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Often it’s the most minute scientific measurements that are the most important, and researchers have developed a new, super-small device that’s capable of detecting magnetic fields even when they’re extremely faint.   The device, a new kind of superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), is just 10 nanometres high, or around a thousandth of the thickness of a
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“Zombie” wildfires that were smoldering beneath the Arctic ice all winter suddenly flared to life this summer when the snow and ice above it melted, new monitoring data reveal.   And this year has been the worst for Arctic wildfires on record, since reliable monitoring began 17 years ago. Arctic fires this summer released as much carbon in the
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Two hundred ancient mammoth skeletons have been discovered beneath an airport construction site north of Mexico City – the largest collection of mammoth bones ever found. Archaeologists at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History first realised the area might hide mammoth remains after they found two human-dug mammoth traps in November as part of
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Our natural inclination to help others in need runs extremely deep within our mammalian heritage – there’s many examples of altruism in primates and it’s even been demonstrated in mice.   This generosity, prevalent across human cultures, has psychological and health benefits for us all as individuals. Now researchers have also found evidence that generosity helps people in societies
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You’d think a plant scientist would feel at home on a farm, but Neil Stewart was used to working with potatoes, not human cadavers.  Fascinated by environmental contaminants, Stewart was on tour at the University of Tennessee’s ‘body farm’ – more formally known as the Anthropology Research Facility – where forensic anthropologists study the effects
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Modern-day drone sensors can sometimes detect what’s invisible to the human eye, such as the remains of a historical city called Etzanoa or the ‘Great Settlement’ in the fields of Wichita, Kansas – remains that have been buried for hundreds of years.   Researchers think they’ve found what’s known as a ‘council circle’ monument in Etzanoa, and
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A bubble of methane gas, swelling beneath Siberia’s melting permafrost for who knows how long, has burst open to form an impressive 50-metre-deep (164-foot-deep) crater. The giant hole was first spotted by a TV crew flying overhead, and, according to The Siberian Times, when scientists went to investigate, they found chunks of ice and rock thrown hundreds
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There is no doubt that Australia’s Black Summer last year was absolutely devastating. Fires across the country burnt through 186,000 square kilometres (72,000 square miles) of land, killing 34 people, while billions of animals were affected.     But there’s something particularly chilling about seeing the end results of the blaze. Australian aerial analysis company Geospatial
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The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which hold enough frozen water to lift oceans 65 metres, are tracking the UN’s worst-case scenarios for sea level rise, researchers said Monday, highlighting flaws in current climate change models.   Mass loss from 2007 to 2017 due to melt-water and crumbling ice aligned almost perfectly with the Intergovernmental
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Animals have been hibernating for a long, long time, a new study shows. Researchers have analysed 250 million-year-old fossils and found evidence that the pig-sized mammal relation, a genus called Lystrosaurus, hibernated much like bears and bats do today.   Finding signs of shifts in metabolism rates in fossils is just about impossible under normal conditions –
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Songbirds in tropical rainforests curtail their reproduction to help them survive droughts, according to a study Monday. Species with longer lifespans were better able to cope with this environmental volatility than previously thought, researchers found.   With more record hot spells gripping parts of the planet and biodiversity threatened by human encroachment on habitats, a
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Plants have a seemingly effortless skill – turning sunlight into energy – and scientists have been working to artificially emulate this photosynthesis process. The ultimate benefits for renewable energy could be huge – and a new approach based on ‘photosheets’ could be the most promising attempt we’ve seen so far.   The new device takes CO2, water, and