Science & Technology


Roman horse skeletons, chariot unearthed in Greece

Archaeologists have dug up the skeletons of 16 horses and a two-wheeled chariot in a grave dating back to the Roman Empire in north-east Greece, the culture ministry announced.


Hubble's Sweeping View Of The Coma Galaxy Cluster

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the magnificent starry population of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies, one of the densest known galaxy collections in the Universe.

©NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Acknowledgment: M. Carter (Liverpool John Moores University) and the Coma HST ACS Treasury Team
The Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys viewed a large portion of the cluster, spanning several million light-years across. The entire cluster contains thousands of galaxies in a spherical shape more than 20 million light-years in diameter.


Fossils Found In Tibet Revise History Of Elevation, Climate

About 15,000 feet up on Tibet's desolate Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau, an international research team led by Florida State University geologist Yang Wang was surprised to find thick layers of ancient lake sediment filled with plant, fish and animal fossils typical of far lower elevations and warmer, wetter climates.

©Associate Professor Yang Wang, Florida State University Department of Geological Sciences
Kunlun Mountain Pass Basin, Tibetan Plateau


Woolly Mammoth Gene Study Changes Extinction Theory

A large genetic study of the extinct woolly mammoth has revealed that the species was not one large homogenous group, as scientists previously had assumed, and that it did not have much genetic diversity.

frozen mammoth remains
©Mammuthus lab Khatanga/Tom Gilbert
Partially frozen mammoth remains, containing preserved muscle tissue and hair.


New Properties Discovered In Entire Class Of Non-magnetic Materials

A team of Penn State researchers has shown for the first time that the entire class of non-magnetic materials, such as those used in some computer components, could have considerably more uses than scientists had thought. The findings are important because they reveal previously unknown information about the structure of these materials, expanding the number of properties that they potentially could have. A material's properties, such as electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, are what determine its usefulness. The research will be published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

©Sava Denev, Penn State
A non-magnetic lattice, shown in Figure A, can have the same symmetry as a magnetic lattice, shown in Figure B. Both lattices, in this case, are described as having the point group symmetry that the scientists call 4'mm'.

Magic Wand

Researchers Devise Plan To Squeeze Water From Rock

Water from rock, easier than blood from stone

Gypsum, a rocky mineral is abundant in desert regions where fresh water is usually in very short supply but oil and gas fields are common. Writing in International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Peter van der Gaag of the Holland Innovation Team, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has hit on the idea of using the untapped energy from oil and gas flare-off to release the water locked in gypsum.


Ransomware: Malware Armageddon approaches

Some day soon, you may go in and turn on your Windows PC and find your most valuable files locked up righter than Fort Knox.

You'll also see this message appear on your screen:

"Your files are encrypted with RSA-1024 algorithm.
To recovery your files you need to buy our decryptor.
To buy decrypting tool contact us at: ********"

That's right, ransomware is back and it promises to be nastier than ever.


Washing machine that uses just a cup of water

A washing machine that cleans clothes by pounding them with plastic chips could save billions of litres of water a year, its inventors claim.

The Xeros uses less than 2 per cent of the water - and energy - of a conventional model and leaves clothes almost dry, doing away with the need for a tumble drier.

The machine uses thousands of reusable plastic chips to remove and absorb dirt. Tests have shown the machine can shift virtually all types of everyday stains, according to a team at Leeds University.


Big Bang at the atomic lab after scientists get their maths wrong

A £2 billion project to answer some of the biggest mysteries of the universe has been delayed by months after scientists building it made basic errors in their mathematical calculations.

The mistakes led to an explosion deep in the tunnel at the Cern particle accelerator complex near Geneva in Switzerland. It lifted a 20-ton magnet off its mountings, filling a tunnel with helium gas and forcing an evacuation.

Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider


Rocket blasts off to deliver gamma ray telescope into orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - An unmanned Delta rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday to put a gamma ray telescope into orbit to probe the most energetic form of light.

GLAST spacecraft
The GLAST spacecraft and Delta II rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, June 11, 2008.

Gamma rays are millions to hundreds of billions of times more powerful that what can be seen with the unaided eye.

This type of radiation is produced by the most violent phenomena in the universe, such as the gravitational clamps of black holes and the magnetic fields of star cores so dense with matter that a tablespoon would weigh a billion tons.