced by changing rotor design.

Another option would be to site farms in areas with high natural turbulence.

Read more ....

See The Future With A Search

Image: Eye candy: This visualization shows the connections between different places, companies, and people, following a search using Recorded Future. Credit: Recorded Future

From Technology Review:

A Web startup demos a "predictive" search engine.

A startup called Recorded Future has developed a tool that scrapes real-time data from the Internet to find hints of what will happen in the future. The company's search tool spits out results on a timeline that stretches into the future as well as the past.

The 18-month-old company gained attention earlier this year after receiving money from the venture capital arms of both Google and the CIA. Now the company has offered a glimpse of how its technology works.

Read more ....

Eyes-On, Glasses Off, With Toshiba's Glasses-Less 3D TV

From CNN:

(CNET) -- Ceatec doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but Toshiba is already getting the lion's share of the buzz here on the show floor, with its Glasses-less 3D TV.

The device was announced last night, and people flocked to the demonstration in a dark makeshift theater today, where the wait was nearly an hour early this morning. The reason? Because finally, mercifully, a TV maker has come up with a way to watch 3D at home without those ridiculous plastic glasses.

Read more ....

British University Scientists Win Nobel Prize For Physics For Discovery Of Atom-Thick Carbon Layer 200 Times Stronger Than Steel

The Swedish academy of sciences in Stockholm announces the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics today

From The Daily Mail:

* Graphene could lead to new super-fast electronics
* Bonds between carbon atoms are the strongest in nature
* Scientist: I'll just muddle on as before after win

Two British-based scientists have shared the Nobel Prize for physics for their discovery of a new material that is only an atom thick and which could change the future of electronics.

Russian-born Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both from Manchester University, today won the prize for their 'groundbreaking experiments' with graphene - a microscopic flake of carbon.

Read more ....

Stuxnet: Fact Vs. Theory

From CNET:

The Stuxnet worm has taken the computer security world by storm, inspiring talk of a top secret, government-sponsored cyberwar, and of a software program laden with obscure biblical references that call to mind not computer code, but "The Da Vinci Code."

Stuxnet, which first made headlines in July, (CNET FAQ here) is believed to be the first known malware that targets the controls at industrial facilities such as power plants. At the time of its discovery, the assumption was that espionage lay behind the effort, but subsequent analysis by Symantec uncovered the ability of the malware to control plant operations outright, as CNET first reported back in mid-August.

Read more ....

The Language That Lovers Share Is A 'Window' Into The State Of Their Relationship

From The Telegraph:

Couples develop their own language of love that ebbs and flows depending on the state of their relationship, scientists believe.

Those deeply in love speak and write alike, mimicking and repeating words and phrases that each other use.

But if the relationship sours then the common language breaks down and they begin to sound more like strangers again.

Read more ....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dinosaurs Significantly Taller Than Previously Thought, Research Suggests

Photo: Dinosaur bones have rounded ends with rough surfaces that mark where blood vessels fed large amounts of cartilage in the joint. The cartilage could have added 10 percent or more to the height of a dinosaur. (Credit: Casey Holliday/University of Missouri)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — It might seem obvious that a dinosaur's leg bone connects to the hip bone, but what came between the bones has been less obvious. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and Ohio University have found that dinosaurs had thick layers of cartilage in their joints, which means they may have been considerably taller than previously thought. The study is being published this week in the journal PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science).

Read more ....

Bedbugs Q&A: Everything You Need To Know (And More)

Louis Sorkin, an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, observes bedbugs he keeps in jars and feeds with his own blood. Courtesy of AMNH/LSorkin.

From Live Science:

After decades of apparent absence, bedbugs are back with a vengeance. The bugs have returned to U.S. cities, infesting hotels, schools, apartments, homes, stores and offices. The tiny bloodsuckers are known to leave red, itchy marks on their victims, as well as a social stigma.

But where did bedbugs come from, what harm do they really cause, and why the sudden resurgence?

Read more ....

Instant Expert: Rebuilding Human Minds

Memory Lost, Memory Gained

From Popular Science:

Scientists hope to strengthen aging brains by tweaking the behavior of DNA.

