Science News

Greenhouse gas concentration likely played a role in setting all of last 16 yearly global temperature records

Greenhouse gas concentration likely played a role in setting all of last 16 year

In a new research paper on climate and impact of greenhouse gases, scientists have informed that global temperatures in 1937 were record-breaking for that time. Two years later, the heat record was broken again, and more records were set in 1940, 1941 and 1944.

It is for the first time ever that climate scientists have got to know the role of greenhouse gas pollution in global temperatures measured at the time of record-breaking years back to 1937, when industrialized cities and nations kept on burning coal to provide power to trains and factories.

Daniel Mitchell, an Oxford University physicist, who has been closely monitoring climate change, said what they have got to know was that they may actually find out human influence on worst events much earlier than they’d thought.

Louisiana black bear to be delisted from Endangered List

Louisiana black bear to be delisted from Endangered List

The Louisiana black bear will be no longer on the threatened species list, as per a statement issued on Thursday by the United States Department of the Interior. The department also made it clear that the black bear in Louisiana will be soon delisted, but hunters shouldn’t expect a season anytime soon.

On Friday, the black bear species, also known as the main inspiration for the teddy bear, will be off from the government’s list of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The animal got a place in the list 24 years ago when officials noticed it was facing habitat loss. That time, the state had just 150 bears. Now, there are more than 500 black bears living in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Plastic Eating Bacteria Discovered

Plastic Eating Bacteria Discovered

A species of bacteria has been discovered by a team of Japanese researchers that is capable of eating the plastic present in the majority of disposable water bottles. This important finding will likely be instrumental in handling an annual production of over 50 million tons of this kind of plastic across the world. The kind of plastic we are talking about is called polyethylene terephalate (PET). Polyester clothing, frozen-dinner trays and blister packaging also contain this plastic.

Level of atmospheric carbon dioxide increased at a record pace in 2015, says NOAA

Level of atmospheric carbon dioxide increased at a record pace in 2015, says NOA

The latest data reported by NOAA has revealed that last year the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased in the most since the recordkeeping started. Level of carbon dioxide increased in 2015 and it could be blamed partially on El Nino. As per the study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for the last four years, the level of CO2 in atmosphere has increased by at least 2 million part per million, each year.

Pre-solar Dust Grains act as source to explore Classical Nova

Pre-solar Dust Grains act as source to explore Classical Nova

A team of physicists at Michigan State University (MSU) is conducting an investigation into microscopic dust grain that may have emitted from stellar explosions that took place before the formation of the sun. The particles of stardust were found from a meteoritic material on earth. The investigation could lead to new insight into our galaxy.

The research is being conducting in the university's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), which aims to know whether those extra tiny particles have ejected from classical nova explosions or not. A classical nova is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion on a white dwarf, which causes sudden brightness of the star. It is believed to occur on the surface of white dwarf in a binary system.

Astronomers Get Clear Picture of Dusty Disks Surrounding Old Stars

Astronomers Get Clear Picture of Dusty Disks Surrounding Old Stars

A team of astronomers has been successful in obtaining extremely high quality pictures of the dusty disks surrounding the old stars. The team, headed by Michel Hillen and Hans Van Winckel of the Institute of Astronomy of Belgium, used the Very Large Telescope Infrerometer (VLTI) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The VLTI is located in Chile and provides images with such high resolution that the astronomers can easily detect the shape and size of something as small as a one euro coin located two thousand kilometers far, according to researcher Jacques Kluska.

Award-winning science fiction author answers how NASA decides where spacecraft will land on returning to Earth

Award-winning science fiction author answers how NASA decides where spacecraft

Have you ever wondered how the US space agency NASA decides where it will land a spacecraft on way back to earth. The excitement-packed question has got an answer from C Stuart Hardwick, award-winning science fiction author, on Quora.

Quora is popular knowledge sharing network where people with unique insights give answers to compelling questions.

The pints of spacecraft landing are selected and orchestrated with the help of what the US military calls backwards planning.

For the US space shuttle, the selection of landing sites was done prior to the first launch. Besides the two primary sites that were Edwards AFB and the Cape in FL, emergency locations were shortlisted worldwide on the basis of availability of runway availability, political and security issues, and logistics.

