Astronomy

Astronomers Snap Image of Edge-on Spiral Galaxy NGC 4217

This image shows the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4217. Image credit: ESA / Hubble / NASA / R. Schoofs.

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have obtained a remarkable new view of the spiral galaxy NGC 4217. This image shows the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4217. Image credit: ESA / Hubble / NASA / R. Schoofs. NGC 4217 is an edge-on spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici, about 60 million light-years away. The galaxy is a possible companion of the spiral galaxy Messier...

Space Exploration

Mars Helicopter Could be Scout for Future Rovers, NASA Says

NASA's Curiosity Rover. Image credit: NASA.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working on a helicopter drone that could scout a trail for future Mars exploration vehicles. NASA’s Curiosity Rover. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems. Previous Mars rover, such as Opportunity and Spirit, have delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the planet, but a rover’s...

Archaeology

55,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Tool Found in France

The 55,000-year-old bone tool found in France. Image credit: Maurice Hardy et al.

A team of scientists led by Dr Luc Doyon of the University of Montreal has unearthed a rare prehistoric bone tool at the Grotte du Bison in Burgundy. The 55,000-year-old bone tool found in France. Image credit: Maurice Hardy et al. The bone tool in question is believed to have been made by Neanderthals from a reindeer bone circa 55,000 years ago. “This is the first time a multi-purpose bone tool...

Paleontology

Nundasuchus songeaensis: New Triassic Reptile Discovered in Tanzania

Skeleton of Nundasuchus songeaensis, illustrating the elements found. Scale bar - 50 cm. Image credit: Sterling Nesbitt / Sci-News.com.

A team of paleontologists headed by Dr Sterling Nesbitt of Virginia Tech has described a new genus and species of archosaur that lived in what is today southern Tanzania during the early Middle Triassic, approximately 247 million years ago. Skeleton of Nundasuchus songeaensis, illustrating the elements found. Scale bar – 50 cm. Image credit: Sterling Nesbitt / Sci-News.com. The new archosaur,...

Biology

Desert Tawny Owl: New Species of Bird Discovered

Strix aluco, a species of the genus Strix closely related to the Hume’s tawny owl (Strix butleri) and the newly described Desert Tawny Owl (Strix hadorami). Image credit: Andreas Trepte, www.photo-natur.de / CC BY-SA 2.5.

A group of ornithologists led by Dr Manuel Schweizer from the Natural History Museum of Bern in Switzerland has described a new cryptic species of owl that inhabits the desert areas of Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Yemen. Strix sp. in the Judean desert of Israel, probably the Desert Tawny Owl (Strix hadorami). Image credit: © Thomas Krumenacker, www.krumenacker.de. The newly-discovered...

Physics

Physicists Create Super-Hydrophobic Metal Surfaces

A water droplet bouncing off a laser-treated platinum surface. Image credit: J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester.

A team of physicists at the University of Rochester has used lasers to make metal surfaces extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic. A water droplet bouncing off a laser-treated platinum surface. Image credit: J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester. Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However,...

Medicine

Teixobactin: Powerful New Antibiotic Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria

This scanning electron micrograph shows macrophages infected with Bacillus anthracis (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology)

A group of researchers led by Prof Kim Lewis of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, has discovered a new antibiotic that eliminates Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis and other dangerous pathogens without encountering any detectable resistance. Structure of teixobactin. Image credit: Losee L. Ling...

Genetics

Scientists Extract DNA from 45,000-Year-Old Kangaroo, Wallaby

Giant wallaby (Protemnodon anak). Image credit: Nobu Tamura / CC BY 3.0.

Australian researchers have managed to extract DNA from two extinct marsupials: a giant short-faced kangaroo (Simosthenurus occidentalis) and a giant wallaby (Protemnodon anak). Giant wallaby (Protemnodon anak). Image credit: Nobu Tamura / CC BY 3.0. “The ancient DNA reveals that extinct giant wallabies are very close relatives of large living kangaroos, such as the red and western grey kangaroos,”...

Geology

Geologists Find Rock with 30,000 Diamonds

Rare diamondiferous peridotite from the Udachnaya diamond mine. Image credit: Lawrence Taylor.

A golf-ball sized chunk of rock with at least 30,000 diamonds has been found in the Udachnaya diamond mine in Yakutia, according to a team of scientists led by Prof Larry Taylor from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Rare diamondiferous peridotite from the Udachnaya diamond mine. Image credit: Lawrence Taylor. “It is a wonder why this rock has more than 30,000 colorless, octahedral micro-diamonds...

Other Sciences

Australopithecus africanus, Other Early Hominins May Have Made, Used Stone Tools

Australopithecus africanus. Image credit: J.M Salas / CC BY-SA 3.0.

A team of scientists led by Dr Tracy Kivell of the University of Kent and University College London has found strong evidence for stone tool use among Australopithecus africanus (3 to 2 million years ago) and several Pleistocene hominins, traditionally considered not to have engaged in habitual tool manufacture. Australopithecus africanus. Image credit: J.M Salas / CC BY-SA 3.0. The distinctly human...