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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 56 declined, 14 accepted (70 total, 20.00% accepted)

+ - The ancestor of humans was an 'artist' 500,000 years ago

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Our ancient ancestor, Homo erectus, around 500,000 years ago, has been shown to make doodles or patterns. So, it seems that we Homo sapiens have come from a thoughtful lineage. The zig-zag markings cut into the covering of a fossil freshwater shell were from a deposit in the main bone layer of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the place where Homo erectus was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891, says Dr Stephen Munro, a palaeoanthropologist with the Australian National University. The team's testing shows the erectus doodling was from 0.54 million years to a minimum of 0.43 million years ago. This pushes back the thoughtful making of marks by hundreds of thousands of years. The thoughtful gathering of shellfish and their nutrients also points to possible explanations for the evolving of bigger brains."

+ - Standing rock on Mars.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "A boulder rolling down a hill normally does not deserve even passing mention. But a boulder on Mars may well generate several academic papers, especially as it landed standing up like a stele, Stonehenge-style. It also left a distintive trail, as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this view on July 3, 2014."

+ - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases."

+ - Higgs boson: easy! Now, the underlying reason fr it.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Physicists at the CERN's Large Hadron Colider (LHC) ATLAS experiment have been looking through the data, and have found enough of the extremely rare "W boson" (proton-proton) collisons that they can now declare their results; They have found why/how the Higgs does its job of imparting mass to other particles. This article tells how it works.

"Only about one in 100 trillion proton-proton collisions would produce one of these events," said Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory who played a leadership role in the analysis of this result for the ATLAS collaboration. "You need to observe many [collisions] to see if the production rate is above or on par with predictions," Pleier said. "We looked through billions of proton-proton collisions produced at the LHC for a signature of these events—decay products that allow us to infer like Sherlock Holmes what happened in the event."

The analysis efforts started two years ago and were carried out in particular by groups from Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Michigan, and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany."

+ - ISEE-3 satellite is back in control

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "In the last two days, the (Reboot Project for the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite has commanded ISEE-3 from the Earth, using signals transmitted from the Aricebo Observatory. Signals were also received by cooperating dishes: the 21-meter dish located at Kentucky's Morehead State University Space Science Center; the 20-meter dish antenna in Bochum Observatory, Germany, operated by AMSAT Germany; and, SETI's Allen Telescope Array (ATA), California. ISEE-3 was launched in 1978, and last commanded in 1999 by NASA. On May 15, 2014, the project reached its crowdfunding goal of US$125,000, which will cover the costs of writing the software to communicate with the probe, searching through the NASA archives for the information needed to control the spacecraft, and buying time on the dish antennas. The project then set a "stretch goal" of $150,000, which it also met with a final total of $159,502 raised. The goal is to be able to command the spacecraft to fire its engines to enter an Earth orbit, and then be usable for further space exploration. This satellite does not even have a computer; it is all "hard-wired"."

+ - Fishing line as artificial 'muscle'->

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Researchers have made what they describe as an "almost embarrassing" discovery, that twisted nylon fishing line can form a "powerful, large-stroke, high-stress artificial muscles" capable of lifting as much as 100 times more weight than human muscles and contracting by 49%, and "generate 5.3 kilowatts of mechanical work per kilogram of muscle weight, similar to that produced by a jet engine." They twisted the fishing line, then heated it to 'set' the shape-memory muscle. The scientists are from the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong, and the University of Texas. It's published in Science magazine."
Link to Original Source

+ - 3D model of Australia's Great Barrier Reef & Choral Sea

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Research from James Cook University's Dr Robin Beaman has aggregated data into a new high-resolution bathymetry model of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, called gbr100. The 100 metre-resolution gridded bathymetry dataset covers an area of about 3,000,000 km2, from the Gulf of Papua to northern New South Wales, and easterly into the deep Coral Sea. There is also a really interesting colour poster (909kB PDF) to download."

+ - 2013 Winners - Eureka Prizes - Australian Museum

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "The 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in 17 fields, covering: research and innovation; leadership and commercialisation; science communication and journalism;and school science.

Significant among the prizes were:

CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science — Winner: Professor Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne — This international nanotechnology expert has won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his leadership in developing nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical applications.

Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher — Winner: Dr Kerrie Wilson, University of Queensland — Targeted spending provides more bang for the buck when it comes to protecting threatened species, according to new guidelines developed by the University of Queensland’s Dr Kerrie Wilson.

Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Secondary — Winner: The Spectacular Spider, Brandon Gifford, Casino High School, NSW — A mini-documentary about spiders has won final-year school student Brandon Gifford the 2013 Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for secondary students. It’s his third win in a row."

+ - Woman with cancer, re-implanted with ovarian tissue, is pregnant with twins.->

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "A world first! When Australian woman, Vali, was diagnosed with cancer, and treated, she was not looking at a good outcome. Yet, TWO cancer treatments later, she is pregnant with twin girls. Her ovaries were sectioned and frozen before the cancer treatment. She has had her own flesh implanted outside her pelvis. Eggs were gathered, IVF techniques used later with her male partner, and her uterus is now carrying two viable girls due to be born in about 3 months. Melbourne IVF's Associate Professor Kate Stern has explained the process today."
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+ - What happens when a gorilla retires? Another zoo.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "The head gorilla at Australia's most prestigious zoo, Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, is about to be retired. Kibabu is a 'silverback' and, at age 36, is about to be taken away from his family and retired. His replacement is a 12-year-old silverback from France. It's a natural thing in the wild, but Kibabu is not going to be in a fight that he loses to a younger male. He'll just go. His new home in retirement will be another zoo, about 150km away, at Mogo."

+ - Australia's latest and best computer - a Japanese god

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Australia's latest and best computer has been unveiled at the Australian National University in Canberra, within the National Computational Infrastructure's National Facility. Raijin is named after a Japanese god of lightning and thunder, but the name also sounds like "raging" so some geek humour may be involved. It has: 57,472 cores in the compute nodes; approximately 160 TBytes of main memory; Infiniband FDR interconnect; and, approximately 10 PBytes of usable fast filesystem (for short-term scratch space). The brand name is Fujitsu. Peak performance is approximately 1.2 PFlops. It runs CentOS 6.4 Linux distribution (based on RHEL6.4)."

+ - Geophysics finds 280 new-old craters on the Moon->

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Data fusion has found 280 new (old) craters on the Moon, by taking gravity data from and observations from images and creating a new insight into the Moon's past. Curtin University (Western Australia) researchers led by Professor Will Featherstone says>/a> they first looked for craters on the far side of the Moon, which cannot be seen from Earth. Then, the technique was applied to the face visible from Earth. This research on the 280 new lunar craters will soon be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets."
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+ - "Size does matter": The sexual come-on.->

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Researchers at the Australian National University, Monash University and La Trobe University, show life-sized, computer-generated images of naked men to female subjects, altering the size and proportions of the torso, legs and arms, and... the "male-bit". The research, while only semi-conclusive, shows that "size does matter". Dr Brian Mautz of ANU says that the research results need to be pursued further, although the story isn’t quite as simple as ‘bigger is better’; Larger penises were much more attractive on taller men than shorter men. Yet, it appears that 13cm (flacid [floppy]) is one sweet-spot, although that excludes a vast majority of men. Says Mautz, "Finding a partner is quite a complicated process and who knows how females end up choosing their males.""
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+ - Sharp-shooting Linux-powered sniper rifle, or not.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "When is a sniper rifle not a sniper-rifle? When it is intended for hunting game, of course. The 1,000-1,200 year/metre, US$17,000 Linux-powered rifle uses a special sighting device to 'designate' the target and then only fires its .338 Lapua Magnum round when the rifle is pointing along the computed line-of-fire. Even a novice can shoot this rifle accuretely over its maximum effective range."
Australia

+ - Australian researchers crack insulin's structure->

Submitted by
brindafella
" rel="nofollow">brindafella writes "Australian research on insulin, using X-ray chrystallography at the Australian Synchrotron, has revealed how molecules of insulin bind to a protein on the cells of the body. Results have been published
  in the journal Nature. Specific results relate to the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R), and are expected to create great interest among companies producing insulin for diabetics, possibly leading to a tablet form of insulin (rather than the current need for an injection.)"

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The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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