NASA examines Hurricane Sandy as it affects the Eastern U.S.

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NASA examines Hurricane Sandy as it affects the Eastern U.S.

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 01:38 PM PDT

On Monday, Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy was ravaging the Mid-Atlantic with heavy rains and tropical storm force winds as it closed in for landfall. Earlier, NASA’s CloudSat satellite passed over Hurricane Sandy and its radar dissected the storm get a profile or sideways look at the storm. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared view of the cloud tops and NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite showed the extent of the storm. The National Hurricane Center reported at 11 a.m. EDT on Oct. 29 that Hurricane Sandy is “expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and coastal hurricane winds plus heavy Appalachian snows.”

New study sheds light on how and when vision evolved

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 12:43 PM PDT

Opsins, the light-sensitive proteins key to vision, may have evolved earlier and undergone fewer genetic changes than previously believed, according to a new study.

Mummy unwrapping brought Egyptology to the public

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 12:42 PM PDT

Public “unwrappings” of real mummified human remains performed by both showmen and scientists heightened the fascination, but also helped develop the growing science of Egyptology, says a historian.

Mass extinction study provides lessons for modern world

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 12:42 PM PDT

The Cretaceous Period of Earth history ended with a mass extinction that wiped out numerous species, most famously the dinosaurs. A new study now finds that the structure of North American ecosystems made the extinction worse than it might have been.

Huge deposit of Jurassic turtle remains found in China

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 08:12 AM PDT

“Bones upon bones, we couldn’t believe our eyes,” says one paleontologist. He was describing the spectacular find of some 1800 fossilized mesa chelonia turtles from the Jurassic era in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang.

Neurotransmitters linked to mating behavior are shared by mammals and worms

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 07:06 AM PDT

When it comes to sex, animals of all shapes and sizes tend behave in predictable ways. There may be a chemical reason for that. New research has shown that chemicals in the brain — neuropeptides known as vasopressin and oxytocin — play a role in coordinating mating and reproductive behavior in animals ranging from humans to fish to invertebrates.

US shale gas drives up coal exports

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 05:22 AM PDT

The US is burning less coal due to shale gas production, however millions of tons of unused coal are being exported to the UK, Europe and Asia. As a result, the emissions benefits of switching fuels are overstated. US CO2 emissions from domestic energy have declined by 8.6% since a peak in 2005, the equivalent of 1.4% per year. However, the researchers warn that more than half of the recent emissions reductions in the power sector may be displaced overseas by the trade in coal.

‘Curiosity’ on Mars sits on rocks similar to those found in marshes in Mexico

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 05:18 AM PDT

Millions of years ago fire and water forged the gypsum rocks locked in at Cuatro Ciénegas, a Mexican valley similar to the Martian crater where NASA’s Rover Curiosity roams. A team of researchers have now analysed the bacterial communities that have survived in these inhospitable springs since the beginning of life on Earth “Cuatro Ciénegas is extraordinarily similar to Mars. As well as the Gale crater where Curiosity is currently located on its exploration of the red planet, this landscape is the home to gypsum formed by fire beneath the seabed,” as explained by an evolutionary ecologist.

Infrared vision in a cichlid fish

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 05:13 AM PDT

Biologists have discovered that the cichlid fish can see in the near infrared range; this was thought to be unlikely until now. Seeing in the infrared range is apparently helping fish to hunt in shallow African rivers.

River floods predicted using new technology

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 05:13 AM PDT

Scientists are now using high-tech solutions to provide real-time forecast of the dangers of river floods caused by climate change and human activities to help avoid disasters.

NASA satellites see Sandy expand as storm intensifies

Posted: 28 Oct 2012 08:11 AM PDT

Hurricane Sandy is a Category 1 hurricane on Oct. 28, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sandy has drawn energy from a cold front to become a huge storm covering a large area of the eastern United States. NASA satellite imagery provided a look at Sandy’s 2,000-mile extent.