Science Tuesday: A Month’s Worth of Science News

[Photo: Pelican Spider, Hannah Wood, UC Davis]

Happy Tuesday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been over a month since we’ve had a Science Tuesday on the blog, which means we have a lot of science news to get through. Let’s do this.

Mineral found in meteorite puzzles scientists

Young moon’s early orbit was highly elliptical, researchers find

Deep aurora in Mars seen by Maven spacecraft

Philae data suggest comet could be composed of pebbles

Ancient crocodile ancestor walked on 2 legs, was top predator

Researchers classify ancient creatures that confounded Darwin

Study finds increase in prevalence of celiac disease

Ancient hot spot may have caused shift in moon’s poles, scientists say

Image shows massive filament reaching across sun

Technique spurs speedy gene-mutation spread in fruit flies “the technique shows promise in creating a population of mosquitoes that could be bred for malaria resistance.”

Many European wild bees at risk for extinction

Art turns to science to determine what materials Picasso used in his paintings

Molecular nitrogen found on Comet 67P

Cosmic dust that survives supernova can create planets, stars

Nuclear fusion progress achieved by U.S. scientists

NOAA: Dec. to Feb. was warmest winter ever recorded worldwide

Scientists closer to vaccine after sequencing genome of second hookworm species

Ancient hand axes show early humans used tools to butcher meat from animals

Scientists splice DNA of woolly mammoth, elephant

Researchers explore deep-sea canyon off western Australian coast

Researchers find evidence of ancient asteroid impacts beneath central Australia

Studies find components that may have supported life on Mars

Solar system cleared out by early wandering Jupiter, study suggests

Higher IQ seen in adopted children than siblings

Circulation in the Atlantic Ocean slowing, new index finds

Opportunity completes Martian marathon

Heat, sound waves moved by magnetic fields, researchers say

Monitoring animal behavior could be early quake warning, study suggests

Massive ancestor of salamanders found in Portugal

Scientists recalculate rotation of Saturn

More evidence of infidelity found in Richard III’s line, geneticists say

John Nash becomes first to hold Abel, Nobel prizes

Researchers develop light-emitting fibers for fabrics

Researchers detect dark matter as it coasts through galaxy collisions

Thinning of Antarctic ice shelves accelerating, researchers say

Polar bears’ shifting dining habits could affect bird populations

New mutations not responsible for current Ebola outbreak

Cambrian marine creature hunted with tooth-filled claws, researchers find

Study shows how porpoises use sound to locate prey

GPS tracking gives researchers glimpse into pandas’ lives

Ancient Egyptian beer-brewing basins found in Israel

Researchers: Painting from pyramid a forgery, may hide painting beneath

Ants want to explore even when hampered by microgravity, study suggests

Carbon dust from comets may be why Mercury appears dark

Scientists link separate quantum systems

Ancient recipe effective on antibiotic-resistant infections

Faraway galaxy was star-making powerhouse

Warming waters may be drawing blue crabs farther north, study suggests

Researchers track lengthy migration of tiny blackpoll warblers

Study looks at evolutionary bird-plumage changes

Enzyme-blocking nanoparticles can speed wound healing

Strange undersea virus mutates own genes to survive in harsh environment

Sinking tectonic plate responsible for bend in Hawaii-area seamounts

Young galaxy clusters discovered

New dating technique shows Little Foot fossil is 3.7 million years old (This is Little Foot the human precursor, not Little Foot the cartoon dinosaur ;))

Pelican spiders keep prey a safe distance away <– This is one of the most bizarre spiders I’ve ever seen.

