Science & Technology
Sat, 18 Aug 2007 09:16 CDT
Observations of a distant galaxy cluster collision reveal a core of invisible matter devoid of glittering galaxies-something that is hard to explain by current theories.
The invisible stuff is what astronomers call dark matter. They don't know what it is, but they know it exists because of its gravitational effects on normal matter and light.
If confirmed, the new results could force scientists to rethink their ideas about how dark matter behaves, or even conjure up a whole new class of dark matter. But scientists say they will await further confirmation before taking such radical steps.
Sat, 18 Aug 2007 09:12 CDT
A mystery corpse found in a house in 1989 was identified Friday as Lillian Jean O'Dare, a woman who vanished nearly 30 years ago, thanks to a new DNA technique, police said.
Investigators used a new development in DNA science called "Mini-STR" that allows identification of human remains by using extremely tiny amounts of cell tissue, they said.
O'Dare, who police believe was murdered, had been sought for five years by a special joint police task force investigating the disappearance of some 65 women, mostly drug addicts working as prostitutes, from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Sat, 18 Aug 2007 08:53 CDT
Paleontologists in Russia's Volga area said Friday they have discovered the fossilized skeleton of a Jurassic-period fin lizard of the pliosaur family.
Geologist Vladimir Yefimov said scientists in the Ulyanovsk Region had so far discovered the reptile's paw and needed funding to excavate the whole 120-150 million-year-old skeleton. He said the specimen was the oldest reptile to be found in the region.
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 20:07 CDT
WASHINGTON - Chemical elements observed around a burned-out star known as a white dwarf offer evidence Earth-like planets once orbited it, suggesting that worlds like our own may not be rare in the cosmos, scientists said on Thursday.
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 16:04 CDT
What happens in our brains when we learn and remember? Are memories recorded in a stable physical change, like writing an inscription permanently on a clay tablet?
Prof. Yadin Dudai, Head of the Weizmann Institute's Neurobiology Department, and his colleagues are challenging that view. They recently discovered that the process of storing long-term memories is much more dynamic, involving a miniature molecular machine that must run constantly to keep memories going. They also found that jamming the machine briefly can erase long-term memories. Their findings, which appeared August 16 in the journal Science, may pave the way to future treatments for memory problems.
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 13:23 CDT
A recent study showed that the U.S. and China are the nations most vulnerable to a devastating meteorite strike. With funding uncertain, astronomers are struggling to contain the threat of a civilization-ending galactic visitor.
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 01:43 CDT
The North Atlantic is stirring fitfully. A new monitoring system has shown that the ocean's currents change rapidly, surging or slowing from one week to the next. That makes it difficult to judge whether they really are slowing down over the long term, as one study has suggested.
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 22:25 CDT
A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:53 CDT
This incredible picture shows a star with an unusual trait - a glowing, comet-like tail which extends an incredible 13 light years back into space.
The star itself, called Mira, is about 350 light years from Earth.
As the star hurtles through space its tail is shedding carbon, oxygen and other important elements needed to form new stars, planets and possibly even life.
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 11:24 CDT
It resembles a hand-held electric razor and is available in metallic pink, electric blue, titanium silver and black pearl.
But it gives out a 50,000-volt jolt that short-circuits brain signals and momentarily incapacitates.