Science News Archive - July 16, 2009


An agronomy institute said on Wednesday that scientists are trying to catalogue hundreds of olive trees on the Greek island of Crete in an attempt to save them from abandonment amid falling olive prices.

A new study of 30 million year old fossil 'mega-dung' from extinct giant South American mammals reveals evidence of complex ecological interactions and theft of dung-beetles' food stores by other animals.

An astrophysics experiment in America has demonstrated how fundamental research in one subject area can have a profound effect on work in another as the instruments used for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory


The U.S. Senate has confirmed former astronaut Charles Frank Bolden Jr. as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's 12th leader. Lori Beth Garver was confirmed as the space agency's deputy administrator. NASA said Bolden's confirmation marks the beginning of his second stint with NASA.

To better assess the impact of pollution produced by large conurbations, a monitoring campaign is being organized in the Paris area during the whole month of July.

Researchers at Canada's Queen's University say they have discovered that, in the plant world, big is not necessarily better. Until now most of the thinking has suggested that to be a good competitor in the forest, you have to be a big plant, Professor Lonnie Aarssen, who led the study, said.

The discovery of a new primate fossil in Myanmar (formerly Burma) lends weight to the hypothesis that the common ancestor of humans, monkeys and apes (anthropoid primates) originated in Asia, and not in Africa.


In parts of Australia, including Sydney Harbor, something is killing penguins.


With instruments made of biologically fallen trees, using recycled materials to package albums, and filling tour buses with biodiesel; several US bands are going completely green.

The use of tools by hominins - the primate group which includes humans (Homo) and chimpanzees and bonobos (Pan) - has been extensively researched by archaeologists and primatologists, both of who manifest the relevance of tool-use in understanding technology and the origins of human behavior.

Word of the Day
  • To befool; deceive; balk; jilt.
  • An illusion; a trick; a cheat.
The word 'begunk' may come from a nasalised variant of Scots begeck ("to deceive, disappoint"), equivalent to be- +‎ geck.