Science News Roundup: Great white sharks along California coast; Woolly mammoth skeleton found and moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 30-07-2020 10:55 IST | Created: 30-07-2020 10:32 IST
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Scientists use drones to study great white sharks along California coast
Scientists are using drones and other technology to study great white sharks along the coast of Southern California to better understand interactions between these marine predators and people and assess the risks to human beachgoers. The two-year study by the Shark Lab at California State University deploys drones for aerial surveillance of the sharks and uses underwater robots, while the scientists also tag some sharks using a spear that fits the animals with a transmitter to track their movements.
A space exploration fan, jazz artist Gregory Porter to sing for NASA launch
Jazz artist Gregory Porter, whose new single "Concorde" is an ode to space exploration, is set to perform on Thursday as part of a ceremony marking the launch of NASA's next generation rover that will search for signs of habitable conditions on Mars. The Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter is scheduled to sing the Ray Charles version of "America The Beautiful" during the U.S. space agency's broadcast of the countdown to the launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Woolly mammoth skeleton found in lake in Russia's Arctic
Russian scientists are poring over the stunningly well-preserved bones of an adult woolly mammoth that roamed the earth at least 10,000 years ago, after local inhabitants discovered its remains in the shallows of a north Siberian lake. Part of its skull, several ribs and foreleg bones, some with soft tissue still attached to them, were retrieved from Russia's remote Yamal peninsula above the Arctic circle on July 23. Scientists are still searching the site for other bones.
NASA set to launch robotic rover to seek signs of past Martian life
NASA is set to launch an ambitious mission to Mars on Thursday with the liftoff of its next-generation Perseverance rover, a six-wheeled robot tasked with deploying a mini helicopter, testing out equipment for future human missions and searching for traces of past Martian life. The $2.4 billion mission, slated for liftoff at 7:50 a.m. ET (1150 GMT) from Florida's Cape Canaveral, is planned as the U.S. space agency's ninth trek to the Martian surface. The United Arab Emirates and China separately this month launched probes to Mars in displays of their own technological prowess and ambition.
Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes from deep under seafloor
Scientists have succeeded in reviving microbes retrieved from sediment deep under the seafloor in the heart of the South Pacific that had survived in a dormant state for 101.5 million years in research illustrating the resiliency of life on Earth. The microbes, spanning 10 major and numerous minor groups of bacteria, may be the planet's oldest-known organisms. The scientists said on Tuesday the microbes were present in clay samples drilled from the research vessel JOIDES Resolution about 245 feet (74.5 meters) under the seafloor, below 3.5 miles (5.7 km) of water.
Lowly flies get super names as scientists find inspiration in Marvel
Australian scientists said on Wednesday they have given five fly species scientific names that pay tribute to the Marvel comic universe, including one named for wise-cracking anti-hero Deadpool and another after superhero creator Stan Lee. The five flies were part of 165 discoveries named by the scientists over the past year, which included two fish, three subspecies of bird, and even a mite that lives on a lizard, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) said in a report.
Solar power with a difference as ITER nuclear fusion assembly starts
Work has begun to assemble giant components to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France that is expected to start up in 2035 and deliver energy in a process inspired by the sun, the ITER project said on Tuesday. Launched in 2006 and based in southern France, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) had planned to test its first super-heated plasma by 2020 and achieve full fusion by 2023.
Scientists solve mystery of the origin of Stonehenge megaliths
Scientists have solved an enduring mystery about Stonehenge, determining the place of origin of many of the megaliths that make up the famed monument in Wiltshire, England, thanks to a core sample that had been kept in the United States for decades. Geochemical testing indicates that 50 of Stonehenge's 52 pale-gray sandstone megaliths, known as sarsens, share a common origin about 15 miles (25 km) away at a site called West Woods on the edge of Wiltshire's Marlborough Downs, researchers said on Wednesday.