Intact skeleton of Ottoman Army camel discovered in Austria

Exploding head syndrome more prevalent in young people than thought o.O

Ants in NYC are changing due to junk food diets, study says

Study explores the secrets of seahorse tails

Ancient human ancestors also enjoyed a day at the lake, researchers say

Surprising events prompt babies to learn, study shows

Positive results for cancer vaccines using tumor mutations

Neuroscientists team up with hackers

Green glowing clouds viewed by Hubble Space Telescope

Large Hadron Collider back online after 2-year break

Ancient teeth, bones found in Kenya likely early Homo specimens

Scientists explore secrets of long-lived lemurs

Birds find meals of insects in fur of sloths

Polar bears wouldn’t adapt well to life only on land, researchers say

Lightning strikes charted in NASA’s global map

Rain inside hurricanes may significantly lessen their intensity

Specialized robot uncovers life deep beneath Antarctic Ice shelf

2 dusty tails follow behind the moon, researchers say

Ancient medieval text reveals hidden text, drawings

Study reclassifies Brontosaurus as unique genus, species

Galapagos tortoises retool diets with non-native plants

Visual portions of brain evolving out of eyeless cave-dwelling crustaceans

Fire could spread radioactive material from Chernobyl, study finds <– I test for things like this at work to make sure the water and soil around nuclear power plants isn’t contaminated :)

New techniques with fluorescent proteins help scientists see the unseeable

Researchers team up for stem cell transplant study

Scientists develop “bio-cement” to help regenerate bone tissue

Building blocks of life found in young star’s proto-planetary disk

Faraway galaxy seen as glowing ring in ALMA telescope image

Thick dust hides thousands of glaciers on Mars !

New studies add to debate on how the moon formed

Trove of mummies found in ancient Peruvian tombs

Debate grows around flower fossil find

Fossils from ancient forests feed life in Antarctic waters today

Magnetic bands around sun may help predict solar flares, study suggests

Land bridge linking North, South America older than once thought

Tyrannosaur battle may have caused scars on ancient dinosaur skull

Nearly complete skeleton of large ancient bird found in Argentina

Mountain gorillas resistant to genetic problems from inbreeding, study finds

Neanderthal skeleton in Italian cave yields some DNA

Vertebra in Lucy skeleton found to be from a baboon

Man buried alongside noblewoman in ancient tomb likely a sacrifice Yikes!

Ancient ammonites may have been able to keep themselves afloat

Supernovae brightness may mean universe isn’t expanding as rapidly as thought

Plucking hairs in a concentrated area results in greater hair growth So I guess plucking your grey hairs really can result in more grey hairs…

Researchers evaluate spider silk for heart regeneration

Evidence of liquid brine found in Mars soil

First glimpse of dark matter map revealed

Color map of Ceres unveiled

Mysterious, stormy white patches on Saturn may be caused by water vapor

Flakes discovered in Kenya may be oldest stone tools ever found

Roughed up skeleton may have been medieval knight who jousted

Western gray whale sets record for mammal migration

Color image of Pluto, Charon taken by New Horizons probe

Rosetta finds no magnetic field on its comet

Gamma-ray burst gives off afterglow that tips off astronomers

Device successfully uses brain signals to control prosthesis

Neanderthals may have cooked with spices

Mini-strokes, not epilepsy, may have caused Caesar’s symptoms

Various kinds of ocean waves cause mysterious Earth hum

Crew films rare footage of sperm whale deep in Gulf of Mexico <– The best part of this video is how completely geeked the researchers are about it :)

Strange radio signals caused by microwave ovens

Existence of rare Bouvier’s red colobus monkey confirmed by photo

Fossil found in Argentina sheds light on ancient terror birds

Dogs and humans bond through eye contact

Capitanian event a mass extinction, researchers say

Asia, Americas trade may have been going on long before Columbus

Microbe shows preference for meteorite dust over Earth

Happiness is … the sweet smell of sweat, researchers say


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Erie the Mermaid, Creepier than Ever!

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve been waking up an hour earlier all week for work, and instead of making me bright eyed and bushy tailed, it’s fried my brain. Thank gods for coffee!

With my crazy work schedule this week I didn’t get much done in the way of writing, but I did finish my read-through of StO and fix all the big issues. Next I’ll be making the sentences pretty, and then it’s heading off to the final critique round. I’m really curious to see what Diana thinks of the updated version – she read the first draft as I wrote it and will be the last person to read it before I query.

Speaking of Diana, she is so wonderfully amazing that she drew Erie for me!


Isn’t she creepy? I love her!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the second installment of The Winged Warrior (aka: Ocean’s story) for Fie Eoin Friday, and I should have a custom up this weekend too. I just have to finalize things with the customizer. Have a great weekend, Aledans!

Book Birthday: PATH OF ANGELS, Patricia Josephine

Happy Monday, Aledan Merfolk! You might remember a couple months ago when we had a cover reveal for MICHAEL, PATH OF ANGELS by Patricia Josephine. Michael’s book birthday was March 30th, but I was inundated with family that week and completely forgot to post that day, so Happy Late Birthday, Michael!

perf6.000x9.000.inddThere is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.

Buy MICHAEL on Amazon

PatriciaLynneAuthorPicAbout the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.







Normalizing Once Again

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (or been online regularly), but the family has gone home and things are getting back to normal around here. I spent last week bouncing around between home, work, and Folly Beach, and while it was super fun (the beach house my sister rented was on Erie street!) it was also super exhausting. And then poor Hops had tummy issues for days after, so I’ve only just started catching up on my sleep. In fact, I think I need a cup of coffee before I finish this post…

The day before her 7th birthday, Hops finally learned how to climb the slippery stairs at the beach house. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
The day before her 7th birthday, Hops finally learned how to climb the slippery stairs at the beach house. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Ahhh, coffee achieved. Last time you saw me, I was just about to hit send on my submission to the Women in Practical Armor anthology. Ocean’s story, which I officially titled The Winged Warrior, wasn’t accepted for the anthology, so I think we have a few Fie Eoin Fridays coming up ^_^

I also finished reading HENNA HOUSE and THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI and loved them both! I started listening to FEAR THE SKY on audible, which is interesting so far, and read ONE KICK in a couple days this week. That book was dark and disturbing and so well done that I read it despite the fact that it’s not my usual fare. I’m currently reading THE DARWIN ELEVATOR (man, I’m on a SciFi binge lately – the last CP project was also SciFi), and after that I have HALF A KING which I started and then put aside when family showed up. It’ll go well with my next CP project, which is a fantasy.

StO has been on the backburner for a while, but I got my last set of CP notes back and started re-reading it to get back in Finn’s voice. I wrote a sticky for a new scene last night, so once I finish the re-read I should be able to get that scene written and then all my plot issues should be pretty much taken care of (except the ending, which I’m not changing unless an agent/editor asks me to, sorry CPs). Then it’ll be a matter of polishing my sentences and sending it off to my grammar person for errant comma problems (I’m really bad at commas). While it’s with her I’ll work on the synopsis and query. I hope to be back in the trenches in May! (And I hope to be back out of the trenches at the end of the year *crosses fingers*)

Then I’m heading back to Fie Eoin because I just can’t stay away from home for too long ;)

I hope you have a great weekend, Aledans. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the first part of The Winged Warrior so you can meet Ocean and Yule, and I’ll try to get a custom up this weekend! Next week we’ll have a huge Science Tuesday post with all the science news we missed over the past couple of weeks.

The First Day of Spring!

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! Yesterday I saw the first wisteria bloom of the season, and the Aledans here will know what that means: it’s officially spring! Wisteria is the Mother Goddess Aleda’s flower, and blooms when she is reborn into the world (well, into the world in Fie Eoin). Today it was too rainy to see anymore wisteria, but that’s ok because the rain will wash away all the pollen that’s been turning the world green this week. Although that was a pretty appropriate color for St Patrick’s Day.

Today I’m reading through the FE Short for a final time, and deciding on a title that’s better than just “Ocean”. Then I’m hitting “send” on the submission for Women in Practical Armor! I need to do it this week, because next week I’ll be preparing for family to visit and I know I’ll forget all about Ocean and miss the deadline.

StO’s been put on the backburner for now, because I’m just too damn busy and I’m in my reading brain rather than my writing one. I’m also still waiting on the last edit letter for this round (I know my CP finished reading earlier this week, but she stayed up until 4am (!!!) so she needs some time to put her brain back together before I get the notes :D). I did write a new scene last Thursday on my day off from CPing, but I have another new one I need to get to at some point. Probably after family visits. The CP project I’m currently working on will be done before family visits, so I’ll have a week and a half off from CP duties to relax and hang out with family :)

I’m still reading HENNA HOUSE, although I’m nearly finished with it (it’s soooo good. Totally different from what I’ve been reading for the past couple of years, and such a welcome change), and still listening to THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI (that’s taking longer since I only listen while doing chores and getting ready for bed). They are both such beautiful books with richly detailed worlds. Definitely check them out.

