Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 Scientists find new species in Papua New Guinea

By KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 24 mins ago

SYDNEY – A brilliant green tree frog with huge black eyes, jumping spiders and a striped gecko are among more than 50 new animal species scientists have discovered in a remote, mountainous region of Papua New Guinea.

The discoveries were announced Wednesday by Washington D.C.-based Conservation International, which spent the past several months analyzing more than 600 animal species the group found during its expedition to the South Pacific island nation in July and August.

Of the animals discovered, 50 spider species, three frogs and a gecko appear to have never been described in scientific literature before, the conservation group said. The new frogs include a tiny brown animal with a sharp chirp, a bug-eyed bright green tree frog and another frog with a loud ringing call. One of the jumping spiders is shiny and pale green, while another is furry and brown.

2 New England lobster traps are nabbing dinner, data

By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press Writer

Mon Mar 23, 3:51 pm ET

BOSTON – Skip Ryan has worked the same channel into Boston Harbor for 50 years, setting and hauling his lobster traps so often that he is certain of one thing.

“You just cannot figure these animals out,” Ryan says. “They’re not predictable.”

To help science try to solve that riddle and others, Ryan and several other lobstermen have allowed the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to tag their traps with devices that measure temperature and currents.

3 Scientists: Less ice on Great Lakes during winter

Associated Press

Mon Mar 23, 11:44 pm ET

CLEVELAND – Ice cover on the Great Lakes has declined more than 30 percent since the 1970s, leaving the world’s largest system of freshwater lakes open to evaporation and lower water levels, according to scientists associated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

They’re concerned about how the milder winter freeze may affect the environment. But they’re also trying to come to terms with a contradiction – the same climate factors that might keep lake ice from freezing might make freezing more likely if lake levels drop due to evaporation.

Scientists at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., say global climate change can be at odds with regional climate patterns. Accurately measuring ice cover across a lake system that spans 94,000 square miles in two countries is no small task, they say.

4 AP source: EPA closer to global warming warning

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

Tue Mar 24, 6:26 am ET

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency has taken the first step on the long road to regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Politicians and the public, business and industry will have to weigh in along the way, but for now a proposed finding by the EPA that global warming is a threat to public health and welfare is under White House review.

The threat declaration would be the first step to regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and could have broad economic and environmental ramifications. It also would probably spur action by Congress to address climate change more broadly.

5 Oil terminal a concern as Alaska volcano rumbles

Associated Press

Tue Mar 24, 9:22 pm ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Alaska volcano continued to rumble Tuesday amid new concerns that eruptions and mud flows will damage a nearby oil terminal where about 6 million gallons of crude are stored. The 10,200-foot Mount Redoubt volcano, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted Sunday night. Since then there have been five more explosions; the latest, on Monday night, shot an ash plume into the air that was 40,000 to 50,000 feet high.

The volcano has been relatively quiet since, but that is not expected to continue, said Stephanie Prejean, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The last time Redoubt erupted was in 1989, when there were more than 20 explosions as magma pushed to the surface and formed domes that later collapsed and sent ash plumes into the air.

“This is very typical for volcanoes of this type,” Prejean said. “These domes ooze out of the earth. They are very thick, like toothpaste.”

6 Archives shed light on Darwin’s student days

By Peter Griffiths, Reuters

Sun Mar 22, 8:08 pm ET

LONDON (Reuters) – With someone to polish his shoes, make his bed and stoke the fire in his spacious rooms, Charles Darwin enjoyed the sort of pampered university life that today’s debt-laden British students can only dream about.

Two hundred years after his birth, academics have uncovered new details of his comfortable existence at the University of Cambridge before he embarked on the grueling five-year voyage that would transform science’s view of the world.

Six leather-bound ledgers unearthed in the university archives reveal how he lived in the most expensive rooms available to a student of his rank from 1828 to 1831.

7 FDA told to reconsider morning-after pill

By Susan Heavey and Bill Berkrot, Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 2:54 pm ET

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must reconsider its decision under the Bush Administration to limit access to emergency contraception, a U.S. court ruled on Monday, saying the agency allowed politics to interfere with its usual decision-making.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in a 52-page ruling, also ordered the FDA to allow 17-year-olds to buy the drug, called Plan B, without a prescription.

“The FDA repeatedly and unreasonably delayed issuing a decision on Plan B for suspect reasons,” the court said.

8 African weather center to help Red Cross

By Joe Penney, Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 9:00 am ET

DAKAR (Reuters) – A pan-African weather center will help the Red Cross respond faster to floods and drought by feeding it weather forecasts tailored to its needs, the aid group said on Tuesday.

The African Center of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD), funded by the United Nations and based in Niger, works with forecasting agencies in 53 countries.

“While large-scale disasters like those in Asia, Ghana and Togo in 2007 get more media and donor attention, 800,000 people have been affected by small-scale floods in West and Central Africa in the last year,” said Youcef Ait-Chellouche, disaster management coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for West and Central Africa.

9 Red meat raises risk of all kinds of death

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 12:29 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People who eat the most red meat and the most processed meat have the highest overall risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The National Cancer Institute study is one of the largest to look at the highly controversial and emotive issue of whether eating meat is indeed bad for health.

Rashmi Sinha and colleagues looked at the records of more than 500,000 people aged 50 to 71 who filled out questionnaires on their diet and other health habits.

10 Let sunshine in to fight tuberculosis, WHO says

By Laura MacInnis, Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 10:32 am ET

GENEVA (Reuters) – Ventilation and some sunshine could go a long way to reduce tuberculosis risks in hospitals and prisons, two strongholds of the contagious lung disease, the World Health Organization said.

In its latest Global Tuberculosis Control report, released on Tuesday, the United Nations agency also doubled its estimate of how many HIV-infected people catch and die from tuberculosis, and warned especially deadly strains are continuing to spread in all corners of the world.

Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB department, said that because tuberculosis bacteria thrive in stagnant air, “simply opening the doors” can reduce the chances that patients, inmates and others will become infected with the disease that killed about 1.8 million people in 2007.

11 Antibiotic ban on livestock may hurt U.S. food safety

By Christopher Doering, Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 11:53 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill that would ban the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animals would hurt the health of livestock and poultry while compromising efforts to protect the safety of the country’s food supply, the leader of the largest U.S. farm group said on Tuesday.

Bob Stallman, president of the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a letter to Congress that its members “carefully, judiciously and according to label instructions” use antibiotics to treat, prevent and control disease in animals.

“Antibiotic use in animals does not pose a serious public health threat,” said Stallman, who urged lawmakers to oppose the bill. “Restricting access to these important tools will jeopardize animal health and compromise our ability to contribute to public health through food safety” he added.

12 Single embryo best for fertility treatment: study

Reuters

Tue Mar 24, 8:38 pm ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Implanting a single embryo is the cheapest and most effective way for women to have a healthy baby through fertility treatment, Finnish researchers said on Wednesday.

The findings from the long-running study counter fears that relying on just one embryo could drive up treatment costs and reduce a woman’s chances of giving birth to a full-term baby, the researchers said in the journal Human Reproduction.

“At a time when there is an intense debate in many countries about how to reduce multiple pregnancy rates and provide affordable fertility treatment, policy makers should be made aware of our results,” said Hannu Martikainen of the University of Oulu in Finland, who led the study.

13 Portuguese wave-power snake dead in the water

by Anne Le Coz, AFP

Mon Mar 23, 11:48 pm ET

LISBON (AFP) – Opened in September as a world “first” in producing electricity from waves, a pioneering installation here is dead in the water having functioned for only a few weeks in a stormy process of research and development.

First it had to be taken out of service and dismantled because of technical problems. And now one of the main investors in the project, which had a start-up cost of nine million euros (12.3 million dollars), has gone bankrupt.

The structure, five kilometres (three miles) out to sea off Povoa do Varzim in northern Portugal, was put into service officially in September by Economy Minister Manual Pinho after three years of development.

14 Rescuers try to save Australia’s beached whales

AFP

Tue Mar 24, 12:20 am ET

PERTH, Australia (AFP) – Rescuers on Tuesday used trucks and cranes fitted with giant slings in a bid to transport 11 surviving whales from a mass beaching on Australia’s west coast to a safe harbour for release.

The survivors were among a pod of about 80 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins that stranded in Hamelin Bay, south of the city of Perth, on Monday.

About 70 volunteers worked through the night to try to keep the remaining 17 animals alive, said conservation department spokeswoman Leanne O’Rourke, adding that despite efforts, some of the creatures had died.

15 Six rescued whales beach again in Australia

AFP

Tue Mar 24, 11:27 pm ET

PERTH, Australia (AFP) – Six whales released back into waters off Australia’s west coast following a mass beaching came back ashore on Wednesday, authorities said.

Rescuers used trucks and cranes fitted with giant slings to move 11 long-finned pilot whales by road to sheltered waters for release, after they beached with about 80 others on Monday at Hamelin Bay, south of Perth city.

One of those moved was euthanased overnight after straggling in poor health near to shore, and an aerial patrol spotted six others again stranded near the city of Augusta early Wednesday.

16 Nine rescued whales beach again in Australia

AFP

Wed Mar 25, 1:59 am ET

PERTH, Australia, (AFP) – All but one of the 10 whales that survived a mass beaching on Australia’s west coast were Wednesday believed to have come back ashore and were unlikely to survive, authorities said.

Rescuers used trucks and cranes fitted with giant slings to move 11 long-finned pilot whales by road to sheltered waters for release, after they beached with about 80 others on Monday at Hamelin Bay, south of Perth city.

One of those moved was put to death by specialists after straggling in poor health near to shore, and an aerial patrol spotted nine others again stranded along an impassable coastal area Wednesday.

17 World water forum pledges action

by Richard Ingham, AFP

Sun Mar 22, 12:26 pm ET

ISTANBUL (AFP) – A seven-day focus on the world’s water crunch wound up Sunday with a pledge by more than 100 countries to strive for clean water and sanitation for billions in need and fight drought and flood.

But some countries criticised the cornerstone outcome of the fifth World Water Forum as flawed while activists dismissed the event itself as a “trade show.”

The declaration, coinciding with World Water Day, was issued at the end of a three-day ministerial meeting, climaxing the biggest-ever conference on the planet’s freshwater crisis.

18 Lethal air pollution booms in emerging nations

AFP

Sun Mar 22, 8:54 am ET

GENEVA (AFP) – International experts are warning that potentially lethal air pollution has boomed in fast-growing big cities in Asia and South America in recent decades.

While Europe has managed to drastically cut some, but not all, of the most noxious pollutants over the past 20 years, emerging nations experienced the opposite trend with their fast economic growth, scientists at the UN’s meteorological agency said.

Their comments came ahead of World Meteorological Day on Monday, which this year has the theme “The Air We Breathe”.

19 City buses turn to sewage for ‘clean’ fuel

by Pierre-Henry Deshayes, AFP

Sun Mar 22, 7:28 pm ET

OSLO (AFP) – Can the key to “clean” energy be found down in the sewer? That’s the idea in Oslo, where city officials soon plan to introduce buses that run on biofuels extracted from human waste.

As of 2010, the new buses are due to start plying the streets of the Norwegian capital.

“It’s a win-win situation: It’s carbon neutral, it hardly pollutes the environment, it’s less noisy and its endlessly renewable,” says Ole Jakob Johansen, one of the people in charge of the project at Oslo city hall.

20 Auschwitz museum struggles to preserve site

by Stanislaw Waszak, AFP

Sun Mar 22, 10:40 pm ET

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU, Poland (AFP) – Museum authorities at the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland are struggling to save the enduring symbol of the Holocaust from the impact of time and the elements.

In the drive to stop the site falling into ruin and preserve the memory of the 1.1 million overwhelmingly Jewish victims who died here during World War II, they face tall odds.

“This is our last chance,” warned Piotr Cywinski, director of the state-run museum.

21 US stimulus money fuels ‘smart’ power grid surge

by Glenn Chapman, AFP

Sun Mar 22, 7:00 pm ET

AUSTIN, Texas (AFP) – Electric grids are getting smarter in an IBM lab in Texas as the promise of billions of US economic stimulus dollars fuels a drive to make power delivery more efficient and greener.

A chunk of stimulus cash aimed at promoting a “smart grid” designed to foster renewable energy generation and let people and utilities better manage electricity use has IBM in alliances with a growing host of startups.

“Smart grid was starting to get hotter, but post-stimulus it is dead center at IBM and in the venture community we deal with,” said Drew Clark, director of strategy at IBM’s venture capital group.

22 Canadian seal hunt begins

by Michel Comte, AFP

Mon Mar 23, 12:20 pm ET

OTTAWA (AFP) – An annual seal hunt on ice floes off Canada’s eastern seaboard got underway Monday, amid renewed opposition from animal rights groups and a looming European ban on seal products.

The Canadian government announced a total allowable catch this year of 338,000 harp, hooded and grey seals, out of herds of more than 6.4 million.

The cull began as usual in the Magdalen Islands region of the Saint Lawrence Gulf and is expected to later expand northward to the east coast of Newfoundland province.

23 Canada seeks EU approval for seal hunting code

by Michel Comte, AFP

Tue Mar 24, 1:55 pm ET

OTTAWA (AFP) – A Canadian senator is looking to establish a worldwide seal hunt ethics code to try to reassure European parliamentarians considering a ban on the trade in seal parts, she said Tuesday.

Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette is to present a motion to Canada’s parliament by April 1, when EU lawmakers are to vote on a ban, according to her office.

She told AFP sealing nations Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland have “agreed in principle” to support her proposal.

24 Climate scientists defeated in ocean experiment

AFP

Tue Mar 24, 7:36 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – Indian and German scientists have said that a controversial experiment has “dampened hopes” that dumping hundreds of tonnes of dissolved iron in the Southern Ocean can lessen global warming.

The experiment involved “fertilising” a 300-square-kilometre (115-sqare-mile) area of ocean inside the core of an eddy — an immense rotating column of water — with six tonnes of dissolved iron.

As expected, this stimulated growth of tiny planktonic algae or phytoplankton, which it was hoped would take out of the atmosphere carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, and absorb it.

25 Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope to focus on Mars (AFP)

AFP

Posted on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:51PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Microsoft and NASA on Tuesday announced an alliance to focus the software giant’s virtual WorldWide Telescope on space agency images of Mars and other celestial bodies.

NASA and Microsoft will jointly develop a system to make high-resolution images and scientific data from Mars, the moon and elsewhere in the cosmos available for people to “explore” online at worldwidetelescope.org.

“Making NASA?s scientific and astronomical data more accessible to the public is a high priority for NASA,” said the US space agency’s science mission directorate associate administrator Ed Weiler.

26 Scientists in possible cold fusion breakthrough

AFP

Tue Mar 24, 12:46 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Researchers at a US Navy laboratory have unveiled what they say is “significant” evidence of cold fusion, a potential energy source that has many skeptics in the scientific community.

The scientists on Monday described what they called the first clear visual evidence that low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), or cold fusion devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists say are indicative of nuclear reactions.

“Our finding is very significant,” said analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss of the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, California.

27 India warns against ‘green protectionism’

by Shaun Tandon, AFP

Tue Mar 24, 9:55 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – India has warned against rich nations using climate change as a pretext for protectionism as the United States and France consider imposing environment taxes.

India’s chief climate negotiator, Shyam Saran, was in Washington for talks with the new administration of US President Barack Obama, whom he praised for putting a new emphasis on halting the warming of the planet.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu — hoping to ease concerns that climate action would worsen the US recession — has suggested slapping a tariff on imports from nations that do not require emissions cuts to “level the playing field.”

28 Obama confident US will have cap-and-trade law

AFP

Tue Mar 24, 10:24 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama expressed confidence that a budget plan being thrashed out by lawmakers will include a cap-and-trade system to cut carbon emissions, despite opposition in Congress.

“My expectation is that the energy committees or other relevant committees in both the House and the Senate are going to be moving forward a strong energy package,” Obama said during a prime time news conference, his second since taking office.

“It will be authorized. We will get it done, and I will sign it,” Obama added.