Age-related memory loss—the kind where you remember friends from decades ago but can’t remember your grandchildren—is largely a mystery, but a class of com-pounds used to treat cancer has given neuroscientists clues to its molecular underpinnings. Scientists also suspect that the compounds responsible for this insight, called histone deacetylase inhibitors, could significantly slow memory loss—perhaps for years. (Two drugs used now to treat memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease work only for a short time.)

Read more ....

Is This Apple Ap Going To Help Terrorists?

Threat: Security experts have slammed a £2 phone app which gives specific details about in-flight aircraft

Phone App That Tracks Planes 'Is Aid To Terrorists Armed With Missiles' - -The Daily Mail

A mobile phone application costing less than £2 which tracks the precise location of passenger aircraft in the sky is a serious terrorist threat and should be banned, according to a security expert.

The Plane Finder AR app for the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android allows users to point their phone at the sky and see the position, height and speed of nearby aircraft. It also shows the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course.

Read more ....

My Comment
: Yup .... we found the enemy and it is us.

The Slippery Slope To Obesity

Not a good start (Image: Wade/Getty)

From New Scientist:

REWARD pathways in the brains of overweight people become less responsive as they gain weight. This causes them to eat more to get the same pleasure from their food, which in turn reduces the reward response still further.

Eric Stice, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues used fMRI brain scans to monitor 26 obese or overweight volunteers as they sipped either a tasty milkshake or a flavourless liquid resembling saliva. They compared the effect of both drinks on brain activity in the dorsal striatum, a key part of the brain's reward circuitry. Six months later, they retested the volunteers.

Read more ....

Oldest High-Altitude Settlements Discovered

The Ivane Valley in Papua New Guinea appears covered in mist in this photo. Click to enlarge this image. Glenn Summerhayes and Andrew Fairbairn

From Discovery News:

The remains of fires, stone tools and food surface at six campsites dating back up to 49,000 years.

The world's oldest known high-altitude human settlements, dating back up to 49,000 years, have been found sealed in volcanic ash in Papua New Guinea mountains, archaeologists said Friday.

Researchers have unearthed the remains of about six camps, including fragments of stone tools and food, in an area near the town of Kokoda, said an archaeologist on the team, Andrew Fairbairn.

Read more ....

Dolphin Species Attempt 'Common Language'

A Guyana dolphin leaps to escape the attention of a bottlenose dolphin

From The BBC:

When two dolphin species come together, they attempt to find a common language, preliminary research suggests.

Bottlenose and Guyana dolphins, two distantly related species, often come together to socialise in waters off the coast of Costa Rica.

Both species make unique sounds, but when they gather, they change the way they communicate, and begin using an intermediate language.

That raises the possibility the two species are communicating in some way.

Read more ....

Video: Robots Now Guarding Nevada Nuke Site

From The Danger Room:

Citizens of Nevada, you can now relax. The Nevada National Security Site, home to tens of millions of cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste — and location of over a thousand Cold War nuclear weapons tests — is now being guarded by robots. The first of a planned trio of Mobile Detection Assessment Response Systems, or MDARS, is currently patrolling some of the more remote sections of the 1,360 square mile facility.

Read more ....

My Comment: The Terminator movies do not seem like science fiction anymore.

Study Identifies More Than A Million Ocean Species

Photograph: British Antarctic Survey

From The Guardian:

The Census of Marine Life is finally complete after a decade of work by 2,700 scientists from 80 countries.

It is the culmination of a decade of work by 2,700 scientists from 80 countries, who went on more than 540 expeditions into the farthest reaches of the most mysterious realm on the planet – the world's oceans.

Today, the US$650m Census of Marine Life (COML) project announced the culmination of its work, concluding that the deep is home to more than a million species – of which less than a quarter are described in the scientific literature.

Read more ....

Mission To Search For Alien Life In Outer Atmosphere


From The Telegraph:

Life from outer space could be surviving on the outer fringes of the Earth's atmosphere, according to scientists who are to launch a mission to search for bacteria that could be living there.

In science fiction films the search for aliens involves travelling across the galaxy to planets millions of miles away.

