The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa. The fossils of a female adult and a juvenile male - perhaps mother and son - are just under two million years old.
A new species of giant lizard has been discovered in the Philippines. The 2m-long reptile is a monitor lizard, the group to which the world's longest and largest lizards belong.
The monitor, described as spectacular by the scientists who found it, lives in forests covering the Sierra Madre mountains in the north of the country. The striking reptile has bright yellow, blue and green skin, and survives on a diet of just fruit, yet until now it has escaped the eyes of biologists.
"It is an incredible animal," says Dr Rafe Brown, one of the scientists who describe the new lizard in the journal Biology Letters. In the journal, the researchers describe how rare it is to find such a large terrestrial animal new to science.
How toads sensed the quake is unclear, but most breeding pairs and males fled. They reacted despite the colony being 74km from the quake's epicentre, say biologists in the Journal of Zoology. It is hard to objectively and quantifiably study how animals respond to seismic activity, in part because earthquakes are rare and unpredictable.
A team of scientists in Switzerland have collided sub-atomic particles at record power, in an attempt to mimic conditions of the Big Bang that created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.
"This is a major breakthrough. We are going where nobody has been before. We have opened a new territory for physics," Oliver Buchmueller at the the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern), said.
The experiment in Cern's 27km long Large Hadron Collider (Lhc) will allow researchers to examine the nature of fundamental matter and the origins of stars and planets. The collisions took place at a record total collision energy of 7 billion electron volt, just a fraction of a second slower than the speed of light.
Anyone need a $500 million, 355-foot steel tower for launching rockets into space? There's one available at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Brand new, never been used.
The mobile launcher has been built for a rocket called the Ares 1. The problem is, there is not yet any such thing as an Ares 1 rocket -- and if the Obama administration has its way, there never will be. President Obama's 2011 budget kills that rocket, along with the rest of NASA's Constellation program, the ambitious back-to-the-moon effort initiated under President George W. Bush.
People here were shocked when they heard the news last month. They were already facing the imminent retirement of the aging space shuttle, and the likelihood of thousands of layoffs in the contracting corps but many hoped to find a Constellation job, stay on site and essentially just switch badges.
Humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes on the planet that we may be ushering in a new period of geological history.Through pollution, population growth, urbanisation, travel, mining and use of fossil fuels we have altered the planet in ways which will be felt for millions of years, experts believe.
It is feared that the damage mankind has inflicted will lead to the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth’s history with thousands of plants and animals being wiped out. The new epoch, called the Anthropocene – meaning new man – would be the first period of geological time shaped by the action of a single species.
Although the term has been in informal use among scientists for more than a decade, it is now under consideration as an official term.
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