Category archives: Science & Technology

The Kindness of Squirrels

What adoption in the wild tells us about the presence—and the limits—of altruism in the animal kingdom. After climbing a tree in the middle of the Yukon forest, I looked into a squirrel’s nest and found a pup that clearly did not belong there. It was older and larger than the others in the litter. My research team and I collected DNA from the whole litter and later, back at […]

Terrifying video shows moment a pair of divers were almost eaten by two hungry humpback whales

•The once in a lifetime encounter happened in the water at Souza Rock, two miles from Morro Bay in California, USA •Ball of fish surrounded Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua and began leaping out the water •The hungry predators swam towards them looking for dinner and the men got caught up as the whales emerged A terrifying video has been released of the moment a pair of divers were almost […]

Don't hurt my pride! Stunning photos of dramatic moment two lionesses fought to protect their cubs

Brutal fight took place in Madikwe Reserve, South Africa Photographer captured moment two lionesses tore into each other Mothers are known to be extremely protective over their babies – but rarely does it lead to a show of aggression quite like this. These two lionesses came to blows after their prides crossed paths in the African bush. Concerned about the safety of their cubs, both lionesses began fighting, sinking their […]

New Exhibit Explores Idaho’s Buzzsaw Jaws

When I think of Idaho, ratfish are not what immediately come to mind. Spuds and the ghastly belt of agricultural reek that keeps me holding my breath whenever I speed past Idaho Falls on the interstate, sure, but not strange cartilaginous fish. A new exhibit at the the Idaho Museum of Natural History is aiming to change that. Over 270 million years ago, the area that eventually would be called […]

Russian Chelyabinsk meteorite pieces go under microscope

Scientists have released microscopic images of fragments of the meteorite that hit central Russia in February. A team from the Ural Federal University was able to analyse some of the dozens of samples as soon as they were found. But the technique they used allowed them to assess the rock’s chemical make-up at the microscopic level even as they snapped pictures of the fragments. This will provide extra information on […]

Clue to why cat virus turns deadly

Scientists believe they are closer to understanding why a common virus infecting cats can turn deadly. The virus, a distant relative of Mers and Sars coronaviruses, usually causes mild illness but in some cats the infection can be fatal. The new findings show that severe disease is associated with mutations in one of the viral proteins. Details of the work have been published in the journal Emerging infectious Diseases. The […]

The Moon's Mystery: Scientists Debate How it Formed

It has taken centuries for scientists to settle on a creation story for our moon, the most popular of which is depicted on the July cover of National Geographic magazine. But as I learned at a recent lunch with Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, the debate is still far from finished. Before the giant impact model gained traction nearly four decades ago, three other models were […]

Military rations: How to cook up better battle food

One US centre creates recipes for meals that can withstand the rigours of war. But a simple lunchtime favourite is still the ultimate challenge. It’s a popular urban myth that Twinkies, the famous American cream-filled sponge cake, have a shelf-life of decades and can even survive a nuclear war. In fact, they stay fresh for only about a month, and their ability to withstand any environment more testing than a […]

Mysterious Pair Buried With Flowers—Oldest Example Yet

Aromatic sage and mint lined graves found on Israel’s Mount Carmel. Imprints of stems and blossoms stamped into the dirt of ancient graves are the oldest definitive proof of flowers decorating graves—a common practice around the world today—a new study says. Scented flowering plants, such as mint and sage, were imprinted in soft mud after they decomposed some 12,000 years ago in the graves, which are located in a cave […]

France 'has vast data surveillance' - Le Monde report

France’s foreign intelligence service intercepts computer and telephone data on a vast scale, like the controversial US Prism programme, according to the French daily Le Monde.   The data is stored on a supercomputer at the headquarters of the DGSE intelligence service, the paper says. The operation is “outside the law, and beyond any proper supervision”, Le Monde says. Other French intelligence agencies allegedly access the data secretly. It is […]