29 U.S., China worlds apart on climate change curbs

By Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers

Mon Mar 16, 7:14 pm ET

WASHINGTON – China’s top climate negotiator’s visit to Washington on Monday sent a fresh signal that the two countries, which account for about half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have a long way to go to reach a common agreement on how to cut emissions to prevent serious climate change.

China wants to become a “low-carbon society,” but can’t say when that will be achieved. And it doesn’t want to be held accountable for emissions it produces to make goods for export, said Li Gao , the director of China’s climate change office.

Li described China’s actions and plans on climate while the head of China’s negotiating team met with his American counterpart at the State Department . The meeting was part of the preparations for global negotiations on an agreement to reduce emissions in Copenhagen, Denmark , in December.

30 Star Explodes, and So Might Theory

SPACE.com Staff

Sun Mar 22, 8:36 pm ET

A massive star a million times brighter than our sun exploded way too early in its life, suggesting scientists don’t understand stellar evolution as well as they thought.

“This might mean that we are fundamentally wrong about the evolution of massive stars, and that theories need revising,” said Avishay Gal-Yam of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

According to theory, the doomed star, about 100 times our sun’s mass, was not mature enough to have evolved a massive iron core of nuclear fusion ash, considered a prerequisite for a core implosion that triggers the sort of supernova blast that was seen.

31 Space Urine Recycler Test Delayed by Low Flow Glitch

Tariq Malik, Senior Editor SPACE.com

Sun Mar 22, 9:33 pm ET

A glitch with the space urine recycler aboard the International Space Station on Sunday delayed a vital test for a system that converts astronaut urine back into drinking water.

Mission Control detected a lower than expected liquid flow into a urine processor as they attempted to recycle a batch of astronaut urine into pure drinking water in a test. The unexpected glitch initially forced astronauts to call off the attempt.

“This is a head-scratcher,” station commander Michael Fincke radioed down to Mission Control. “We’ll stand by to help unscratch our heads.”

32 NASA’s Mars Program in Disarray

Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist

Mon Mar 23, 2:36 pm ET

HOUSTON, Texas – The robotic Mars program is sort of a planetary Dead Man Walking these days, as scientists debate what missions should be next on the agenda and how Mars should compete for funding with other compelling destinations ranging from our own moon to potentially life-harboring moons in the outer solar system.

Long-time Mars researcher Chris McKay of NASA’s Ames Research Center thinks it’s time to recast the exploration agenda for the red planet.

“The NASA Mars program is at a turning point,” McKay argues in the April edition of The Mars Quarterly, a Mars Society newsletter. A trio of factors are converging that should prompt a reset of the space agency’s pinball wizard of a red planet exploration program, he writes:

33 Vote to Name Next Mars Rover

SPACE.com Staff

Tue Mar 24, 8:47 am ET

NASA’s next Mars rover may not launch for two more years, but that has not stopped the space agency from getting the vote out to name its new Mars Science Laboratory robotic explorer.

Individuals can go online to rank by preference the nine finalist names submitted by U.S. students in primary and secondary school, including Adventure, Amelia, Curiosity, Journey, Perception, Pursuit, Sunrise, Vision and Wonder. The naming poll will remain open from March 23-29.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission was originally slated to land on the red planet this year, but has been delayed until 2011. The rover carries a complex suite of instruments that can examine the Martian surface for traces of life, with onboard chemistry labs and a laser that can zap rocks to sample their composition.

34 NASA Might Name Toilet For Comedian Stephen Colbert

Brian Berger and Jeremy Hsu, Space News/SPACE.com Staff Writers

Tue Mar 24, 1:19 pm ET

NASA may consider putting Stephen Colbert’s name on a space toilet, after the comedian came out on top of the U.S. space agency’s online naming poll for a new space module.

The eponymous host of “The Colbert Report” swept in as a dark-horse challenger after urging viewers to enter his name through a write-in option. When voting ended March 20, “Colbert” had amassed more than 230,000 votes to beat out second-place name “Serenity” by more than 40,000 votes.

“Come on, Serenity?” Colbert said on his March 10 show. “That’s not a space module, that’s a Glade plug-in.”

35 Salmonella in Space Get Even Nastier

Clara Moskowitz, Staff Writer SPACE.com

Tue Mar 24, 4:47 pm ET

Salmonella sent to space have revealed secrets about the disease-causing bacteria that could help treat humans with food poisoning.

Scientists sent Salmonella bacteria to the International Space Station aboard two space shuttle missions in September 2006 and March 2008. The researchers found that when the bacteria were cultured in the microgravity environment of orbit, they became more virulent than those on Earth. The findings showed that the conditions in which the bacteria grows affect how dangerous it will become.

“This research opens up new areas for investigations that may improve food treatment, develop new therapies and vaccines to combat food poisoning in humans here on Earth, and protect astronauts on orbit from infectious disease,” said Julie Robinson, program scientist for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

36 Discarded Embryos to Generate Blood for Transfusions

Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director LiveScience.com

Mon Mar 23, 4:22 pm ET

Researchers in the UK plan to make what’s being hailed as an unlimited supply of blood for transfusions using discarded stem cells found in human embryos, according to news reports.

They’ll test embryos discarded from in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to find those with embryonic stem cells that will make O-negative blood, which is the one type that can be transfused into anyone without being rejected.

An adult has about 4-6 liters of blood (which transports oxygen through the body), white blood cells to fight infection, and platelets that clot to heal wounds. Many patients died of transfusions before 1901, when the Austrian Karl Landsteiner discovered the human blood types. Landsteiner found that antibodies against donor blood can cause deadly clumping.

37 Gang of Juvenile Dinosaurs Discovered

Robin Lloyd, LiveScience Senior Editor

Tue Mar 24, 10:32 am ET

Three juvenile Triceratops, a species thought to be solitary, died together in a flood and now have been found in a 66 million-year-old bone bed in Montana, lending more evidence to the idea that teen dinosaurs were gregarious gangsters.

Triceratops were ceratopsids, herbivorous dinosaurs that lived until the the very end of the Cretaceous Period. They have been found in enormous bone beds of multiple individuals, but all known Triceratops fossils up to now have been solitary individuals.

In fact, Triceratops is one of the best-known of all dinosaurs, with more than 50 total specimens discovered, so it looked pretty certain that they were anti-social and avoided hanging out with their own kind.

38 What Does an Egyptian Pharaoh Smell Like?

Heather Whipps, LiveScience’s History Columnist

Tue Mar 24, 12:38 pm ET

She may have ruled like a man, but Egyptian queen Hatshepsut still preferred to smell like a lady.

The world may be able to get a whiff of that ancient royal scent when researchers complete their investigation into the perfume worn by Hatshepsut, the powerful pharaoh-queen who ruled over ancient Egypt for 20 years beginning around 1479 B.C.

Analyzing a metal jar belonging to the famous queen , the team from the Bonn University Egyptian Museum in Germany recently found residue thought to be leftovers from Hatshepsut’s own perfume. Their next step will be attempting to “reconstruct” the scent, which was likely made from pricey incense imported from present-day Somalia.

39 Oldest Sea Creatures Have Been Alive 4,000 Years

Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer LiveScience.com

Mon Mar 23, 6:11 pm ET

Deep-sea corals are the oldest living animals with a skeleton in the seas, claims new research that found a 4,265-year-old coral species off the coast of Hawaii.

Deep-sea corals, which are threatened by climate change and pollution like shallow water corals are, grow on seamounts (mountains rising from the seafloor that don’t reach the ocean’s surface) and continental margins at depths of about 1,000 to 10,000 feet (300 to 3,000 meters).

These corals play host to many other marine organisms, and are hotspots of ocean biodiversity. The largest coral reef system in the world is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Big reefs are also found in the Red Sea, along the coast of Mexico and Belize, the Bahamas and the Maldives.

3 comments

  1. I hope you find a story or two of interest.

    • Robyn on March 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    …they go extinct.

  2. crying Sexism! is NOT my usual thing, but this… sheesh…

    Despite her gender, Hatshepsut’s two decades as pharaoh are considered an incredibly successful time. Ruling like a man, historians say, she mounted at least one military campaign but kept Egypt largely peaceful, and commissioned several impressive building projects.

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