Unfortunately there won’t be a Custom of the Week for the next three weeks, since I’m busy every weekend, but I’ll definitely get up Science Tuesday next week, if not the week after (probably not the week after). Have a happy first day of spring tomorrow (officially, not just in FE) and I’ll see you in a few weeks after family has gone home and things are back to normal in my world!

Science Tuesday: Pre-Clovis Tool Found in Oregon, 170-Year Old Beer Smells Like Goat, and Ganymede’s Ocean.

[Photo of agate scrapper by the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History]

Happy Tuesday, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve been enjoying Dogfish Head Brewery’s Ancient Ales lately, but I don’t think I’d try a 170-year old beer that smelled like goat. Would you? Read below to find out more about that beer, as well as all the other fun science news from the past week!

Bird thought to be extinct found in Myanmar: The Jerdon’s babbler, a bird in Myanmar thought to have been extinct for decades, has turned up in a grassland area of the country near the site of a now-abandoned agricultural research facility. Wildlife Conservation Society researchers were investigating the area when they heard and recorded a distinctive bird call. When they played it back, one of the birds came in response, and over the next few days, more of the birds were discovered in the area.

Artificial spider silk created with genetically altered E. Coli: Scientists have fashioned a material similar to spider silk by splicing spider genes into E. coli. The modified bacteria produce artificial silk that is more elastic than the real thing, but isn’t as strong. The process was described in Advanced Materials.

Multiple views of a supernova seen by astronomers: Astronomers have been able to witness the same supernova multiple times because of light rays from a unique galaxy cluster that allowed the Hubble Space Telescope to see multiple images of the star explosion, according to a description of the event published in Science. The four cosmic images of the supernova are arranged in a pattern known as an Einstein cross, allowing astronomers to see, for the first time, the same event at slightly different moments more than once.

Snowflakes aren’t symmetrical, according to cutting-edge camera: Snowflakes are even more complex than previously thought, according to high-speed 3D images taken by a new camera developed to help improve weather-related travel warnings. Images show that not only are snowflakes different from each other, individual snowflakes aren’t symmetrical, as previously thought. The images will help meteorologists get more precise information about precipitation to make better predictions about road conditions, researchers say.

Researchers use muons to locate melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima plant: A team of scientists, including researchers from Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, conducted an experiment last month at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The team used a method that employed particles called muons to search for nuclear fuel that melted inside the plant’s three reactors during the nuclear accident in 2011. “If we can learn at least whether nuclear fuel remains in the reactor’s inner pressure vessel, that will be an important discovery,” said Fumihiko Takasaki, a professor at the research organization.

Ancient tool found at Ore. dig site raises questions: A tiny stone tool found in the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter in Oregon may help determine that the ancient site is the oldest area of human occupation in the American Northwest. The tool, a scraper created from orange agate, dates back about 15,800 years. The tool was found under a layer of volcanic ash, causing some to think it may have come from a higher site, so more study is needed.

Iron Age Celtic prince found buried with chariot in France: An elaborate Iron Age tomb found in northwestern France belongs to a Celtic prince, who was buried with his chariot and other unique artifacts, officials with the National Archaeological Research Institute say. “This exceptional tomb contains unique funerary artifacts, which are fitting for one of the highest elite of the end of the first Iron Age,” the institute said in a release. Excavation, which began in October, is schedule to wrap up this month.

Paralyzed stroke patients use robotic gloves to regain hand movement: Scientists at Britain’s University of Hertfordshire have developed robotic gloves fitted with leaf springs and sensors to help paralyzed stroke patients regain hand and arm function. Users play games with the gloves as part of their therapy regimen, and health care providers can monitor their progress remotely. The prototype gloves have been tested on patients and are ready for commercial production, according to the inventors.

Mars Opportunity examines strange rocks as it nears marathon milestone: Some strange rocks have been found by Mars rover Opportunity as it nears Marathon Valley. The rover will examine the rocks more closely before moving on and after NASA scientists have confirmed that a software upgrade is performing as they expect. When Opportunity reaches the valley, it will have traveled the distance equivalent to a marathon in its 11-year journey, giving the valley its name.

