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Thu, 11 Feb 2016
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Don't tell the Banderites! Genetic tests show Ukrainians and Russians are the same

A leading representative of the scientific study of "DNA genealogy", doctor of chemical sciences, Professor of Moscow State University and Harvard University, Anatole Klyosov, gave an exclusive interview to KM.RU, in which he refuted claims about genetic differences between Russians and Ukrainians.

Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians are a set of the same genera

The nationalist school of west Ukraine promotes the idea that Russians and Ukrainians are closely related people. This view is "based" on the fact that although once a long time ago the Russians and resettled from the territory of modern Ukraine, they then allegedly heavily intermingled with the representatives of the Mongoloid race and ceased to be Slavs.

There is practically no truth in this statement. Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians are a set of the same genera, and are the same people from a genetic point of view. The origins they have also almost the same. The ethnic Russians are of three main kinds: R1a, I and N. The haplogroup R1a are 48% of Russians and 45% of Ukrainians. Haplogroup I are 22% Russians and 24% Ukrainians. Depending on the sample, these figures vary up to 4%.


NASA released 360-degree view of Mars from perspective of Curiosity rover

If you want to go to Mars, you should probably hurry up and apply to be an astronaut. But if you want to explore Mars, there's another (much easier) way. The video above gives you a 360-degree view of Mars from the perspective of NASA's Curiosity rover.

The video is made from stitched-together images taken by the rover on Dec. 18. You can see the still version here. According to NASA, the image shows the downwind face of Namib Dune. Curiosity is investigating these dunes — the first studied anywhere other than Earth — on its way to Mount Sharp. Namib is about 23 feet away from the rover in the video and rises about 16 feet off the ground.

Orbiter photos suggest that the dunes in this field move as much as three feet every Earth year.

Launched in 2012, the Curiosity rover had a two-year primary science mission. At this point it has just about doubled its expected lifespan and will continue to carry out scientific missions indefinitely.


'We proved Einstein right!': Gravitational waves confirmed in breakthrough research

© Michael Koppitz / aei
Gravitational waves are invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time caused by the movement of dense objects, like black holes. These waves spread out across the universe but have never been seen by scientists. Fresh rumours, however, suggest detectors in the US have picked up signals that may be gravitational waves
Scientists at Washington's National Science Foundation and Moscow State University have confirmed the discovery of Albert Einstein's gravitational waves. The breakthrough, possibly the biggest in physics in a century, could be the key to new understanding of the universe. Recent rumors of the success in detecting gravitational waves, or as some scientists put it "very weak space-time wiggles which propagate at the speed of light" were officially confirmed Thursday.

These ripples in the fabric of space-time are one of the most important variables in Einstein's theory of relativity and it took astronomers decades to detect them, although they were pretty sure that gravitational waves existed.

Comment: About a hundred years ago, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, but until now, they were undetectable.See also:Gravity Probe B Confirms Two of Einstein's Space-Time Theories


Newborn star puts on a stunning light show

© European Southern Observatory
A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional, potentially scene-stealing, future stars.
The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. These objects are clouds of cosmic dust that reflect light from a nearby star into space, creating a stunning light show like the one captured here. IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, a large region of gas and dust clouds that harbours numerous newborn and still-forming stars. The complex lies about 500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon.

IC 2631 is illuminated by the star HD 97300, one of the youngest — as well as most massive and brightest — stars in its neighbourhood. This region is full of star-making material, which is made evident by the presence of dark nebulae noticeable above and below IC 2631 in this picture. Dark nebulae are so dense with gas and dust that they prevent the passage of background starlight.


Scientists find new cause of strong earthquakes

© Christelle Wauthier/Penn State
Nyiragongo volcano (2002)
A geologic event known as diking can cause strong earthquakes -- with a magnitude between 6 and 7, according to an international research team.

Diking can occur all over the world but most often occurs in areas where the Earth's tectonic plates are moving apart, such as Iceland, Hawaii and parts of Africa in the East African Rift System. As plates spread apart, magma from beneath the Earth's surface rises into the space, forming vertical magma intrusions, known as dikes. The dike pushes on the surrounding rocks, creating strain.

"Diking is a known phenomenon, but it has not been observed by geophysical techniques often," said Christelle Wauthier, assistant professor of geosciences, Penn State who led the study. "We know it's linked with rift opening and it has implications on plate tectonics. Here, we see that it also could pose hazards to nearby communities."

The team investigated ties between two natural disasters from 2002 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East African Rift System. On Jan. 17, the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, killing more than 100 people and leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. Eight months later a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the town of Kalehe, which is 12 miles from the Nyiragongo volcano. Several people died during the Oct. 24 earthquake, and Kalehe was inundated with water from nearby Lake Kivu.

