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Tag: Secrets

InSight probe to survey Mars for secrets inside the planet

InSight probe to survey Mars for secrets inside the planet

Science
May 4 (UPI) -- As NASA's Insight probe begins its trip to Mars on Saturday, the spacecraft is tasked with studying Mars' insides. But the probe's observations could offer insights into the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth."As a smaller planet, Mars' interior convection has slowed dramatically or stopped entirely," Elizabeth Barrett, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told UPI this week. "Thus, Mars' frozen interior preserves a snapshot of the past of the core, mantle and crust."Barrett is coordinating surface operations for the mission's science and instrument teams."By studying Mars we can learn about the formation of Earth itself," she said. "Eventually Earth's convection will slow, so the InSight mission can help us predict what the f...
Genetic secrets of the rose revealed

Genetic secrets of the rose revealed

Science
Take time to smell the roses, the saying goes, and, according to scientists, the fragrant flowers could smell even sweeter in the future.For the first time researchers have deciphered the full genetic "book" of this most prized of plants.The secret history of the rose reveals surprises - it is more closely related to the strawberry than we thought.And in the long term the work could lead to roses with new scents and colours, says an international team.The new genome map, which took eight years to complete, reveals genes involved in scent production, colour and the longevity of flowers, said Mohammed Bendahmane of ENS de Lyon, in Lyon, France, who led the research."You have here a book of the history of the rose," he told BBC News. "A book that helps us understand the rose, its history and ...
Wildlife secrets of Nigeria's last wilderness

Wildlife secrets of Nigeria's last wilderness

Science
The world's rarest chimpanzee has been captured on camera in the remote forests of Nigeria.The Nigeria-Cameroon chimp was seen at various locations within Gashaka Gumti National Park, raising hopes for its future survival.Conservationists also recorded the first sighting in the country of a giant pangolin.The park is regarded as a national treasure, but its wildlife is under threat from pressures such as poaching.Researchers from Chester Zoo, working with the Nigeria National Park Service, surveyed over 1,000 square kilometres of the national park.Known for its mountain rainforests, savannah woodlands and rolling grasslands, it is home to some of West Africa's most endangered animals.The cameras spotted some animals that have never been recorded before in the area and others, like chimps, ...
DNA secrets of how vampire bats became bloodthirsty

DNA secrets of how vampire bats became bloodthirsty

Science
DNA analysis is giving clues to how the vampire bat can survive on blood alone.The bat can drink up to half its weight in blood a day unlike other relatives, which dine on fruit, nectar or insects.Blood is low in nutrients and can harbour deadly viruses.Vampire bats have key differences in genes involved in immunity and food metabolism compared with other bats.The researchers say the bat's gut microbes are also distinct.They found evidence of more than 280 types of bacteria in the bat's droppings that would have made most other mammals unwell."The data suggests that there is a close evolutionary relationship between the gut microbiome and the genome of the vampire bat for adaptation to sanguivory (feeding exclusively on blood)," said study author, Dr Marie Zepeda Mendoza of the University ...
New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

Science
Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso's great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece.The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems - and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it. Details were revealed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement for Science in Austin, Texas.The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso's blue period. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceWhat is remarkable is that the landscape painting beneath - probably by a student artist - is turned 90 degrees. Th...