Astronomers find new star clusters at edge of Milky Way: New star clusters are taking shape on the edge of the Milky Way, according to a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The find has puzzled scientists because stars usually form near the center of the galaxy, not in its outer edges. Astronomers in Brazil, who made the discovery, speculate that either supernovas hurled dust and gas to the outer edges of the Milky Way, or the material came from outside.

Plane begins global journey on solar power alone: Solar Impulse 2, a plane that flies on solar power alone, took off from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday on what may be a historic journey around the world. The plane plans to stop in Oman, India, Myanmar, China and multiple sites in the U.S., then on to Europe or North Africa before it makes it back to Abu Dhabi sometime in July or August, according to Solar Impulse officials. The global journey is meant to showcase green technology, officials said.

Scientists confirm: 170-year-old beer smells really bad: Scientists in Finland ran several tests on beer discovered in an 1840s shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. Among their discoveries? The 170-year-old beer smells “of autolyzed yeast, dimethyl sulfide, Bakelite, burnt rubber, over-ripe cheese, and goat, with phenolic and sulfury notes.”

Spelunkers find Alexander-era coins, jewelry in Israeli cave: Spelunkers exploring a cave in northern Israel found a cache of ancient coins and jewelry dating back to Alexander the Great and leading archaeologists to find further artifacts hidden there. “The valuables might have been hidden in the cave by local residents who fled there during the period of governmental unrest stemming from the death of Alexander, a time when the Wars of the Diadochi broke out in Israel between Alexander’s heirs following his death,” according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. After the initial discovery, archaeologists found pottery and other items dating back between 3,000 and 6,000 years.

Modern sponges may be descended from tiny, 600M-year-old fossil: A tiny fossil dating back 600 million years may be the ancestor to today’s sponges, according to findings reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Eocyathispongia qiania, about the size of the head of a pin, has cells that resemble those of modern sponges, researchers say.

Short-circuit stalls NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity: NASA’s Curiosity rover may have experienced a short circuit in its rock-boring drill arm, causing it to freeze up Feb. 27 after putting some powder it had drilled into its body. “The most likely cause is an intermittent short in the percussion mechanism of the drill. After further analysis to confirm that diagnosis, we will be analyzing how to adjust for that in future drilling,” said Jim Erickson, project manager. Now that NASA scientists think they’ve discovered the problem, they say the Mars rover may have use of its arm again sometime this week.

Heart-on-a-chip helps scientists test cardiac drugs: Bioengineers at the University of California at Berkeley think they are on track to eliminating the need to test new heart medicines on animals, thanks to a new technique that combines human cells with computer chips. The so-called “organ-on-a-chip” could not only speed the time to release of life-saving drugs, but also significantly cut the cost of development, scientists say.

Study indicates ancient historian may be right about establishment of Armenia: The claim of a fifth-century historian — who said he studied ancient Babylonian records to determine that the date of Armenia’s establishment was 2492 B.C. — might be credible thanks to a new study of Armenian genomes. Researchers with the Sanger Institute in the U.K. looked at the genomes of 173 native Armenians and those from Lebanon and found a mixture of populations that came to be between 3000 and 2000 B.C., around the time Movses Khorenatsi said Armenia was established. The findings were posted on bioRxiv last month ahead of a journal publication.

Thousands of 16th-, 17th-century skeletons found at London railroad site: Possibly as many as 3,000 skeletons may be recovered from what was once Bedlam cemetery dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, the site of what will soon be London’s Crossrail project. Many of the remains are of people thought to have died during the bubonic plague outbreak that hit London in 1665 as well as from other causes. A team of archaeologists is working to remove remains and artifacts from the site before Crossrail construction can resume.

Dental DNA helps find origins of slaves buried on Caribbean island: A DNA analysis of ancient teeth belonging to a trio of slaves buried on the Caribbean island of St. Martin between 1660 and 1680 have placed the slaves’ origins to specific areas of Africa, according to a study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Two of the slaves were traced back to what is now Nigeria and Ghana, while the third most likely came from Cameroon, the scientists said. The DNA gave researchers information not available through records.

Cellular crystals help chameleons change colors: Chameleons rapidly switch around crystals within special skin cells to change their colors, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The study looked at panther chameleons and found the crystals inside cells known as iridophores. “They split the iridophores into two layers, one that is specialized for color change … and one to reduce the amount of energy absorbed by the animal,” said Michel Milinkovitch, the study’s senior author.