Real-life hydras rip apart and sew up mouth each time they eat

Real-life hydras rip apart and sew up mouth each time they eat

The multi-headed Hydra monster of Greek mythology is more terrifying as compared to its real-life namesake: a species of tiny freshwater polyps that feeds on shrimp and other tiny invertebrates.

However, the less than one-inch creatures possess a fearsome capability that could knock out even the original Hydra. The tiny freshwater-dwelling hydra, whenever eats, has to rip apart their mouth. It might sound strange but research teams have been wondering over this phenomenon for quite long.

Their tubular bodies’ opening isn’t only closed, instead their mouths actually disappear until the time comes to digest dinner, which they obtain using poison-barbed tentacles. When they are done with it, their opening gets sealed up again with a tissue layer.

It’s fascinating to imagine how butterflies see their world

It’s fascinating to imagine how butterflies see their world

Common Bluebottles, an Australasia species of swallowtail butterfly, holds the record of the highest number of different vision cells within eyes in comparison to any other insect.

Researchers, who have been studying these big-eyed butterflies, have found that the species, Graphium sarpedon, possess around 15 classes of light-detecting vision cells, called photoreceptors. So far, no insect was known to have over nine.

Photoreceptors can be compared to the rods and cones present in the human eye. Common Bluebottles flaunt extraordinary big eyes and blue-green iridescent wings use visual communication, suggestive of the fact that they have unbelievable vision. Moreover, researchers haven’t expected that they would come across something like this.

Orbital ATK CRS-6 to launch into orbit on March 22, 2016

Orbital ATK CRS-6 to launch into orbit on March 22, 2016

The US space agency’s commercial partner Orbital ATK is looking forward to launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit on March 22, 2016, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for its fifth contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Known as Orbital ATK CRS-6, the flight will deliver experiments to the ISS to analyze fire, regolith, adhesion, meteors, and 3-D printing in microgravity.

The Spacecraft Fire Experiment-I (Saffire-I) deliberately lights huge-scale fire within an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle, post escaping the space station and prior to it makes an entry into Earth's atmosphere again.

Climate change sealed fate of ichthyosaurs that ruled oceans for 157 million years

Climate change sealed fate of ichthyosaurs that ruled oceans for 157 million yea

Climate change is behind wiping out ichthyosaurs, marine reptiles that were the rulers of the oceans for 157 million years, as suggested by a study of fossils.

Some 30 million years back, the dolphin-like animal died prior to the mass dinosaur extinction towards the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years back.

Vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Valentin Fischer, who headed the research, said that the extinction of ichthyosaurs, which were quite familiar to oceanic life, has been a long-standing enigma. The research has recently appeared in journal Nature Communications.

Blue Origin could have first test flights with people in 2017, says founder Jeff Bezos

Blue Origin could have first test flights with people in 2017, says founder Jeff

Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin is planning its first crewed test flight next year. The company founder revealed the new plan near Seattle while having a tour of venture's research and development site.

Bezos said that many individuals have shown interest in having a commercial space flight. But Blue Origin has not yet started taking deposits from interested people, so it is still unclear whether those individuals will pay for a space trip.

Mars InSight Lander Mission’s new launch window to begin in May 2018, says NASA

Mars InSight Lander Mission’s new launch window to begin in May 2018, says NASA

NASA will not launch an unmanned mission to Mars before 2018, as per an announcement made by the US space agency on Wednesday. The decision has been taken citing a leak in a key component of the agency’s Mars spacecraft.

The Mars InSight mission, also known as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, may have a launch window in May of 2018, NASA announced. The agency also stated that if everything goes as per plan, the spacecraft will land on the Red Planet in November 2018.

NASA’s InSight Mars mission will be launched with an aim to understand the deep interior of the planet. The space agency believes data collected by the spacecraft may reveal how solar system’s rocky planets, including our earth, have formed.

Mastication adaptation: easier chewing benefited human ancestors

Mastication adaptation: easier chewing benefited human ancestors

Harvard University evolutionary anthropologist Daniel Lieberman chewed raw goat meat smacked with a rock for the sake of science as well as to get first-hand experience how our ancestors did so for survival.

