Science News Archive - June 18, 2009


Scientists have discovered that sticklebacks exhibit an advanced, sophisticated learning technique never before seen in the animal world.


Brown bears frequenting the nearby grounds of the Sinaia mountain resort in Romania have been luring tourists far and wide, forcing authorities to instigate a relocation operation due to the imposing danger.


In a research project designed to shed light on the physiological mechanisms behind addiction, scientists found that their rat subjects were capable of “playing the odds” in a gambling task.

The British Climate Act is flawed and comprised of unrealistic and unobtainable targets, writes US academic Roger A Pielke Jr, in a journal paper published today, 18 June, 2009, in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters.


Researchers propose new grouping for humans, orangutans and common ancestors and lay out a scenario of the migration and evolution of 'dental hominoids' in the Journal of Biogeography.


Banning or restricting the use of certain types of fishing gear could help the world’s coral reefs and their fish populations survive the onslaughts of climate change.

Canada's fastest supercomputer was powered up and put online Wednesday north of Toronto to conduct research in planetary physics, aerospace and medicine. The University of Toronto's IBM System x iDataPlex can perform more than 300 trillion calculations a second on 30,240 processors and is among the 15 fastest computers in the world, and the fastest outside the United States, the Globe and Mail reported Thursday. The $50 million system's internal data transfer rate is roughly equivalent to two DVD movies per second, the report said. Its peak electrical consumption is equivalent to the use by 4,000 homes, but unused processors shut down after 10 minutes of idle time, IBM officials said.

The results have been published in the most recent issue of the prestigious medical journal Lancet Neurology.

For the first time scientists have discovered the presence of a natural deep earth pump that is a crucial element in the formation of ore deposits and earthquakes.

The European Space Agency has signed a $27.8 million contract for the development of a liquid engine prototype for the European next generation launcher. The contract -- signed Wednesday during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France -- involves 14 European companies in nine countries. The High Thrust Engine Demonstrator Project has already delivered significant technological achievements, including several European 'firsts.' It will prepare key technical and programmatic data for the ESA Ministerial Conference in 2011 and beyond, Jerome Breteau, ESA's propulsion project manager said.

Word of the Day
  • A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.
The word 'chickabiddy' may come from 'chick' plus 'biddy', a name used in calling a hen or chicken.