- -01-12-06 First Nonhuman Two-Way Instruction Found (MSNBC News)
"Ants teach other ants how to find food using a poking and prodding technique called 'tandem running,' a new study reveals."
"Researchers say the experiment reveals the first nonhuman example of formal instruction between a teacher and pupil in which there is two-way feedback and an adjustment of the course curriculum." 01-06
- -01-12-06 Millions of Jews Traced to Four Women (MSNBC News)
"About 3.5 million of today’s Ashkenazi Jews — 40 percent of the total Ashkenazi population — are descended from just four women, a genetic study indicates."
"Those women apparently lived somewhere in Europe within the last 2,000 years, but not necessarily in the same place or even the same century, said lead author Dr. Doron Behar of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel." 01-06
- -01-12-06 Tobacco Plant Manufactures Plague Vaccine (Scientific American)
"Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is one of the oldest known diseases of the plant world. Plague--known as the 'black death' in medieval Europe--is one of the oldest diseases afflicting humans, and has become a focus of concern in recent years because of its potential use as a bioweapon. Now scientists have transformed TMV to infect host plants and produce immunizing proteins rather than debilitating leaf shrivel, turning greenhouse tobacco into a biofactory for plague vaccine." 3-05
- -01-12-06 Were Human Ancestors Hunted by Birds? (MSNBC News)
"An American researcher believes he has solved the mystery of how one of the most important human ancestors died nearly 2 million years ago: An eagle killed the 3½-year-old ape-man known as the Taung child."
"The discovery suggests that small human ancestors known as hominids had to survive being hunted not only by large predators on the ground but by fearsome raptors that swooped from the sky, said Lee Berger, a senior paleoanthropologist at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand." 01-06
- -01-15-06 Retraining the Brain Therapies (CBS News)
Merzenich is a leading developer of therapies based on what's called brain plasticity, which he defines as, 'the capacity of the brain to change itself. It actually changes physically, functionally, in ways that you can measure.' ""
" 'There are no drugs and no surgery involved," Taub says. 'Nevertheless you get a very substantial treatment effect without any side effects.' " 12-05
- -02-06-06 Face Transplant Recipient Appears (MSNBC News)
"The Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant showed off her new features to the public Monday, saying in a heavily slurred voice that she now looks 'like everyone else' and hopes to resume a normal life." Includes several photos. 02-06
- -02-08-06 Scientific Information on Global Warming Suppressed (New York Times)
"The resignation [of Bush political appointee George C. Deutsch] came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the public. The review was ordered Friday by Michael D. Griffin, the NASA administrator, after a week in which many agency scientists and midlevel public affairs officials described to The New York Times instances in which they said political pressure was applied to limit or flavor discussions of topics uncomfortable to the Bush administration, particularly global warming."
"Yesterday, Dr. [James E.] Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch's credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of political control of scientific information."
" 'On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed,' he said. 'The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That's the big issue here.' " 02-06
- -02-20-06 Comet Dust Sparks Scientific Interest (MSNBC News)
"Scientists say comets represent the cold leftovers from the solar system's beginnings, 4.5 billion years ago. The Stardust samples confirm that the material thrown off by Comet Wild 2 has not undergone chemical change for billions of years, Brownlee said: 'It's never been hot.' " 02-06
- -03-14-06 Possible Noah's Ark Located (ABC News)
"A satellite image may launch a scientific expedition to search for Noah's Ark. The snapshot captures a mysterious object on Turkey's Mount Ararat." 03-06
- -03-21-06 Rewriting Science (CBS News)
"Hansen is arguably the world's leading researcher on global warming. He's the head of NASA's top institute studying the climate. But this imminent scientist tells correspondent Scott Pelley that the Bush administration is restricting who he can talk to and editing what he can say. Politicians, he says, are rewriting the science." 3-06
- -03-21-06 Woman With Perfect Memory Baffles Scientists (ABC News)
AJ's "degree of recall is so much greater than any other person's in the scientific literature that it [her method of categorizing] seems unlikely to be the complete answer, McGaugh adds."
