Friday, December 19, 2014

Life in the Mariana Trench: How Deep Does it Go?

A deep diving remote vehicle has captured the range of creatures living in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest place on Earth.
- The Telegraph

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Finds 'Super-Earth' 180 Light-Years Away

Kepler space telescope, closed for business since a May 2013 malfunction, identified a planet about 2.5 times the size of ours in the constellation Pisces.
- The Christian Science Monitor 

NASA Envisions a Cloud City Above Hellish Surface of Venus

Through the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC), astronauts would explore the upper atmosphere of Venus, riding above the planet’s clouds in huge solar-powered airships. HAVOC would encompass a series of missions, with multiple trips to and from Venus. Initial crews would travel to the planet’s upper atmosphere and remain in orbit for 30 days. Later crews would stay up to two years in the clouds, followed by a floating cloud city in which colonists could live.
- Popular Science

You Can See Our Holiday Lights All the Way From Space

People love the holidays so much you can see it from space. Data collected by a satellite with a special nighttime sensor found that the glow from our collective light displays brightens many major U.S. cities as much as 50 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
- Wired

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Persistent Warming Drives Big Arctic Changes

The latest Arctic Report Card details the changes due to long-term climate change
- Scientific American

Competition Puts Nature Under a Microscope (Photos)

Each year Olympus hold its Bioscapes international digital imaging competition, which celebrates images and movies of life captured with light microscopes. This year brought a stunning collection of entries. Check out the top 10 winners.
- Discovery News

Dads-to-Be Experience Prenatal Hormone Changes Too

It's well-documented what women can expect when they're expecting. But less is known about whether or not men go through similar changes. A new study has shown men undergo significant hormonal changes as well.
- BigThink



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

‘A Great Moment’: Rover Finds Clue That Mars May Harbor Life

Scientists have just two possible explanations for the burst of methane recorded by Curiosity. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes. Scientists also confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them.
- The New York Times

Why Does Time Move Forward, Not Backward?

A new paper suggests that the arrow of time -- a term given to the forward direction of time -- is driven by gravity and, therefore, an inescapable result of the fundamental laws of physics in our universe.
- Huffington Post

Birds 'Heard Tornadoes Coming' and Fled One Day Ahead

US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers "evacuated" their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak. Writing in the journal Current Biology, ecologists suggest these birds - and others - may sense such extreme events with their keen low-frequency hearing.
- BBC News

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Methane 'Belches' Detected on Mars

The U.S. space agency's (NASA) Curiosity rover has detected Methane on Mars—very low-level amounts constantly in the background, but also a number of short-lived spikes that are 10 times higher. Methane on the Red Planet is intriguing because here on Earth, 95% of the gas comes from microbial organisms. Researchers have hung on to the hope that the molecule's signature at Mars might also indicate a life presence.
- BBC News

Ancient DNA Reveals History of Horse Domestication

Using genomic analysis, scientists have identified DNA changes that helped turn ancient horses such as those in prehistoric cave art into today's Secretariats and Black Beautys. Understanding the genetic changes involved in equine domestication, which earlier research traced to the wind-swept steppes of Eurasia 5,500 years ago, has long been high on the wish list of evolutionary geneticists because of the important role that taming wild horses played in the development of civilization.
- Reuters

Earth's Future? Ancient Warming Gives Ominous Peek at Climate Change

New data from the Earth's last big warmup, some 56 million years ago, may offer a sneak peek into what today's climate change may eventually look like.

Is Greenland's Ice Sheet Melting Faster Than Previously Thought?

Just two weeks ago, we learned from twin scientific publications that the massive ice sheet of West Antarctica, which could cause over 10 feet of sea level rise, may be less stable than previously thought. And now, two studies suggest virtually the same thing about the still more massive ice sheet of Greenland, which, if it were to melt entirely, could raise global sea levels by as much as 23 feet—an outcome that, while it surely would not happen in our lifetimes, would dramatically reshape the world's coastlines.
- The Washington Post

Monday, December 15, 2014


Humans May First Have Learned to Harness Fire in Israel 350,000 Years Ago

Israeli researchers help pinpoint habitual, intentional use of heat in ancient Levant after uncovering material from cave near Haifa
- The Times of Israel

Why Birds Don't Have Teeth

Birds — like anteaters, baleen whales and turtles—don't have teeth. But this wasn't always the case. The common ancestor of all living birds sported a set of pearly whites 116 million years ago, a new study  finds.
- LiveScience

CERN's Large Hadron Collider to Restart by March 2015

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will restart for its second 3-year run in March 2015 that will see the world's most powerful particle accelerator double its collisional energy. The LHC, which is managed by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), is on a 2-year break from smashing particles to undergo an upgrade. 
- The Economic Times