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If your buzz from Valentine's Day hasn't worn off just yet, here's news that will do just that. The folks at MinuteEarth this week look at how rare monogamy actually is among the sexes of Earth's species.
Courtesy David BesaJust in time for Valentine's Day, a new book outlines the aphrodisiac properties of different fruits and vegetables. Author Helen Yoest shares insights from her book Plants with Benefits in this interview. After reading this, head to the nearest produce section and select just the right ingredients to make a memorable Valentine's Day.
The Heritage Crew did an interview with the Sheffield Site research associates. Check it out!
Courtesy Mark RyanIn 2010, paleontologist Philip Currie came across a very unusual fossil in the barren badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada: a baby Chasmosaurus belli, a ceratopsian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Only the edge of the frill on back of the skull was visible when Currie first came upon it, but eventually he dug out a nearly complete, articulated specimen. The only bones missing were the dinosaur's front legs.
Currie is professor of Dinosaur Paleobiology at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, and now, after three long years of lab preparation, he and his staff are proudly showing off their prize dinosaur and getting it ready to put on display at the U of A Museums’ Galleries starting February 6th. "Baby" as the dinosaur is affectionately called, is the most complete baby ceratopsian dinosaur in the world.
Courtesy Andrew ScottYou'd think by now - after centuries of studying it - that we'd know everything there is to know about the human body. But this week surgeons at University Hospital Leuven in Belgium announced the discovery of a new ligament in the knee. Called the anterolateral ligament (ALL) the newly discovered body part attaches between the lower end of the femur and the head of the tibia, reinforcing the connection between the two bones. The unknown ligament came to light as the doctors investigated the causes of difficulties patients suffered during rehabilitation from ACL tears, a common injury among some athletes.
Interestingly, it was a paper written by a French surgeon in the 19th century that led the doctors to the ligament. The author of an 1879 paper postulated the ALL's existence but it took until now for it to be actually located. The two doctors who discovered it say the ligament exists in about 97 percent of all patients.
Courtesy Jon BodsworthWe've documented the travails leading to the demise of young King Tut many times here on Science Buzz. But headlines today just add more fuel to the King Tut woe fire (so to speak). Tests done on a small fragment of Tut's mummy that is held in Great Britain show that his mummy caught fire. And that fire, researchers believe, occurred after Tut was mummified and entombed in his sarcophagus through spontaneous combustion from the mixture of embalming oils, wrapping fabric and oxygen. A virtual autopsy done as part of this research also concludes that Tut died from being run over by a chariot. All in all, not a very good day of news for young King Tut.
The above title is the opening verse from the song "As Time Goes By" heard in the classic film "Casablanca", and serves nicely as an explanation of psychologist and memory manipulation expert Elizabeth Loftus's work in memory, and specifically the ability to alter or plant false memories. As she explains in this recent TEDTalk, her investigations into the field of how, why, and what we remember have not only led to some very interesting insights, but also threats, and even lawsuits.
Courtesy NASACuriosity, one of the robotic explorers currently investigating the Martian environment presented NASA scientists with a bit of a set-back this week with a report that the rover has failed to detect any signs of methane on Mars. Several tests were conducted on the Red Planet over an eight month period but none produced any signs that microbial life was emitting the signature gas into the atmosphere.
"It reduces the probability of current methane-producing Martian microbes, but this addresses only one type of microbial metabolism," said Michael Meyer, NASA's lead scientist for Mars exploration. "As we know, there are many types of terrestrial microbes that don't generate methane."
For a long time, scientists have known a major volcano complex was under the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan. But upon further inspection, they've discovered it's one huge volcano, measuring 280 miles by 400 miles across. You can read more about this huge discovery right here.
Courtesy Welome ImagesResearchers from the University of Amsterdam have found that nanomachines work more efficiently when water is added as a "lubricant". Nanomachines are structures just one molecule in size (a few dozen atoms or so) that do work. When researchers added a small amount of water to the solvent that surrounded the nanomachines, the machines moved much faster.
Discovering how to optimize these tiny machines is important for the development of things like molecular computers and surfaces that can change properties.