Lieberman said the raw meat was a challenge to eat and once put in mouth, there was a need to chew and chew and chew and chew, but still nothing happened.

The anthropologist found that modern humans, unlike wolves and other wild animals who have sharp teeth that are designed for slicing through elastic muscle almost like a pair of scissors, lack the ability to break the chunks of raw meat into pieces that are small enough to swallow.

Research leads to tantalizing subatomic clues about origins of ‘pre-solar grains’

Research leads to tantalizing subatomic clues about origins of ‘pre-solar grains

Microscopic dust particles have been detected in Earth’s meteoritic material, particles that have probably formed in stellar explosions that took place much before the formation of the sun.

The focus of ongoing experimental nuclear physics research at Michigan State University’s the National Superconducting Cyclotron laboratory is that whether some of the particles of stardust, called ‘pre-solar grains’, belonged to classical nova explosions or not.

The research has led to exciting subatomic hints regarding these grains’ origin. The results have now appeared in the journal Physical Review Letters. The lead author of the paper is Michael Bennett, an MSU doctoral student at the NSCL.

Humpback whale found dead on Silver Strand Beach, NOAA to find cause of death

Climate change: Sub-Saharan Africa’s food supply in danger, study seeks agricult

A 23-foot-long dead humpback whale was found dead on Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado. The whale washed ashore at the beach on Tuesday morning at around 10 am, as per officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The one-year-old mammal, weighing over 2,000 pounds, was first spotted by the Coast Guard four days back about 9 miles offshore in Point Loma. The NOAA team reached the scene and inspected the dead whale. It’s a freshly dead whale, said the NOAA team.

Asteroid 2013 TX68 makes safe rendezvous and will return next year

Asteroid 2013 TX68 makes safe rendezvous and will return next year

As expected, space rock 2013 TX68 whizzed by earth safely on Monday night. The 100-feet-wide asteroid passes about 2.5 million miles from our planet, and posed no harm to earthlings. Does it mean earth is safe now? The yacht-sized space object is predicted to make a return next year, as per the latest NASA release.

This was not the first time when the TX68 asteroid made a close approach to earth. About two years ago, it zoomed past the planet at a distance of about 1.3 million miles, the US space agency said.

NASA also revealed that the rock will make a comeback in 2017, but that time, it will be no closer than 15,000 miles. There is less than one-in-250-million chance that TX68 will hit earth during its next year flyby, predicted the NASA release.

Shipwrecks are new Markers to estimate date for Hurricanes from past

World’s blackest material Vantablack Might Have Become Even Darker, says creator

Till now, researchers relied on the coastal lake sediments or coral isotopes to date hurricanes which took place in past, but now shipwrecks are also seen as evidence of hurricane activities. The researchers at Arizona State University examined data from 657 shipwrecks. They compared the data collected with tree ring data to give precise date to hurricanes. The study results have been published in the journal PNAS.

“We found that in the years when many ships wrecked in the Caribbean, the trees in the Florida Keys showed the same signal that trees show during hurricanes. So, that gave an indication that we could use shipwreck records as a proxy for hurricane activity”, said Jason Thomson, author of the new paper.

Very Few People could escape a Supersonic Volcanic eruption

Very Few People could escape a Supersonic Volcanic eruption

Supersonic volcanoes in past have caused devastating destruction to both life and property on the planet. But in such a case, saving wealth would hardly matter as the need is to protect human life from becoming a prey to killer lava. It is believed that lava is less dangerous at such a time than a pyroclastic flow, fast moving current of hot gas and rock. A research published in journal Nature Communications on March 7 claimed that it would not be easy to outrun an erupted volcano.

Biophysicists describe Mechanism behind Hydra ripping its Body

Biophysicists describe Mechanism behind Hydra ripping its Body

Hydra became a subject of a recent study because of its unique ability to tear itself in order to gulp its prey. Hydra is a small freshwater creature which lies beneath water. It has no mouth or lips unlike majority of creatures. As part of the study, biophysicists have made a video of hydra which led to the discovery about potential of hydra to pull apart itself temporarily and later to restore damage to tissues.




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