Astronomy

Kepler-186f: Potentially Habitable Earth-like Exoplanet Found

This artistic concept shows Kepler-186f. Image credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-CalTech.

A large team of astronomers has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of Kepler-186. This artistic concept shows Kepler-186f. Image credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-CalTech. Kepler-186 is a M1-type dwarf star located in the constellation Cygnus, about 500 light years away from Earth. The star hosts at least five planets, four of which –...

Space Exploration

Peggy: Cassini Spots Birth of Saturn’s New Icy Moon

This image, taken with the Cassini's narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013, shows an extended object 10 km beyond the edge of the Saturn’s A ring. Image credit: Carl D. Murray et al.

Scientists from NASA’s Cassini mission are intrigued by the likely presence of a previously undetected small icy body within the rings of Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun. This image, taken with the Cassini’s narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013, shows an extended object 10 km beyond the edge of the Saturn’s A ring. Image credit: Carl D. Murray et al. On images of the Saturn’s...

Archaeology

New Finds at Ancient Roman City of Ostia

Newly discovered features at Ostia. Satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe Inc.

Archaeological activities at the site of the ancient city of Ostia have yielded new and exciting finds. Newly discovered features at Ostia. Satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe Inc. Archaeologists led by Prof Simon Keay from the University of Southampton and Prof Martin Millet from the University of Cambridge have discovered a new section of the boundary wall in Ostia, proving the Roman city...

Paleontology

Eocasea martini: Scientists Discover Oldest Known Ancestor of Land Herbivores

This is an artist's reconstruction of Eocasea martini. Image credit: Danielle Dufault.

Eocasea martini, a carnivorous animal that lived in what is today Kansas during Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, is the oldest known ancestor of terrestrial herbivores, say paleontologists from the University of Toronto Mississauga. This is an artist’s reconstruction of Eocasea martini. Image credit: Danielle Dufault. “The evolution of herbivory was revolutionary to life...

Biology

Chimps Prefer Nests Made of Ugandan Ironwood, New Research Finds

A male chimpanzee at the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Uganda. Image credit: © Caroline Deimel, 2012

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) select a certain type of wood to make their nests, says a team of biologists from the United States. A male chimpanzee at the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Uganda. Image credit: © Caroline Deimel, 2012 Daily construction of a nest is a universal behavior among large-bodied hominoids. Among chimpanzees, most populations select certain tree species to sleep in more frequently...

Physics

Z(4430): CERN Physicists Confirm Existence of Exotic Hadrons

The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Image credit: CERN.

Scientists from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider beauty collaboration have confirmed the unambiguous observation of the long-sought exotic hadron Z(4430), a particle that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model. The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Image credit: CERN. Hadrons are subatomic particles that can take part in the strong...

Medicine

Tarantula Venom Could Lead to New Effective Painkillers

Tarantula. Image credit: Michael Gäbler / CC BY 3.0.

Using an innovative screening method, a team of scientists from Australia and the United States has discovered a peptide in the venom of the Peruvian green velvet tarantula (Thrixopelma pruriens) that blunts activity in pain-transmitting neurons. Tarantula. Image credit: Michael Gäbler / CC BY 3.0. The novel method, named toxineering, has the potential to search millions of different spider toxins...

Genetics

Genetic Study Points to Recent Wolf-Dog Hybridization in Caucasus

Canis lupus, Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, Deutschland. Image credit: Martin Mecnarowski, www.photomecan.eu / CC BY-SA 3.0.

According to a team of genetic scientists from the Ilia State University’s Institute of Ecology in Tbilisi, Georgia, hybridization of wolves (Canis lupus) with shepherd dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in the Caucasus Mountains might be more recent than previously thought. Livestock guarding dog, upper, livestock guarding dog with the inferred wolf ancestry – first-generation hybrid, middle,...

Geology

Asteroid, Meteorite Impacts Can Preserve Biodata for Millions of Years

This image shows microbial trace fossils in 15 million-year-old impact glass from the Ries Impact Structure, Germany. Image credit: H.M Sapers et al.

In two separate studies, geologists led by Dr Haley Sapers from the University of Western Ontario and Dr Pete Schultz of Brown University have found floral, microbial and organic matter in glass created by ancient asteroid, comet and meteorite impacts. Such glass samples could provide a snapshot of environmental conditions at the time of those impacts and could be a good place to look for signs of...

Other Sciences

Bitcoin: Linguists Name Nick Szabo as Likely Creator of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin-based coin. Image credit: CASASCIUS / CC BY 3.0.

According to a team of forensic linguists from Aston University in Birmingham, UK, a mysterious creator of the digital currency Bitcoin is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger known for his research in digital currency. Bitcoin-based coin. Image credit: CASASCIUS / CC BY 3.0. Bitcoin is an internet-based currency which allows users to buy goods and services online. The payment system is supposedly easier...