Astronomy

Astronomers Spot Two Colliding Galaxies in Distant Universe

H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836, an object seen by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck-II telescope on Hawaii with the help of a gravitational lens. In this image one can see the foreground galaxy that is doing the lensing, which resembles how our Milky Way Galaxy would appear if seen edge-on; but around this galaxy there is an almost complete ring - the smeared out image of a star-forming galaxy merger far beyond. Image credit: ESO / NASA / ESA / W. M. Keck Observatory.

A multinational team of astronomers, led by Dr Hugo Messias of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile and the Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal, has discovered an extremely distant pair of merging galaxies named H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836 (H1429-0028 for short) with help of a gravitational lens. H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836, an object seen by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck-II telescope on Hawaii...

Space Exploration

U.S. Planetary Scientist Creates New Map of Triton

Colorized map of Triton based on Voyager 2 images. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Lunar & Planetary Institute.

On August 25, 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft passed within about 40,000 km of Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune. In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of this event, Dr Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston has created a new high-resolution global map of the icy moon. Colorized map of Triton based on Voyager 2 images. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech...

Archaeology

3,700-Year-Old Canaanite Wine Cellar Reveals Sophisticated Winemaking

These jars were unearthed in a palace in the Canaanite city of Tel Kabri. Image credit: Eric Cline / George Washington University.

According to a team of archaeologists who have analyzed samples from about 40 large wine jars found in a 3,700-year-old Canaanite royal wine cellar at the archaeological site of Tel Kabri in Israel, Canaanite winemakers used honey, cedar oil, cyperus, juniper, storax resin, terebinth resin, and possibly mint, myrtle and cinnamon, as additives to wine for flavor enhancement. Ruins of the 3,700-year-old...

Paleontology

560-Million-Year-Old Fossil Provides Earliest Evidence of Muscles

Artistic reconstruction of Haootia quadriformis. Scale bar - 10 mm. Image credit: Martin Brasier.

Paleontologists Dr Martin Brasier of the University of Oxford and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dr Alexander Liu of the University of Cambridge and their colleagues have uncovered the fossil of a muscle-bearing organism that thrived in what is now Newfoundland in Canada during the Ediacaran period, about 560 million years ago. Artistic reconstruction of Haootia quadriformis. Scale bar...

Biology

Aquitanian Pike: New Fish Species Discovered in France

The Aquitanian pike (Esox aquitanicus), holotype specimen. Image credit: G.P.J. Denys et al.

French ichthyologists led by Dr Philippe Keith of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris have described a new species of pike from the Charente to the Adour drainages of France. The Aquitanian pike (Esox aquitanicus), holotype specimen. Image credit: G.P.J. Denys et al. In France, pike is considered by default to be Esox lucius, a species commonly known as the Northern pike. The fish is...

Physics

Physics Law Helps Explain Evolution of Passenger Airplanes

According to Prof Adrian Bejan, the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft went the way of the dodo - it hit an evolutionary cul-de-sac. This image shows the British Airways Concorde in 1986. Image credit: Eduard Marmet / CC BY-SA 3.0.

A new study, published in the Journal of Applied Physics, uses a now-famous law of physics called the Constructal law to witness the evolution of airplane designs over time and predict the future of aerospace design. According to Prof Adrian Bejan, the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft went the way of the dodo – it hit an evolutionary cul-de-sac. This image shows the British Airways...

Medicine

Retooling for Human Gene Therapy: New and Improved Adenoviral Vectors

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus. Image credit: Dr G. William Gary, Jr. / CDC.

Dr Juliana Small of the University of Pennsylvania, Drs Raj Kurupati, Xianqyang Zhou and their colleagues from the Wistar Institute have developed a novel adenoviral vector for delivery of multiple transgenes. Gene therapy using an adenovirus vector: a new gene is injected into an adenovirus vector, which is used to introduce the modified DNA into a human cell; if the treatment is successful, the...

Genetics

DNA Study Shines New Light on Rabbit Domestication

The European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus. Image credit: J.J. Harrison / CC BY-SA 3.0.

According to genetic researchers headed by Prof Leif Andersson of Texas A&M University, Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the genes responsible for the development of the brain and the nervous system were important for domestication of the wild rabbit. The European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus. Image credit: J.J. Harrison / CC BY-SA 3.0. Scientists believe domestication...

Geology

Tasmania, Western North America were Once Neighbors, Finds New Research

Mount Wellington and Hobart Town from Kangaroo Point (Tasmania), by John Glover, 1834.

According to a new study led by Dr Joanne Whittaker of the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, the Australia’s island state, Tasmania, and the U.S. states of Idaho, Montana, the Canadian province of British Columbia, were close geographical neighbors about 1.4 billion years ago in the Mesoproterozoic supercontinent Columbia (also known as Nuna or Hudsonland). Mount...

Other Sciences

Scientists Develop Transparent Solar Concentrator

This image shows a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image credit: Yimu Zhao.

The newly developed transparent luminescent solar concentrator can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface, says a group of scientists led by Dr Richard Lunt of Michigan State University. This image shows a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image credit: Yimu Zhao. Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent...