Washington, March 6 - Researchers studying 3000-year-old skeletons from the oldest known cemetery in the Pacific Islands have cast new light on the diet and lives of the enigmatic Lapita people - likely ancestors of Polynesians.
Their results-obtained from analysing stable isotope ratios of three elements in the bone collagen of 49 adults buried at the Teouma archaeological site on Vanuatu's Efate Island-suggest that its early Lapita settlers ate reef fish, marine turtles, fruit bats, free-range pigs and chickens, rather than primarily relying on growing crops for human food and animal fodder.
Washington, March 6 - Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's (ESA's) XMM-Newton to show a supermassive black hole six billion light-years from Earth is spinning extremely rapidly.
Black holes are defined by just two simple characteristics: mass and spin. While astronomers have long been able to measure black hole masses very effectively, determining their spins has been much more difficult.
Washington, March 6 - A team of Michigan State University computer scientists led by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alum Anil Jain have built the first three-dimensional model of a human fingerprint.
This development will not only help today's fingerprint-matching technology do its job better, but could eventually lead to improvements in security, according to information posted on MSU website.
What Jain, a University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, and his team did was develop a method that takes a two-dimensional image of a fingerprint and maps it to a 3-D finger surface.
Washington, Mar 5 - A giant asteroid, 100 feet wide, is set to fly past Earth early Wednesday evening, soaring fewer than 218,000 miles from our planet, which is slightly closer than the orbit of the moon itself.
Called asteroid 2014 DX110, the extraterrestrial visitor will stay a safe distance away from our planet, experts said.
But as it barrels by at 33,000 miles per hour, the comet will present quite a spectacle. You'll be able to watch the flyby in a live webcast directly through the website of the Slooh space telescope, as well as the VirtualTelescope. com site, Fox News reported.
Washington, March 5 - A new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy ESO 137-001, framed against a bright background as it moves through the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 3627, which is violently ripping the spiral's entrails out into space, leaving bright blue streaks behind.
This new Hubble image shows ESO 137-001, a galaxy located in the southern constellation of Triangulum Australe .
The streaks are actually hot young stars, encased in wispy streams of gas that are being torn away from the galaxy by its surroundings as it moves through space.
This violent galactic disrobing is due to a process known as ram pressure stripping - a drag force felt by an object moving through a fluid.
Washington, March 4 - Researchers have discovered a potentially clean and inexpensive way to convert carbon dioxide to methanol, a key ingredient to produce plastics, adhesives and solvents - and a promising fuel for transportation.
Scientists from the Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Technical University of Denmark combined theory and experimentation to identify a new nickel-gallium catalyst that converts hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol with fewer side-products than the conventional catalyst.
The results are published in the March online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry.
New York, March 3 - Here comes a potentially clean and low-cost way to convert carbon dioxide into methanol - a key ingredient in the production of plastics, adhesives and solvents and a promising fuel for the future.
Scientists have identified a new nickel-gallium catalyst that converts hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol with fewer side-products than the conventional catalyst.
"Methanol is processed in huge factories at very high pressures using hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from natural gas," said Felix Studt, a staff scientist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, US.
We are looking for materials than can make methanol from clean sources under low-pressure conditions, while generating low amounts of carbon monoxide, he said.
New York, March 2 - The Earth's gravity, or the lack of it, surely affects us in more ways than one, and some of them in unexpected manner - for instance the expression of genes.
In the case of cancer, some tumours are much less aggressive in the micro-gravity environment of space compared to their behaviour on earth, researchers have found.
The observation can help scientists understand the mechanism involved and develop drugs targeting tumours that do not respond to current treatments.
Washington, March 2 - A giant sunspot - a magnetically strong and complex region on the sun's surface - has appeared for the third time over the sun's horizon. This is the third trip for this region across the face of the sun, which takes approximately 27 days to make a complete rotation.
Scientists track sunspots that are part of active regions, which often produce large explosions on the sun such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.
Washington, March 1 - Researchers have discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine.
The viruses in the fecal sample are phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, rather than infecting eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi.
Washington, March 1 - Researchers have used a new technique to analyze the gaseous atmospheres of such extrasolar planets and have made the first detection of water in the atmosphere of the Jupiter-mass planet orbiting the nearby star tau Bootis.
Scientists have previously detected water vapor on a handful of other planets, but these detections could only take place under very specific circumstances, says graduate student Alexandra Lockwood, the first author of the study.
Washington, March 1 - NASA's Aqua satellite has shown the mostly frozen state of the Great Lakes on Feb. 19. On that date, ice spanned 80.3 percent of the lakes, according to NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The ice reached an even greater extent on Feb. 13, when it covered about 88 percent of the Great Lakes - coverage not achieved since 1994, when ice spanned over 90 percent. In addition to this year, ice has covered more than 80 percent of the lakes in only five other years since 1973.
Washington, Feb 28 - A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, has been launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan to measure global rain and snow.
"With this launch, we have taken another giant leap in providing the world with an unprecedented picture of our planet's rain and snow," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, said.
"GPM will help us better understand our ever-changing climate, improve forecasts of extreme weather events like floods, and assist decision makers around the world to better manage water resources," he said.
Washington, Feb 28 : So far no device had been able to mimic the complex motion of specialised muscles, such as that of the human heart. But that's going to change now.
A team of researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute has developed a bio-inspired actuated material that mimics the complex motion of the heart muscle and could lead to better implantable medical devices and flexible robots.
Rather than a simple pumping action, a human heart circulates blood as if it were wringing a towel.
The bottom of the heart twists as it contracts in an anti-clockwise direction while the top twists clockwise.
Washington, Feb 28 - A team of astronomers from Australia and America have found a new superpowered small black hole, named MQ1, in nearby galaxy M83.
It is the first object of its kind to be studied in this much detail.
Astronomers have found a few compact objects that are as powerful as MQ1, but have not been able to work out the size of the black hole contained within them until now.
The team observed the MQ1 system with multiple telescopes and discovered that it is a standard-sized small black hole, rather than a slightly bigger version that was theorized to account for all its power.
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