Science & Technology
Charles Q. Choi
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 12:25 CST
Instead of being driven to extinction by death from above, dinosaurs might have ultimately been doomed by death from below in the form of monumental volcanic eruptions.
The suggestion is based on new research that is part of a growing body of evidence indicating a space rock alone did not wipe out the giant reptiles.
|©Nicolle Rager, National Science Foundation
|New research suggests that volcanoes that erupted between 63 million to 67 million years ago may have contributed to a mass dinosaur extinction.
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:42 CST
What may be the oldest documented mural in the Americas has been found inside a 4,000-year-old temple near the Peruvian coast, researchers reported yesterday.
The discovery, made by Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva in a looted site known as Ventarrón, is located in Peru's Lambayeque valley, some 500 miles (804 kilometers) from the capital, Lima.
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:36 CST
We could have alien origins, say scientists who sent fossilized microscopic life-forms into space and back inside an artificial meteorite.
The researchers attached the baseball-size rock to the outside of the European Space Agency's Foton M3 spacecraft to test whether biological material could survive the round-trip journey.
Sculpted from stone from the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland, the rock contained fossilized microbes and the molecular signatures of microbes.
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 10:19 CST
Chemical and archaeological evidence has pushed back the earliest known use of cacao, the key ingredient of chocolate, by 500 years.
The chemical compound, theobromine, which only occurs in the cacao plant, has been found on pottery vessels dating back to as early as 1000 BC.
Experts say the vessels were used to serve a fermented cacao drink that was made from the sweet pulp of the plant.
The vessels were unearthed at sites in Puerto Escondido, Honduras.
Mon, 12 Nov 2007 09:40 CST
Hollywood thrillers such as
|Artist's concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact
Deep Impact helped to jump-start America's interest in knowing what our "deflection strategy" would be if a giant asteroid was on a potentially catastrophic collision course with Earth.
Mon, 12 Nov 2007 09:30 CST
Stargazers will be in seventh heaven when one of the most spectacular sights in the night sky becomes visible above Paisley.
And, to make the outlook even brighter, Buddies won't even need binoculars or telescopes to identify the celestial wanderer.
They'll see it all with the naked eye.
|©Sky and Telescope
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:25 CST
Using an extremely sensitive measurement technique, researchers at the University of Illinois have found clear evidence that a lead-specific DNAzyme uses the "lock and key" reaction mechanism. In the presence of zinc or magnesium, however, the same DNAzyme uses the "induced fit" reaction mechanism, similar to that used by ribozymes.
"The lock and key mechanism explains why this particular lead-specific DNAzyme makes such a sensitive and selective sensor," said U. of I. chemistry professor Yi Lu, a corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in Nature Chemical Biology, and posted on the journal's Web site.
"Understanding the relationship between conformational change and reaction is important in obtaining deeper insight into how DNAzymes work and for designing more efficient sensors," said Lu, who also is a researcher in the university's department of biochemistry, the Beckman Institute, and the Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems.
Mon, 12 Nov 2007 23:52 CST
The leaders of veteran allies Russia and India agreed Monday to launch a joint unmanned mission to the moon during Kremlin talks on boosting military and trade ties.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the plan after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during which the two discussed projects for a more than twofold increase in trade by the end of the decade.
"The symbol of our cooperation is the joint agreement to send an unpiloted space ship to the moon for scientific investigation," Singh said in comments broadcast on Russian state television after the meeting.
Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:45 CST
Jupiter is known as many things: king of the planets, an impressive gas giant, defender of the inner solar system. This last notion comes from the idea that Jupiter is so massive that its gravitational influence deflects objects like comets, which, as they spiral toward the Sun, could potentially hit inner planets such as the Earth.
|Comet impacts pose a serious threat to life on Earth.
Sun, 11 Nov 2007 20:26 CST
From tropical storm to hurricane to nor'easter, the short but troubled life of Noel made headlines along the Eastern seaboard over the last two weeks.
Here in South Florida, Noel took a huge bite out of the beaches, removing an estimated 12,000 truckloads of sand. Along the coastline of New England, Noel made history, generating waves 45 feet high along the Georgian Bank, 6 feet higher than those measured during the famous "Perfect Storm" of October 1991. Noel's waves were the highest recorded at the buoy since online records began in 1984.
The swamped buoy in the Georgian Bank is one of dozens deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea that track wave heights, record sea-surface temperature and provide a variety of real-time weather data.