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Science News: Ancient Pond, Bronze Fingernail Cleaner Hint at Roman Settlement

Ancient Pond, Bronze Fingernail Cleaner Hint at Roman SettlementAn ancient Roman pond, surrounded by bits of Roman pottery, garbage pits and even a bronze fingernail cleaner, was unearthed in Barnham, a village in southern England. Archaeologists found the pond on the last day of a survey that was required before construction could begin on a new housing development on the site. "All the archaeological features appear today as filled with pale grey silt, and it is usually easy to see that these must be silted-up ditches, pits and post-holes," John Mills, West Sussex County Council’s senior archaeologist, said in a statement. But one patch of silt, which formed a round "splodge" on the site, puzzled the archaeologists.


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Science News: Puffed-Up Blowfish Aren't Holding Their Breath

Puffed-Up Blowfish Aren't Holding Their BreathPufferfish can balloon into a spikey sphere within moments of sensing a nearby threat, and while it may seem like these creatures hold their breath as they inflate, they can actually breathe as they puff up. "We were intrigued by previous studies that suggested the pufferfishes hold their breath while inflated, presumably to keep the ingested water in the stomach," said Georgia McGee, who did the research as a marine biology undergraduate at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. The scientists caught eight black-saddled pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini) in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and placed them in sealed tanks. The researchers stimulated the fish by gently suctioning, which caused them to puff up to about four times their normal size.


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Science News: Scientists find why male smokers may run even higher health risks

A man smokes in front of a "no smoking" sign outside a shopping mall in ShanghaiBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Male smokers are three times more likely than non-smoking men to lose their Y chromosomes, according to research which may explain why men develop and die from many cancers at disproportionate rates compared to women. In a study in the journal Science, researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University found that Y chromosomes, which are important for sex determination and sperm production, more often disappear from blood cells of smokers than those of men who have never smoked or of men who have kicked the habit. ...


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Science News: NASA to Make 2nd Attempt to Launch Orion Space Capsule: Watch It Live

NASA to Make 2nd Attempt to Launch Orion Space Capsule: Watch It LiveNASA will attempt to launch its new deep-space capsule on Friday (Dec. 5), one day after a rocket glitch scrapped plans to send the spacecraft on its ambitious first test flight. NASA's Orion deep-space capsule was scheduled to launch to space for a rigorous, uncrewed test flight Thursday morning (Dec. 4) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here, but high winds, a wayward boat on the range and an issue with the mission's Delta 4 Heavy rocket, which is built by United Launch Alliance, got in the way. "We'll go make sure we have a happy rocket," United Launch Alliance chief operating officer Dan Collins told reporters during a post-scrub news conference Thursday.


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Science News: Rapid Warming Hits Antarctica's Shallow Seas

Rapid Warming Hits Antarctica's Shallow SeasOcean waters around Antarctica have warmed steadily for the past 40 years, according to a new study. The changes have spurred dramatic melting of ice shelves and could be a factor in Antarctica's record-breaking seasonal sea ice growth, the scientists said. The study is the first comprehensive survey of temperature and salinity records for the Southern Ocean, said lead study author Sunke Schmidtko, an oceanographer at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. The research confirms earlier findings of rapid warming in deep offshore currents in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica.


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