Astronomy

Astronomers Discover Mysterious Source of Light in Dwarf Galaxy Markarian 177

The dwarf galaxy Markarian 177 (center) and SDSS1133 (blue) lie 90 million light-years away. Image credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

A multinational group of astronomers led by Dr Michael Koss of ETH Zurich has discovered an exotic object in a galaxy some 90 million light-years away. The dwarf galaxy Markarian 177 (center) and SDSS1133 (blue) lie 90 million light-years away. Image credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The mystery object, named SDSS J113323.97+550415.8 (SDSS1133 for short), is part of the dwarf galaxy Markarian 177...

Space Exploration

Philae Records Sound of Landing, Conducts Experiments on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

The Philae lander at work on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Image credit: ESA / AOES Medialab.

An instrument called SESAME-CASSE aboard Rosetta’s 100-kg Philae lander has recorded the sound of touchdown – in the form of vibrations detected in the soles of the lander’s feet – as it first came into contact with the comet. Before going into the sleep mode, the lander has also been able to collect the ambient gases of the comet, observe the environment around it, detect organic...

Archaeology

Archaeologists Shed More Light on Colonization of Tibetan Plateau

The scientists have reported evidence from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau indicating that the first villages were established only by 5,200 years ago.

An international team of scientists has discovered extensive archaeological evidence of Neolithic farming and human habitation at altitudes above 2,000 to 3,000 meters on the Tibetan Plateau. The scientists have reported evidence from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau indicating that the first villages were established only by 5,200 years ago. “Until now, when and how humans started to live and...

Paleontology

3D Images Provide New Insights into Biology of Dodo

The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) by Frederick William Frohawk, 1905.

Using 3D laser surface scans of two skeletons of the dodo, paleontologists have reconstructed how this famous extinct bird lived, looked, and behaved. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) by Frederick William Frohawk, 1905. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The bird was first discovered by European sailors in 1598, and was...

Biology

Ten-Second Kiss Shares 80 Million Bacteria, Dutch Scientists Say

Partners who kiss each other at least nine times a day share similar communities of oral bacteria, the team says. Image credit: Skyggefotografen / CC BY 2.0.

About 80 million bacteria are transferred during a single 10-second kiss, says a group of researchers from the Netherlands. Partners who kiss each other at least nine times a day share similar communities of oral bacteria, the team says. Image credit: Skyggefotografen / CC BY 2.0. Dr Remco Kort of the TNO Microbiology and Systems Biology in Zeist and his colleagues from Micropia Museum and the VU...

Physics

Gravity May Have Saved Very Early Universe – Study

This artist's concept shows what the very early Universe might have looked like. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt / SSC.

A team of physicists from Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom, led by Dr Matti Herranen University of Copenhagen, says that the spacetime curvature – in effect, gravity – is what may have saved the Universe from collapse immediately after the Big Bang. This artist’s concept shows what the very early Universe might have looked like. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt / SSC. Some...

Medicine

Cocoa Flavanols Can Reverse Memory Loss in Older Adults

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Image credit: © Marion Beraudias.

According to a team of scientists headed by Dr Scott Small of Columbia University, flavanols – naturally occurring bioactives found in the cacao plant, tea leaves and certain fruits and vegetables – can reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Image credit: © Marion Beraudias. As people...

Genetics

Scientists Sequence Genomes of 17 World’s Oldest Living People

Misao Okawa (born on March 5, 1898) and her relatives: she is a Japanese supercentenarian who is, at the age of 116 years, the world's oldest living person; she married in 1919, has three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and now lives in Osaka. Image credit: © Guinness World Records.

U.S. genetic researchers led by Dr Stuart Kim of Stanford University have sequenced the genomes of 17 supercentenarians to see if they could uncover the genetic basis for extreme human longevity. Misao Okawa (born on March 5, 1898) and her relatives: she is a Japanese supercentenarian who is, at the age of 116 years, the world’s oldest living person; she married in 1919, has three children,...

Geology

Study Sheds More Light on Origin of Earth’s Oceans

In this illustration of the early Solar System, the dashed white line represents the snow line - the transition from the hotter inner Solar System, where water ice is not stable (brown) to the outer Solar System, where water ice is stable (blue). Image credit: Jack Cook / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

According to a team of researchers led by Dr Brian Monteleone of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Earth’s oceans have likely existed since the planet’s formation. In this illustration of the early Solar System, the dashed white line represents the snow line – the transition from the hotter inner Solar System, where water ice is not stable (brown) to the outer Solar System,...