- -01-25-08 Scientist Creates Life -- Almost (Time.com)
"According to a just-released paper in the journal Science, he [J. Craig Venter] has gone beyond merely sequencing a genome and has designed and built one. In other words, he may have created life." 01-08
- -03-08-08 Iceman Defies Science (ABC News)
"He's known as 'The Ice Man.' "
"Scientists can't really explain it, but the 48-year-old Dutchman is able to withstand, and even thrive, in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person." 03-08
- -03-27-08 Simulated Immune System Reported (Time.com)
"You've heard of artificial limbs and artificial hearts but what about artificial immune systems? Add another notch to the test tube: scientists at VaxDesign, a five-year-old biotechnology company based in Orlando, Florida, have created a simulated human immune system, called the Modular Immune In Vitro Construct (MIMIC for short). The dime-sized immune system can predict how humans will respond to new vaccines. The goal? To streamline vaccine research and hasten the eradication of global killers, such as AIDS." 03-08
- -05-23-08 Mars Lander to Search for Life (Time.com)
"You're not very likely to find a penguin on Mars — or a seal or a puffin or a polar bear either. But that doesn't mean there aren't interesting things going on in the planet's polar regions. Life requires water, after all, and water — at least in the form of ice — is found in abundance at the poles. That's why the Mars Phoenix lander is en route to pay a call there, with a first ever touchdown in the Martian Arctic set for this Sunday at 7:53 p.m. (EDT)." 05-08
- -05-26-08 Mars Lander Lands (CNN News)
" 'It's surprisingly close to what we expected and that's what surprises me most,' said Peter Smith, the mission's principal investigator. 'I expected a bigger surprise.' " 05-08
- -05-26-08 Mars Orbiter Photographs Phoenix's Descent (MSNBC News)
"NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander got down its first full day of work in the Red Planet's chilly north polar region on Monday, while the team behind the mission released an unprecedented picture showing the probe's descent as seen from above." 05-08
- -05-30-08 One of Earth's Last Uncontacted Tribes Photographed (DailyMail.com)
"Thought never to have had any contact with the outside world, everything about these people is, and hopefully will remain, a mystery." 05-08
- -06-04-08 Telectroscope Connects New York and London (Christian Science Monitor)
"Here's a device, connected to London by a fiber-optic cable running under the Atlantic, that allows New Yorkers to peer back at their British counterparts, to gawp, wave, laugh, make funny faces, and hold up white boards bearing salutations and cross cultural commentary. Here, in short, is a glorified, double-sided webcam, dressed in Victorian-era whimsy. But at the base of the Telelectroscope on the Fulton Ferry Pier in Brooklyn, dozens of adults are pressing their faces wildly against the glass, jostling for a spot at the front of the line, laughing, giggling, and shrieking." 06-08
- -06-29-08 Sounds of the Ancient Past (MSNBC News)
"Scientists were fascinated by the ghostly find: a human skeleton buried in an Aztec temple with a clay, skull-shaped whistle in each bony hand."
"But no one blew into the noisemakers for nearly 15 years. When someone finally did, the shrill, windy screech made the spine tingle." 06-08
- -07-15-08 The Struggle to Identify Insects (Time.com)
"The struggle to identify the critter displays not only the mystery of nature, but also the fickleness of the science of taxonomy. Identifying insect species can be extremely difficult; some scientists estimate we have managed to identify only 10% of the insect world so far." 07-08
- -07-16-08 Photos: Was Mars Once All Wet? (MSNBC News)
"A lot more Martian rocks were altered by water than scientists originally thought, suggesting that early Mars was a very wet place." 07-08
- -09-06-08 Scientists Create Virtual Telescope 1000 Times Finer Than Hubble (Science Daily)
"An international team, led by astronomers at the MIT Haystack Observatory, has obtained the closest views ever of what is believed to be a super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy." 09-08
- -10-09-08 Virgin Shark Gave Birth (MSNBC News)
"Scientists have confirmed the second case of a 'virgin birth' in a shark" through parthenogenesis. 10-08
- Invisibility Cloak Closer to Possible (CBS News)
"Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible."
"Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects. Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects." 08-08
- Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Shut Down With Damages (MSNBC News)
"Gillies said such failures occur frequently in particle accelerators, but it was made more complicated in this case because the Large Hadron Collider operates at near absolute zero, colder than outer space, for maximum efficiency."
"The CERN experiments with the particle collider hope to reveal more about 'dark matter,' antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time. They could also find evidence of a hypothetical particle — the Higgs boson — which is sometimes called the 'God particle' because it is believed to give mass to all other particles, and thus to matter that makes up the universe." 09-08
- Biologists Make Skin Cells Work Like Stem Cells (MSNBC News)
"In a leap forward for stem cell research, three independent teams of scientists reported Wednesday that they have produced the equivalent of embryonic stem cells in mice using skin cells without the controversial destruction of embryos."
"If the same could be done with human skin cells — a big if — the procedure could lead to breakthrough medical treatments without the contentious ethical and political debates surrounding the use of embryos."
"Embryonic stem cells are prized because they can develop into all types of tissue. So experts believe they might be used for transplant therapies in people who are paralyzed or have illnesses ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease." 06-07