Scientists target neurons to hack the memories of mice: Researchers at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution in Paris, France, have succeeded in altering the short-term memory of mice by using electrodes to disrupt neurons associated with place recall. In experiments, the researchers were able to artificially induce place memory by stimulating reward centers of the brain in mice as their neurons were responding to real memories of an experimental arena.

Study: Narcissism in children due to excessive parental praise: Narcissism in children may be the result of parents offering a child too much praise, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam followed 565 children ages 7 to 12 for 18 months and found a small link between growing narcissistic behavior and the amount of praise a parent bestowed, suggesting that older theories about negative parenting causing the behavior may be incorrect.

Evidence of hydrothermal activity found on Enceladus: Scientists have found the first evidence of hydrothermal activity outside of earth on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s icy moons, raising the chance for alien life to be found, according to a study published in Nature. Using data collected over the past 10 years by the Cassini space probe, scientists believe the plumes of dust released by the vapor spewing from Enceladus is silica, which could only have formed under specific circumstances, indicated the presence of hydrothermal activity. “Unless there is something really bizarre happening, we think our interpretation is solid,” said Sean Hsu, an author of the study.

Report raises risk of massive Calif. quake in the next 30 years to 7%: The chance of a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 or higher striking California within the next 30 years has increased to 7%, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. “The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” said the report’s lead author Ned Field.

Study suggests 1610 is the best start date of the Anthropocene epoch: A push to set the date for the beginning of the new geologic epoch, named for mankind’s influence on Earth, is gaining steam. A group of researchers suggests the Anthropocene epoch began in 1610, when Europeans arrived in the Americas, according to a study published in Nature. “We look for these golden spikes — a real point in time when you can show in a record when the whole Earth has changed,” said study co-author Mark Maslin.

Eagle talons were used as adornments by Neanderthals, study suggests: Neanderthals used eagle talons as jewelry, a study published in PLOS ONE suggests. Talons dating back 130,000 years were found in Croatia more than 100 years ago, and an analysis has found marks on them that indicate they were used as ornamentation.

Blue blood pigment helps Antarctic octopus handle wide temperature changes: Antarctic octopi have blue pigments in their blood that helps them deal with freezing water as well as temperature fluctuations caused by climate change, a study published in Frontiers in Zoology reports. “This is the first study providing clear evidence that the octopods’ blue blood pigment, haemocyanin, undergoes functional changes to improve the supply of oxygen to tissue at sub-zero temperatures,” said Michael Oellermann, lead author of the study.

Clones of ancient trees helping to revitalize world’s forests: A program that clones ancient trees is using its saplings to revitalize forests throughout the U.S. and other countries. The nonprofit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Michigan uses tissue samples from venerable trees around the world to create trees that are genetically identical to the original. So far, more than 150 species of trees have been preserved by the cloning process, officials say.

Scientists create self-powering data device that gets its energy from birds in flight: Researchers at Northern Arizona University have created a prototype for a device used for collecting data on birds and other flying animals that relies on the animals themselves for power. The bio-logging device, which is mounted on the animal’s back, harnesses energy from the piezoelectric power generated by the animal’s flapping wings. “As long as the animal is in motion, we can generate power from their movement,” said graduate researcher Ryan Shipley.

Star ring at edge of Milky Way may actually be part of galaxy: A ring of stars surrounding the Milky Way may, in reality, be part of it, increasing the galaxy’s size by 50%, according to a study published in the Astrophysical Journal. Researchers examined the edge of the galaxy using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. “It looks to me like maybe these patterns are following the spiral structure of the Milky Way, so they may be related,” said study co-author Heidi Newberg.

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission heads into space: NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Thursday night. Four spacecraft detached from the Atlas rocket and will align themselves in the form of a pyramid to study magnetic explosions caused by high-speed particles from the sun hitting Earth’s magnetic field.

Subsurface ocean on Ganymede detected by Hubble: The Hubble Space Telescope has provided evidence that a subsurface ocean exists on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Scientists used data collected by Hubble about Ganymede’s aurora belts that are controlled by the moon’s magnetic fields to construct computer models that would explain the phenomenon. Only a huge subsurface, salt-water ocean could create that scenario, researchers say.

