Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Feb 19 2017, 2:36am CST | by , Updated: Feb 19 2017, 2:45am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Top Science Stories This Week
An illustration of future city on Mars. Credit: Dubai Media Office
 

Scientists Discover Underwater Continent Zealandia 

New Zealand is sitting atop a massive submerged crust and this massive piece of crust could soon be recognized as eighth continent of the planet.

Named Zealandia, the newfound potential continent measures five million square kilometer and is 94 percent underwater. The continent includes the landmass of New Zealand, New Caledonia and few other territories and islands found in the vast Pacific Ocean. Researchers suggest that Zealandia was once part of the supercontinent Gondwana that broke up around 180 million years ago.

If formally recognized as a continent, Zealandia would be the smallest among the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica and Australia.

Woolly Mammoth Could be Brought Back to Life in Two Years, Scientists Claim

Woolly mammoths went extinct about 4,000 years ago due to overhunting and warming temperatures, but Harvard researchers claim they are on verge of bringing the extinct beast back to life or at least its hybrid version by 2019.

Researchers are working to piece together the genome of woolly mammoth from fragments of DNA for decades. Now, they believe they are just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo that combines the traits of woolly mammoth and its closest living relative, the Asian elephant. 

In the past few years, researchers have been able to successfully add 45 mammoth edits into Asian elephant DNA, including ones that control for a mammoth's hair, small ears and fat layers.

UAE Plans to Build a City on Mars by 2117

United Arab Emirates has signaled its intention to join the race to Mars and has unveiled its plan to build Red Planet’s first city by 2117. The city would be roughly the size of Chicago and would contain a population of 600,000.

The idea is a part of 100-year national program called “Mars 2117" which was announced at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, alongside teasing the world with rendering of the project. 

The century-long program also focuses on creating an Emirati scientific team in the future that will facilitate the arrival of humans to the Red Planet. The project also aims to boost scientific research for future space exploration missions.

India Launches Record-Breaking 104 Satellites into Orbit

Indian space agency has achieved a major milestone on Feb. 14 with a successful launch of 104 satellites into the orbit. With this departure, India has also shattered the record for sending most satellites in a single launch. The previous record was set by Russia with 37 satellites in 2014.

The rocket named Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off from India's Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the night of February 14. It was carrying three satellites from India and 101 smaller nano satellites from five other countries: the U.S., the Netherlands, Israel, Kazakhstan and Switzerland.

Scientists Create Thin Material that Acts as an Air Conditioner

Researchers from University of Colorado, Boulder have developed a new material that is slightly thicker than an aluminum foil and can keep houses cool without water and electricity. 

The new material is made of a glass-polymer hybrid under a layer of silver and could supplement cooling for thermoelectric power plants, which currently require large amounts of water and electricity to maintain the temperatures of their machinery.

The new can be manufactured on rolls and has implications for both commercial and residential purposes. 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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