cubbi (cubbi) wrote,

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February 2012 in science

Lake Vostok, the largest of Antarctica's buried lakes, was reached, after 22 years of drilling, at 3,769.3 meters down, narrowly (in terms of years) beating UK and US, each drilling to their own 15-million year old lake.

Speaking of ice, Tyrolean Iceman's genome was sequenced. He had severe arteriosclerosis despite leading the healthy hunter-gatherer lifestyle. He also had Lyme.

Speaking of arteries, Alex, the world's smartest parrot, died of hardened arteries halfway through the experiment where he had shown that he can recognize and add arabic numerals to the sum of 8.

The US government decided to return to allowing (and funding) new nuclear power plants, for the first time since 1978, but nobody wants to build them (except one company with two new reactors).

Majorana fermions, which are their own antiparticles, may have been detected.

Semptember's faster-then-light neutrinos, on the other hand, turned out to be a timing error, after all.

Venus is slowing down pretty fast: the day there in 2007 was 6.5 minutes slower than in 1991.

Iron selenide becomes superconductive at high pressure through a new kind of phase transition.

In cool biology news, functional cancer-killing nanorobots were made using DNA origami.

Also, GPCRs can be docked sideways, by lipids, from within the membrane.

30,000 year old plants from the mammoth steppe ecosystem were brought back to life from permafrost.

In 50 - 200 million years in the future, we're going to have a new supercontinent, Amasia, centered on the North Pole, following the neat pattern of orthoversion (each supercontinent forms 90 degrees from the last one)

Squids fly not just to avoid predators, it's also easier than swimming.

A hot spring archaeon in Kamchatka was caught in the act of diverging into two species.

One atom-thick sheet of silica glass was created by mistake, while working on graphene.

It appears the hobbits (Homo floresiensis) were not modern human cretins after all.

A researcher who happened to be collecting whale poop during 9/11 discovered just how much chronic stress the whales are under because of all the underwater noise from distant ships.

Little boys with big chins have small index fingers.

Men think that the women in red are interested in sex.

And finally, The Ponytail Equation was created, as part of the general theory on the distribution of human hair in a bundle.
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