Researchers hope marine database cuts back on redundant identification of species: Many marine species thought to be new really aren’t, and researchers with the World Register of Marine Species, or WoRMS, are compiling a database to help mitigate the misidentifications. So far, WoRMS has found 190,400 species that have been misidentified as new since 2008.

Ideas about hibernation challenged by warm dormant bats: Two species of bats have been found hibernating in caves considered too warm for the practice, a find that challenges long-held assumptions about hibernation. Not only do the two species of mouse-tailed bats hibernate in the warm climes of Israel’s Great Rift Valley caves, they are doing so with warm body temperatures, researchers say. “These bats exhibited dramatic metabolic depression at warm body temperatures in the hottest caves in the desert,” said Noga Kronfeld-Schor, co-author of a study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Study: Onion extract helps reduce blood glucose levels: Research presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society found that onion bulb extract combined with metformin significantly reduced blood glucose and cholesterol levels. “Onion is cheap and available and has been used as a nutritional supplement. It has the potential for use in treating patients with diabetes,” said lead scientist Anthony Ojieh.

Ring indicates early encounters between Viking, Islamic civilizations: A ring found in the grave of a ninth-century woman at the site of a Viking trading center called Birka in what is now Sweden is evidence of contact between Vikings and an ancient Islamic civilization. The ring was first found in the 1800s and an Arabic inscription reads “for Allah” or “to Allah,” according to research published in Scanning. Researchers studied the ring with a scanning electron microscope and found that what was once thought to be amethyst is actually colored glass, an exotic item when the ring was made.

Receipt demonstrates ancient Egyptians’ heavy tax burden: An ancient receipt written on a piece of pottery is evidence of the heavy taxes levied on Egyptians, and in this case heavy is literal. The receipt calls for a total tax payment of 90 talents, a currency unit at the time, and was paid for in coins, weighing approximately 220 pounds, or about 100 kilograms, according to researchers translating several ancient texts at Montreal’s McGill University Library and Archives. The findings are set to be published in the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.

Micronesian coral burial pyramids older than once thought, study suggests: Ancient burial pyramids made of living coral in Micronesia may be older than once believed, according to a study published in Science Advances. “The results of this study lend support to oral histories and other archaeological work on Kosrae suggesting an earlier construction, occupation and use of Leluh,” said coral expert and lead study author Zoe Richards. Uranium-thorium dating suggests that the pyramids might have been built in the 1300s.

Super-thin, flexible material changes colors on demand: University of California at Berkeley engineers have developed an extremely thin and flexible material that can change colors on a whim. “This is the first time anybody has made a flexible chameleon-like skin that can change color simply by flexing it,” said research team member Connie Chang-Hasnain. The material is described in a paper published in Optica.


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A Month of CPing and Historical Fiction

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’m so tired today, both because of the time change and because I stayed up late CPing. I had planned to finish today (technically I did, since it was after midnight), but late last night I got to a plot twist that was so good I didn’t even see it coming until the MC spelled it out. It was THAT GOOD. Seriously – someday you’ll see this book on shelves and you’ll remember me typing in all caps telling you to buy it, because you need this book in your life.

Since I’ve been CPing for literally the past month straight I’m taking today off to work on StO. Then tomorrow I’m starting a new CP project that’s due in two weeks, which is perfect because I’ll be getting another CP project in two weeks! I think all my critique partners conspire to send their stuff to me at the same time. Or, you know, fate, since I’m still waiting on one person to send back the third draft of StO :)

HennaHouseI’m a busy little CP bee right now. But that’s ok, because I have three people tied up editing StO and Ocean (who needs an actual title), so it’s not like I’m the only one buzzing around someone else’s words. I’m also reading HENNA HOUSE by Nomi Eve and listening to the audiobook of THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker. My brain was casting around for a bit, not sure what it wanted to read, but it turns out it wanted early twentieth century characters from the Middle East. Who knew? Sorry SFF and YA, I’m back to my original love of Historical Fiction.

GolemJinniI’m going to be around sporadically for the rest of the month because of concerts and family visits, but I do have a Custom of the Week for you this Sunday. And Science Tuesday will continue posting every week, because two-week old science news is no fun. Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans, and I hope the weather where you live is just as spring-y as it has been here!