Science News Archive - February 27, 2009


A team of Yale geologists has a new perspective on the greenhouse-to-icehouse shift where global climate changed from an ice-free world to one with massive ice sheets in the Antarctic nearly 34 million years ago.


New research by US Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists and partners suggests the hemlock woolly adelgid is killing hemlock trees faster than expected in the southern Appalachians and rapidly altering the carbon cycle of these forests.


Commercial ships emit almost half as much particulate pollutants into the air globally as the total amount released by the world's cars, according to a new study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado at Boulder.


In 1999, more than 30 million acres of agricultural land worldwide were covered with plastic mulch, and those numbers have been increasing significantly since then.


France’s prehistoric Lascaux cave drawings are under attack by a fungus that appears as black stains spreading across the legendary mural.


Automakers are awaiting assignment of $25 billion from the Department of Energy to help them begin work on electric automobiles.

The crescent moon and Venus will appear as an extraordinary celestial semicolon Thursday night, the editor of a Canadian astronomy and stargazing magazine said. It will be a real head-turner, SkyNews Editor Terence Dickinson said. If you happened to be outside, it's the sort of thing you'd notice even if you weren't looking for it, he told the Ottawa Sun. Venus is approaching its brightest and will be visible even before sunset and with the moon a sliver in the sky, it will let the planet shine more brightly than it ordinarily appears, said Dickinson, co-author of NightWatch and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. The moon and Venus will appear at their closest between 6:30 and 7:30 p.


Mushroom growers report increased consumer demand

A team of British and European Union researchers are seeking permission to begin clinical trials of a technique that would allow voice box transplantation. The scientists say new stem cell technology may allow a voice box to be transplanted in a way in which anti-rejection drugs would not be necessary, the BBC reported Friday.

A $278 million NASA satellite that crashed into the Antarctic waters in a failed launch was a larger version of a $300,000 Canadian satellite, a scientist says. An 8-pound, milk-carton-size microsatellite called CanX-2, launched by the University of Toronto in India last April, monitors how carbon dioxide enters and exits the Earth's atmosphere, just as NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory was designed to do, York University space engineering Director Brendan Quine said. York engineers made a wavelength-measuring microspectrometer aboard the tiny satellite. In particular, CanX-2 searches for missing carbon dioxide, or CO2 that humans produce but that scientists can't account for, Quine said. The measurement principle is almost exactly the same as the one for the OCO, although the instruments are not exactly commensurate, Quine told the Ottawa Citizen. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's OCO lifted off on schedule Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard

Word of the Day
  • A person in a secondary role, specifically the second most important character (after the protagonist).
The word 'deuteragonist' comes from a Greek word meaning 'an actor of second-class parts'.