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September 3rd, 2017

Techniques used in forensic science help discover new molecular fossils

Researchers in Japan and China believe they have found new molecular fossils of archaea using a method of analysis commonly used in forensic science. Outcrop found at sampling site China [Credit: Kunio Kaiho]According to a system designed by microbiologist Carl Woese, there are three domains of life on Earth — Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota. To date, the distribution of archaea …Continue reading →

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Apes’ abilities misunderstood by decades of poor science

Apes’ intelligence may be entirely misunderstood, because research has so far failed to measure it fairly and accurately, according to scientists. Hundreds of scientific studies over two decades have told us that apes are clever — just not as clever as us. Bias at play: Apes show sophisticated abilities but their understanding has not so far been measured  accurately against …Continue reading →

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Ultraviolet light may be ultra important in search for life

In everyday life, ultraviolet, or UV, light earns a bad reputation for being responsible for sunburns and other harmful effects on humans. However, research suggests that UV light may have played a critical role in the emergence of life on Earth and could be a key for where to look for life elsewhere in the Universe. This artist’s impression shows …Continue reading →

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Hubble delivers first hints of possible water content of TRAPPIST-1 planets

An international team of astronomers used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to estimate whether there might be water on the seven earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. The results suggest that the outer planets of the system might still harbour substantial amounts of water. This includes the three planets within the habitable zone of the star, lending further …Continue reading →

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New clue may reveal the fate of famous French explorer

An anthropologist at The Australian National University (ANU) may have stumbled across a clue to resolving one of the most enduring mysteries of Pacific history — the fate of famous French navigator, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse who disappeared in 1788. Nicolas-André Monsiau’s 1817 famous oil painting ‘Louis XVI Giving Final Instructions to the Comte de la …Continue reading →

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Study uses robot to probe mystery of prehistoric sea creature’s swimming style

A new study led by the University of Southampton has shed light on the swimming style of a prehistoric sea creature by creating a robot to mimic its movements. Artist’s impression of plesiosaurs [Credit: Bob Nicholls]A Southampton team including Luke Muscutt, a PhD student in Engineering and the Environment, worked with partners at the University of Bristol to analyse the …Continue reading →

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Periodic table of ecological niches could aid in predicting effects of climate change

A group of ecologists has started creating a periodic table of ecological niches similar to chemistry’s periodic table. And just as chemists have used their periodic table as a point of reference to understand relationships among elements, the emerging table for ecologists shows relationships over time among animals, plants and their environments — acting as a critical resource for scientists …Continue reading →

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US construction crew finds triceratops skeleton in Colorado

Construction crews breaking ground on a new fire and police station north of Denver, Colorado have unearthed a 66-million-year-old triceratops skeleton, sparking a flurry of scientific interest in this iconic herbivore. Fossil of a triceratops dinosaur discovered by construction workers on Aug. 25 in Thornton  [Credit: Lisa Watson/City of Thornton, Colorado, via AP]Diggers working on a site in Thornton — …Continue reading →

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Scientists recover nova first spotted 600 years ago by Korean astrologers

On a cold March night in Seoul almost 600 years ago, Korean astrologers spotted a bright new star in the tail of the constellation Scorpius. It was seen for just 14 days before fading from view. From these ancient records, modern astronomers determined that what the Royal Imperial Astrologers saw was a nova explosion, but they had been unable to …Continue reading →

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Star-formation ‘fuel tanks’ found around distant galaxies

In the early universe, brilliant starburst galaxies converted vast stores of hydrogen gas into new stars at a furious pace. This ALMA image shows the Cosmic Eyelash, a remote starburst galaxy that appears double and brightened by  gravitational lensing. ALMA has been used to detect turbulent reservoirs of cold gas surrounding this and other distant  starburst galaxies. By detecting CH+ …Continue reading →

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