Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: May 21 2016, 1:52pm CDT | by , Updated: May 21 2016, 1:55pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Top Science Stories This Week
Tiny butterflies created with new 3D printer. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Evidence of Ancient Asteroid Discovered in Australia 

More than 3 billion years ago, a giant asteroid slammed into the Earth and caused unimaginable devastation. That is what researchers have concluded after examining tiny glass beads known as spherules. The glass beads were discovered in north-western Australia under the seafloor sediments and reveal some of the astonishing aspects about the early history of the Earth.

Analysis further suggests that the asteroid was around 12 to 18 miles wide and possibly a hundreds of kilometers wide crater would have been produced when it hit the Earth. Sceintists suggest that it was the second oldest known asteroid impact in the history of world and there could be many more similar impacts for which the evidence has not been found.

Scientists Create ‘Liquid Wire’ Inspired by Spider’s Silk

Researchers have been able to create a unique material that replicates intriguing properties of spider’s silk. The novel material  is inspired by spider web indeed and acts as both a solid and a liquid.

Spider silk is nature’s most fascinating material which never sags and always remains firm no matter how many times it has been stretched or crumbled. Researchers from Oxford University have extensively studied the mechanism of the process and found that the secret lies in the thread of web which immediately coats the spaces with tiny droplets of watery glue and extends like a solid and compress like a liquid. This novel technology may lead to interesting bio-inspired technologies in future.

Scientists Develop 3D Printer that Creates Objects in Midair

Harvard scientists have developed a 3D printer that creates metallic objects as they are smilingly suspended in midair without the need for support structure.

With conventional 3D printers, objects are printed layer by layer with each new layer is relying on the support of previous layer. But this is not the case with new Harvard 3D printer. It excludes material in such a way that it immediately turns solid and stands independently. The new printer can produce metallic architectures in any complex shape and can replace conventional 3D printers which can only produce flat and rigid products.

Two Mega-Tsunamis Wiped Out Ancient Shorelines on Mars

Researchers have found traces of mega tsunamis on Mars’ surface. They suggest that two mega tsunamis have restructured Mars about 3.4 billion years ago and wiped out the shoreline on Mars. Two meteorite impacts on separate occasions triggered mega tsunamis as high as 400 feet and the gigantic waves ravaged shorelines of ancient Mars. Tsunamis made Mars’ atmosphere drastically cooler and turned water into ice.

How Birds Became Red?

For the first time, researchers have identified the gene that gives several bird species their distinctive red colored feathers and beaks. Many birds like zebra finches can convert yellow pigments from their diet into red colors which appears on their bodies and they use it to attract mates or scare away rivals. However, researchers were not sure which gene was responsible for red coloration in birds.

When researchers compared the genes of red birds with those that were devoid of red color, they found that gene CYP2J19 allows certain birds to produce red color while in yellowbeak birds the gene was either missing or mutated. 

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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