"The Kalehe earthquake was the largest recorded in the Lake Kivu area, and we wanted to find out whether it was coincidence that, eight months before the earthquake, Nyiragongo erupted," said Wauthier.

The researchers used a remote sensing technique, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, to measure changes to the Earth's surface before and after both natural disasters.

Fireball 2

NASA unsure how close enormous asteroid 2013 TX68 will come to Earth on March 5th

© AFP 2016/HO/NASA
This artist's rendition released 20 April, 2005 by NASA shows a massive asteroid belt in orbit around a star the same age and size as our Sun.
A sizable asteroid is set to rocket past Earth next month, and scientists, while confident it will not strike our planet, are nonetheless unsure how close it will actually come.

Discovered two years ago, near-Earth object 2013 TX68 is roughly the size of a basketball court; fairly small, as asteroids go. TX68 is locked in an orbit that brings it near our planet every few years.

The next transit is expected to occur March 5. How close will it come to Earth? Scientists aren't exactly sure.

"The variation in possible closest-approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery," NASA officials said in a statement released Wednesday.

While there's no risk of impact, the asteroid could come as close as 11,000 miles from Earth, or inside the orbit of many satellites. For comparison, the Moon is 238,900 miles from Earth.

On the other extreme end of the scale, TX68's transit could occur 9 million miles away.

Ice Cube

Researchers successfully thaw rabbit brain from cryogenic storage

A rabbit's brain has been successfully returned from long-term cryogenic storage, marking the first time a whole mammalian brain has been recovered in near-perfect condition.

It marks a significant breakthrough in the field of cryonics and boosts the prospect of one day bringing frozen human brains back to life.

Researchers from 21st Century Medicine (21CM) used a new technique called Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation that filled the vascular system of the rabbit brain with chemicals that would allow it to be cooled to -211 degrees Fahrenheit (-135 degrees Celsius). When it was thawed, the cell membranes, synapses, and intracellular structures remained intact.

The researchers' findings, recently published in the journal Cryobiology, were recognized by the Brain Preservation Foundation, which awarded 21CM the $26,735 Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize.


The Russians engineer an ATV that can 'walk on water'

Russia’s SHERP ATV
Would you like to go wherever the hell you want? Using its self-inflated tires, Russia's SHERP ATV can give you that pleasure. It will climb over obstacles as tall as 27.5 inches, swim with ease, turn like a tank and look awesome in any situation for only $49,000 worth of Rubles.

The SHERP is Alexei Garagashyan's brilliant invention. It weighs just 2,866 pounds dry, so while it might only have a 44.3 horsepower 1.5 liter Kubota V1505 four-cylinder diesel linked to a five-speed manual, it will still do 28 mph on land, or 3.7 mph in water, depending on the wind. It will also crawl at up to 9.3 mph in first gear.

With its giant custom tires and the skid-steer, it can also turn in its own length, which is 11 feet. And as long as the trees ahead are at least 8.2 feet apart, this crazy two seater will find a way through them.


Dialects found to distinguish wolf species

© Time Davis/Corbis
Wolf species have distinctive howling repertoires that function like dialects, finds the biggest study ever done on canid howling.

A research team from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain and India ran more than 2,000 different recorded howls from 13 canid species and subspecies (the canid family includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs) through a software algorithm that boiled them down to 21 howl types (depending on pitch and other characteristics).

They found that different wolf species use the howl types in ways that are specific to them. Timber wolves, for example, use a preponderance of low, flat howls, as opposed to higher vocals used by red wolves.

The scientists said their findings could aid in conservation efforts. For example, while most of the vocal dialects they studied were distinct enough between species to prevent confusion, a few were so similar that they could help fuel interbreeding between different species.

Comment: Also see Wolves identify each other by howl


Hundreds of undiscovered galaxies found behind the Milky Way

An annotated artist's impression showing radio waves travelling from the new galaxies, then passing through the Milky Way and arriving at the Parkes radio telescope on Earth (not to scale).
Our Milky Way may be beautiful, but it sure can ruin our view of the cosmos.

Now, astronomers have just taken a peek behind the mess of stars and dust to find a veritable galactic zoo in a previously unexplored region of space. But we're not talking about just one or two galaxies; researchers have applied a new survey technique using the Australia-based Parkes radio telescope to find hundreds of undiscovered galaxies.

"The Milky Way is very beautiful of course and it's very interesting to study our own galaxy but it completely blocks out the view of the more distant galaxies behind it," said Lister Staveley-Smith, of The University of Western Australia and International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

A total of 883 galaxies have been identified within 250 million light-years from Earth, a third of which have never been seen before. They are all located in the "Zone of Avoidance", a region of space usually inaccessible to telescopes beyond the Milky Way's galactic bulge.