"She is also quite different from savants who have surfaced from time to time with extraordinary abilities in music, art or memory." 3-06
- -03-23-06 Clive's Tortoise Dies, Aged 255 (TimesOnline.co.uk)
"A tortoise brought as a present for Clive of India had died in a zoo at the venerable age of 255."
"The giant Aldabra tortoise was one of four brought by British seamen from the Seychelles Islands as gifts to Robert Clive of the British East India Company. Clive died in 1774." 03-06
- -03-24-06 SpaceX Launched, Then Lost (MSNBC News)
"After four years of work, three launch delays and $100 million in dot-com cash, SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket rose from its Pacific launch pad on Friday, but was lost moments later."
"Space enthusiasts around the world had looked forward to what SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies, billed as the world's first all-new orbital launch vehicle in more than a decade." 9-05
- -04-03-06 Organ Regeneration a Reality (ABC News)
"The news is being hailed as a medical milestone: Several years after receiving new bladders engineered entirely in a laboratory, seven young patients are all still healthy." 04-06
- -04-03-06 Wingless Gliders May Reveal the Origins of Flight (New York Times)
"The scientists' most recent rainforest trips also yielded high-resolution video showing that several other ant species glide, as do the larvae of insects like grasshoppers and praying mantises." 04-06
- -04-05-06 "Missing Link" Between Fish and Land Animals Found (TimesOnline.co.uk)
"An evolutionary missing link that was among the first fish to leave the sea and walk on land has been unearthed in the Canadian Arctic."
"The fossil discovery illuminates a chapter in the history of life on Earth that was essential to the ultimate emergence of human beings. Tiktaalik roseae, which lived about 375 million years ago, has features that blur the distinction between fish and terrestrial limbed creatures." 04-06
- -04-09-06 Total Solar Eclipse (ABC News)
"Thousands of people gathered in the desert near Salloum, a coastal town a few miles from the Libyan border, to observe a total eclipse of the sun."
"It was just the 29th total solar eclipse since the 1500s." 04-06
- -04-13-06 New Pictures From Venus (MSNBC News)
"European scientists released new photos of Venus’ south pole Thursday, revealing a swirling mass of sulfuric acid clouds powered by 220 mph winds." 04-06
- -04-20-06 New "Force Field" to Protect U. S. Tanks (Defense-Update.com)
"The Trophy active protection system creates something equivalent to a hemispheric "force field" around the protected vehicle. It has three elements providing – Threat Detection and Tracking, Launching and Intercept functions. The Threat Detection and Warning subsystem consists of several sensors, including flat-panel radars, placed at strategic locations around the protected vehicle, to provide full hemispherical coverage." 04-06
- -06-12-06 Scientists: First New Species of Human Found (ABC News)
"In October 2004, a team of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists announced in Nature magazine they had dug up the bones of a brand new, previously unknown humanoid species which they nicknamed 'The Hobbit,' because it was rather small."
"Graphic artists, working with the team, have pictured the hobbit. It's clearly not a dwarf, or a pygmy, but a 3-foot tall species of humans. Hobbs, who worked as a consultant with 60 Minutes on the story, believes they may have had a rudimentary form of language."
"He says it's astounding because the Hobbit’s brain was a third the size of one of ours. And scientists had always used brain size as the most important characteristic separating humans from other animals -- that and the ability to use tools and build fires." 06-06
- -07-21-06 The First Cattle Keepers (BBC News)
" 'It happened during these 5,000 years of the savannah that people changed from hunter-gathers to cattle keepers,' he [Dr Rudolph Kuper] said.
" 'This important step in human history has been made for the first time in the African Sahara.' " 07-06
- -08-25-06 Stem Cells Without Destroying the Embryo? (MSNBC News)
"Find a way to make stem cells without destroying an embryo and you might resolve one of the nation’s fiercest public debates."
