A stray planet
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Dec 31, 2012 – Some time ago, scientists discovered that there are planets that do not rotate around any star, like the Earth rotates around the Sun, but “travel” in the universe all alone. Till now, scientists have discovered only less than 10 such planets, but recently, astronomers in Hawaii noticed a hardly visible blue point which they believe to be another such planet. Later, the object was more tho … more

The toughest animal on Earth…and in space!
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Dec 31, 2012 – An animal that can live without water, resist extreme temperatures and strong radiation, and has survived the vacuum of space; that is a basic description of a Tardigrade. More commonly called the ‘water bear’, this tiny creature opens up fascinating new perspectives on the process of dehydration, which could be used to preserve food, but also vaccines and blood. Discovered two centuries a …more

Ups and downs of biodiversity after mass extinction
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Dec 27, 2012 – The climate after the largest mass extinction so far 252 million years ago was cool, later very warm and then cool again. Thanks to the cooler temperatures, the diversity of marine fauna ballooned, as paleontologists from the University of Zurich have reconstructed. The warmer climate, coupled with a high CO2 level in the atmosphere, initially gave rise to new, short-lived species. In the … more