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Teeth help scientists trace evolution of great white shark family to Middle Jurassic

Teeth help scientists trace evolution of great white shark family to Middle Jurassic

Science
July 5 (UPI) -- By surveying the composition of great white shark teeth, researchers were able to trace the evolutionary origins of the mackerel shark family, Lamniformes, to a small benthic shark from the Middle Jurassic. In addition to the great white, the Lamniformes family features the biggest shark in history, Megalodon, as well as the fastest modern shark, the mako shark. But according to a new study -- published this week in the journal Scientific Reports -- the group's oldest ancestor was a small bottom feeder that lived 165 million years ago. Scientists were able to track the family's evolutionary origins after discovering a unique characteristic of great white shark teeth. Shark teeth feature a hard shell composed of a hypermineralized tissue called enameloid, like enamel in hu...
Scientists perform world’s smallest MRI on single atoms

Scientists perform world’s smallest MRI on single atoms

Science
July 1 (UPI) -- Scientists have successfully measured the spins of a single atom, executing the world's smallest MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging measures the density of atomic spins, the electromagnetic properties of electrons and protons, inside the human body. Most MRI scans measure millions of spins. For the latest feat, detailed Monday in the journal Nature Physics, scientists detected the spins of individual atoms. Researchers combined MRI technology with a scanning tunneling microscope to image a single atom. For the experiment, scientists used a tiny sample of iron and titanium. Using the atomically sharp metal tip of the microscope, scientists successfully isolated a collection of atoms. Researchers were able to create a three-dimensional map of the atoms' magnetic fields. Scien...
Scientists capture video of a giant squid in Gulf of Mexico

Scientists capture video of a giant squid in Gulf of Mexico

Science
June 21 (UPI) -- Scientists on a NOAA research expedition have once again captured video footage of a giant squid. The elusive cephalopod was filmed by Medusa, the stealth camera system designed to observe deep-sea creatures without disturbing them. Researchers baited the Medusa camera with a glowing jellyfish-like pattern to attract deep-sea predators like the giant squid. The bait worked. In the video footage, the giant squid can be seen swimming toward the camera, its arms and tentacles preparing for attack. The feat marks the second time the Medusa camera has been used to document a giant squid. The elusive species was filmed near Japan in 2013. Big...or maybe we should say "giant" news! A few days ago, we posted about how Journey into Midnight expedition team was hunting for giant ...
Barrier Reef corals help scientists calibrate ancient climate records

Barrier Reef corals help scientists calibrate ancient climate records

Science
June 18 (UPI) -- Corals can help scientists track ancient climate patterns, but new research suggests that traditional analysis methods for analyzing coral's ancient growth aren't as accurate as previously thought. Luckily, scientists have developed an improved method, a combination of high-resolution microscopic analysis and geochemical modeling. Researchers described the new technique this week in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. Deciphering the climate records coded in coral skeletons is similar to deciphering tree rings. As coral grows, new layers of calcium are deposited. Each layer traps geochemical signatures that can provide clues to the climatic conditions. By measuring the amount of strontium and the lighter isotope of oxygen trapped in different calcium layers, scienti...