"A biotech company seems to have done it. But early signs are the scientific achievement is not the slam-dunk solution the company had hoped." 08-06
- -09-16-06 Oceans Provide Electrical Power (Christian Science Monitor)
"Pacific swells off the Oregon coast can range from at least five feet high in the summer to 11-1/2 feet high in the winter. Over the length of the coastline, these swells could, in principle, provide 13,800 megawatts each year to a state that consumes 5,000 to 6,000 megawatts. Oregon already hosts several old coastal lumber mills that are powered by individual power substations, each of which has an outflow pipe to the sea. The existing mills would allow wave-power companies to ship 2,000 megawatts to Oregon communities without any additional infrastructure."
"Nicol Stephen, a Scottish enterprise minister who visited the project in Portugal, is proposing Scotland utilize the same Pelamis technology and begin harnessing ocean power in the waters off Orkney by 2007. The payoff could be substantial. According to a report by Carbon Trust, a British organization that works with both business and public sectors to reduce carbon emissions, wave and tidal power could in the long run supply as much as 20 percent of the United Kingdom's current electricity needs." 09-06
- -09-25-06 Study: Ancient Bird Had Four Wings (MSNBC News)
"The earliest known bird had flight feathers on its legs that allowed it to use its hindlimbs as an extra pair of wings, a new study finds."
" 'The idea that a multi-winged Archaeopteryx has been around for more than a century, but it has received little attention,' Longrich said. 'I believe one reason for this is that people tend to see what they want or expect to see. Everybody knows that birds don't have four wings, so we overlooked them even when they were right under our noses.' " 09-06
- -10-05-06 "Monster" Fossil Found in Arctic (BBC News)
"Norwegian scientists have discovered a "treasure trove" of fossils belonging to giant sea reptiles that roamed the seas at the time of the dinosaurs."
"The fossil hoard comprises 21 long-necked plesiosaurs, six ichthyosaurs and one short-necked plesiosaur. The bones were unearthed in fine-grained sedimentary rock called black shale." 10-06
- -10-05-06 Winners of Nobel Prizes (CBS News)
"Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. American Roger D. Kornberg, whose father won a Nobel Prize a half-century ago, was awarded the prize in chemistry today for his studies of how cells take information from genes to produce proteins." 10-06
- -12-22-06 Space Shuttle Touches Down in Florida (New York Times)
"The shuttle Discovery returned to Earth at 5:32 p.m. Friday in a gentle sunset landing at the Kennedy Space Center here." 12-06
- -02-13-06 Science and Technology Achievements Recognized (Fox News)
"President Bush presented science and technology achievement medals on Monday to 15 laureates who have done work that has revolutionized organ transplants, led to development of global positioning systems and helped feed millions around the world." 02-06
- -04-13-06 Ethnic DNA Ties Covered by Tests (New York Times)
"Many scientists criticize the ethnic ancestry tests as promising more than they can deliver. The legacy of an ancestor several generations back may be too diluted to show up. And the tests have a margin of error, so results showing a small amount of ancestry from one continent may not actually mean someone has any."
"Given the tests' speculative nature, it seems unlikely that colleges, governments and other institutions will embrace them. But that has not stopped many test-takers from adopting new DNA-based ethnicities — and a sense of entitlement to the privileges typically reserved for them."
- -04-13-06 Missing Link Found Between Australopithecus afarensis and Earlier Species (New York Times)
"Tim D. White, a paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was a team leader, and his colleagues said the 4.1-million-year-old fossils were anatomically intermediate between the earlier species Ardipithecus ramidus [the earliest Hominids] and the later species Australopithecus afarensis, the Lucy family. The newfound bones and teeth are the earliest remains of the most primitive Australopithecus, known as anamensis."
"The Australopithecus genus — resembling apes in stature and brain size but unlike the great apes in that it walked on two legs — is thought to have given rise to our own genus, Homo."