Science News

'Best-ever' global color map of Neptune's strange Moon 'Triton' constructed

'Best-ever' global color map of Neptune's strange Moon 'Triton' constructedWashington, Aug 22 - Scientist has developed a new color map of Neptune's Strange Moon Triton with the help of historic footage of Triton captured by NASA's Voyager 2.

The map, produced by Paul Schenk, a scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, has also been used to make a movie recreating that historic Voyager encounter, which took place 25 years ago, on August 25, 1989.


Electric Sparks may have changed nature of moon's soil

Electric Sparks may have changed nature of moon's soil Washington, Aug 22 - A new study has revealed that electric sparking might have altered the nature of lunar soil in its coldest craters.


'Cyborg moths' come closer to reality

'Cyborg moths' come closer to realityWashington, Aug 21 : Scientists have developed methods for electronically manipulating the flight muscles of moths and for monitoring the electrical signals moths use to control those muscles.

According to the researchers at North Carolina State University, these methods would make it possible for them to develop remotely-controlled moths, or "biobots," for use in emergency response.


Mass spotting of UFO in skies near NASA

Mass spotting of UFO in skies near NASANew York, August 21 - Several people reported seeing a ring of blinking lights in the sky in Texas during a recent lightning storm and have claimed that it was a UFO.

A lot of pictures and videos have been circulated on social networking sites and the best footage was recorded by Houston musician Andrew Pena, who he was videoing the spectacular lightning show while driving, the New York Post reported.

In the video, a circle of brightly colored lights is seen moving around in the sky and UFO-logists have called it "amazing".


Greenland, Antarctic ice sheets losing volume

Greenland, Antarctic ice sheets losing volumeWashington, Aug 21 - A new study has observed the changes in the altitude of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers.

Dr. Veit Helm, glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, said that the new elevation maps were snapshots of the current state of the ice sheets and the elevations were very accurate, to just a few metres in height, and cover close to 16 million km of the area of the ice sheets. This was 500,000 square kilometres more than any previous elevation model from altimetry.


Mystery behind worms' 'wriggling' revealed

Mystery behind worms' 'wriggling' revealedWashington, Aug 20 : A new study has helped uncover how worms wriggle and move even though they do not have brain to communicate with the body.

Dr. Paolo Paoletti from University of Liverpool alongside his colleague at Harvard, Professor L Mahadevan, has developed a mathematical model for earthworms and insect larvae which challenges the traditional view of how these soft bodied animals get around.

The researchers hypothesised that there was a far greater role for the body's mechanical properties and the local nerves which react to the surface that the animal is travelling across.


Marine life inspires camouflage system

Marine life inspires camouflage systemHouston: Soon put your cell phone down on a table and watch it fade into the woodwork, thanks to a new technology.

Researchers have developed a technology that allows a material to automatically read its environment and adapt to mimic its surroundings such as changing its colour for camouflage, an advance that holds valuable defence applications.

Cunjiang Yu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston and lead author of the paper, said the optoelectronic camouflage system was inspired by the skins of cephalopods.


Immune system becomes 'confused' during spaceflight

Immune system becomes 'confused' during spaceflight Washington, Aug 18 : A new study has revealed that spaceflight may temporarily alter the immune system of crew members flying long duration missions aboard the International Space Station , leaving it "confused".

According to the findings of two NASA collaborative investigations, the distribution of immune cells in the blood of crew members aboard the space station is relatively unchanged during flight, however, some cell function is significantly lower than normal, or depressed, and some cell activity is heightened.


Magpies are no trinket thieves

Magpies are no trinket thievesWashington, August 16 - A new study has shown that contrary to folklore, magpies are not attracted to shiny objects and don't routinely steal small trinkets such as jewellery.

According to psychologists at the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, the species is actually frightened of new and unfamiliar objects, rather than attracted to them, thus countering the folklore that the "pilferers of the bird kingdom" are unconditionally attracted to sparkly things and prone to pinching them for their nests, almost as a compulsion.


How bats track their targets in cluttered scenes revealed

How bats track their targets in cluttered scenes revealedWashington, Aug 16 - A study has provided a new insight into how bats focus on their targets such as bugs through the trees in the dark of night.

It was found that 'temporal binding hypotheses' had the explanation. The hypothesis proposed that people and animals focus on objects versus the background when a set of neurons in the brain attuned to features of an object all respond in synchrony.


Fukushima radiation caused serious damage to wildlife: Study

Fukushima radiation caused serious damage to wildlife: StudyWashington, Aug 15 - A series of studies on the biological impact of the Fukushima disaster on non-human organisms has revealed that the radiation has affected the population, genetic makeup and the repair mechanisms of birds, monkeys, butterflies, and other insects to cope with the exposure.


Remembering mistakes helps speed up learning

Remembering mistakes helps speed up learningWashington, Aug 15 - A new study has revealed that memories of the errors made the first time helps learning a task faster.


Arctic sea's thick snow drastically shrinking

Arctic sea's thick snow drastically shrinkingWashington, Aug 14 : A new study had claimed that the thick snow on Arctic Sea ice has significantly lost its depth.

Scientists have been tracking the depth of snow that accumulates on Arctic sea ice for almost a century. Now, research led by the University of Washington and NASA confirms that snow, particularly on sea ice in western waters near Alaska in Arctic, has drastically thinned.

A new study combines data collected by ice buoys and NASA aircraft with historic data from ice floes staffed by Soviet scientists from the late 1950s through the early 1990s to track changes over decades.


Scientists develop technique to create glass from metal

Scientists develop technique to create glass from metalWashington, Aug 14 - Scientists have finally achieved the long-sought aim of creating glass from metal.

Professor Scott X. Mao, William, from University of Pittsburgh who formed the 'metallic glass' along with his colleagues, said that though fundamental issue was explored by people in this field for a long time, nobody could solve the problem.

Metallic glasses are unique in that their structure is not crystalline, but rather is disordered, with the atoms randomly arranged. They are sought for various commercial applications because they are very strong and are easily processed.


Dolphins and whales squeal while experiencing pleasure

Dolphins and whales squeal while experiencing pleasureWashington, Aug 14 - A new study has revealed that dolphins and whales do experience pleasure and when they do so, they squeal with glee.

The lead author, Sam Ridgway discovered that whenever he used to reward the animals for answering his questions during their training sessions, they used to squeal.

Initially, Ridgway thought that the squeals were food signals, where animals communicate the presence of food to nearby members of their species, but, his wife Jeanette then suggested that the squeals reminded her of delighted children, which made him realize that squeals could be genuine expressions of delight.


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