But scientists believe they could be close to discovering alien life forms much closer to home – on the outer fringes of Earth's atmosphere.

Read more ....

Geology: A Trip To Dinosaur Time

From Nature News:

A project to drill a 10-kilometre-deep hole in China will provide the best view yet of the turbulent Cretaceous period. Jane Qiu reports.

The rock columns on the table are not much to look at. More than a metre long, 10 centimetres in diameter and mostly made up of oil shale and sandstone, they are a dull greyish green. But these, says Wang Chengshan, a geologist at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, "are not ordinary rocks".

Read more ....

No Evidence for Clovis Comet Catastrophe, Archaeologists Say

These are Clovis Points. (Credit: David Meltzer)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet impact devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America.

Writing in the October issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologists Vance Holliday (University of Arizona) and David Meltzer (Southern Methodist University) argue that there is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations.

Read more ....

Americans' Sex Lives Exposed by New Survey

From Live Science:

Americans, on average, use a condom one in four times when they have vaginal sex, according to a recent survey that also finds men think women are having orgasms more than they are.

This new sex survey shows that condom use has increased among some groups, but promoting condom use – which prevents the spread of sexual transmitted diseases like AIDS – should remain a health priority, according to Michael Reece, the director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, which conducted the survey.

Read more ....

Google Street View Captures Dead Bodies--Real Ones

Google Street View cars being readied for action in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Credit: CC Racum/Flickr)

From CNET News:

Whenever Google sends its Street View cameras to a new country, there is always more revealed than was anticipated.

And so is the case with the launch of Google Street View in Brazil.

Just a day after the service launched, up popped a couple of corpses. One, on the Avenida Presidente Vargas in Rio, the other in Belo Horizonte.

Read more ....

This Year's Ig Nobel Prize: Fruit Bat Fellatio, Whale Snot, And More Weird Science

From Popular Science:

The Ig Nobel Prize studies are not a joke, but that's not to say you won't laugh.

If the MacArthur "Genius" Grants announced earlier this week were too staid for you, the Ig Nobel Prize (now in its 20th year--here's last year's coverage) might be the scientific awards presentation for you. The Ig Nobels aren't a joke; every winning study has a legitimate scientific purpose and execution, making real discoveries and solving real problems. But they're also all chosen for their ability to "make you laugh and then make you think." This year's winners include remote-controlled whale snot retrieval, the benefits of roller coaster riding on asthma sufferers, and our own personal favorite which you may remember: transit planning by slime mold

Read more ....

The E-Type For The 21st Century: 205mph Electric Hybrid Supercar From Jaguar That Costs £200,000

Click on Image to Enlarge

From The Daily Mail:

A sexy new 205mph Jaguar supercar that blends sporting looks and performance with the latest ‘green’ technology is set to rock the prestigious Paris Motor Show when it is officially unveiled today.

The new two-seater Jaguar C-X75 is a £200,000 electric hybrid vehicle uses hi-tech jet-turbine know-how from the aviation industry to sprint from rest to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and up to 100mph in just 5.5 seconds.

Read more

Gravity Genius: How I Will Spend Half A Million Bucks

Genius at work, really (Image: Darren McCollester/MacArthur Foundation)

From New Scientist:

Among this year's 23 recipients of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius award", who have won $500,000 each, no strings attached, is Nergis Mavalvala, a quantum physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a collaborator on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

Read more ....

The Awesome Power Of Galaxy Cluster Mergers

From Discovery News:

The scales are mind-boggling and the physics is cutting edge, so how do you go about simulating the collision of two galactic clusters? Using some of the most powerful computers in the world, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, the Flash Center at the University of Chicago and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have done just that.

Read more ....

British IVF Pioneer Robert Edwards Wins Nobel Prize

Photo: Robert Edwards with the first "test tube baby" Louise Brown and her own child

From The BBC:

British scientist Robert Edwards, the man who devised the fertility treatment IVF, has been awarded this year's Nobel prize for medicine.

His efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby" in July 1978.

Since then nearly four million babies have been born following IVF.

The prize committee said his achievements had made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition affecting 10% of all couples worldwide.

Read more ....