Culture

A research team has for the first time ever discovered DNA from living bacteria that are more than half a million years old. Never before has traces of still living organisms that old been found. The exceptional discovery can lead to a better understanding of the ageing of cells and might even cast light on the question of life on Mars. The discovery is being published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America).

Good lighting and high resolution cameras in the SMART-1 satellite are making it possible to put together the story linking geological and volcanic activity on the Moon.

“Thanks to low-elevation solar illumination on these high-resolution images”, says SMART-1 Project Scientist Bernard Foing, “it is now possible to study fine, small-scale geological features that went undetected earlier.”

Sharing '1 bread, 1 wine, and 1 purse': The history of brotherment.

A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France. The article is the latest from the ongoing “Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective” series, which explores the intersection between historical knowledge and current affairs.

Chemical engineers have discovered a fundamental flaw in the conventional view of how liquids form bubbles that grow and turn into vapors, which takes place in everything from industrial processes to fizzing champagne.

The findings cast into doubt some aspects of a theory dating back to the 1920s that attempts to describe the underlying molecular mechanism behind a phenomenon called "homogeneous nucleation," said David S. Corti, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

Scientists are a step closer to understanding sunshine. A monumental experiment buried deep beneath the mountains of Italy has provided Princeton physicists with a clearer understanding of the sun's heart -- and of a mysterious class of subatomic particles born there.

Researchers at the University of Leeds and the World Land Trust have warned that growing biofuel crops to make eco-friendly car fuel could actually be harmful to the environment.

Large areas of land in the developing world are being converted to grow crops such as sugar cane and palm oil as part of the global rush to make biofuels which are widely thought to produce less carbon dioxide than conventional transport fuels.

Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says a University of Michigan public health professor.

Earth’s surface is a very active place; its plates are forever jiggling around, rearranging themselves into new configurations. Continents collide and mountains arise, oceans slide beneath continents and volcanoes spew. As far as we know Earth’s restless surface is unique to the planets in our solar system. So what is it that keeps Earth’s plates oiled and on the move?

Men with large jaws, flaring cheeks and large eyebrows are sexy, at least in the eyes of our ancestors, researchers at the Natural History Museum have discovered. Facial attractiveness played a major role in shaping human evolution, as studies on our fossil ancestors have shown our choice of sexual partner has shaped the human face.Skeletal craniofacial variables relate to facial appearance.

Permafrost – the perpetually frozen foundation of the north – isn’t so permanent anymore, and scientists are scrambling to understand the pros and cons when terra firma goes soft.A peatland site in Alberta, Canada, that experienced permafrost collapse within the past 100 years. Credit: Merritt Turetsky, Michigan State University