wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘discovered’

Massive black hole discovered in nearby galaxy

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

US astronomers have discovered a huge black hole, a million times the mass of the sun, in a nearby galaxy — a finding that could help better understand the origins of the universe.

The announcement Monday by the American Astronomical Society said the surprise discovery in a so-called “dwarf” galaxy offers evidence that black holes — regions of space where not even light can escape — formed before the buildup of galaxies.

“This galaxy gives us important clues about a very early phase of galaxy evolution that has not been observed before,” said Amy Reines, a researcher at the University of Virginia who presented the findings to the AAS annual meeting.

This undated NASA image shows the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10, seen in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope

The galaxy, called Henize 2-10, is 30 million light-years from Earth, has been studied for years, and is forming stars very rapidly. It resembles what scientists think were some of the first galaxies to form in the early universe.

Reines along with Gregory Sivakoff and Kelsey Johnson of the University of Virginia and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and Crystal Brogan of the NRAO, observed Henize 2-10 with the National Science Foundation?s Very Large Array radio telescope and with the Hubble Space Telescope.

They found a region near the center of the galaxy that strongly emits radio waves with characteristics of those emitted by super-fast “jets” of material spewed outward from areas close to a black hole.

They then searched images from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory that showed this same, radio-bright region to be strongly emitting energetic X-rays. This combination, they said, indicates an active, black-hole-powered, galactic nucleus.

“Not many dwarf galaxies are known to have massive black holes,” Sivakoff said.

While black holes of roughly the same mass as the one in Henize 2-10 have been found in other galaxies, those galaxies all have much more regular shapes.

“This galaxy probably resembles those in the very young universe, when galaxies were just starting to form and were colliding frequently. All its properties, including the supermassive black hole, are giving us important new clues about how these black holes and galaxies formed at that time,” Johnson said.

Source: SGGP

Bird flu discovered in flood hit central provinces

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Bird flu H5N1 virus was discovered in northern provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh that were affected by floods this month, said health officials on Friday.

Poultries are breeded in Nam Dinh Province. (File photo)

In Nghe An Province, nearly 600 poultries infected H5N1 virus in Dien Chau District were burnt.

Province health officials sterilized breeding facilities and isolate epidemic areas.

In Ha Tinh Province, the bird flu outbreak has hit Cam Xuyen District.

currently, because of high demand for chicken farmers have expanded capacity of their farms. 

Cold whether and density of poultry farms have caused the disease be spread widely, said health officials.

Source: SGGP

Prehistoric traces discovered in Ha Giang

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 1:55 am

Ancient species discovered in Barrier Reef depths

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian scientists have discovered bizarre prehistoric sea life hundreds of metres below the Great Barrier Reef, in an unprecedented mission to document species under threat from ocean warming.

Ancient sharks, giant oil fish, swarms of crustaceans and a primitive shell-dwelling squid species called the Nautilus were among the astonishing life captured by remote controlled cameras at Osprey Reef.

Australian scientists have discovered bizarre prehistoric sea life hundreds of kilometres below the Great Barrier Reef. AFP

Lead researcher Justin Marshall Thursday said his team had also found several unidentified fish species, including “prehistoric six-gilled sharks” using special low-light sensitive cameras which were custom designed to trawl the ocean floor, 1,400 metres (4,593 feet) below sea level.

“Some of the creatures that we’ve seen we were sort of expecting, some of them we weren’t expecting, and some of them we haven’t identified yet,” said Marshall, from the University of Queensland.

“There was a shark that I really wasn’t expecting, which was a false cat shark, which has a really odd dorsal fin.”

The team used a tuna head on a stick to attract the creatures, which live beyond the reach of sunlight.

Marshall said the research had been made more urgent by recent oil spills affecting the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, and the growing threat to its biodiversity by the warming and acidification of the world’s oceans.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do by looking at the life in the deep sea is discover what’s there in the first place, before we wipe it out,” Marshall told AFP.

“We simply do not know what life is down there, and our cameras can now record the behaviour and life in Australia’s largest biosphere, the deep sea,” he added.

Scientists have already warned that the 345,000-square kilometre (133,000-square mile) attraction is in serious jeopardy, as global warming and chemical runoff threaten to kill marine species and cause disease outbreaks.

Chinese coal ship Shen Neng 1 gouged a three-metre scar in the reef when it ran aground whilst attempting to take a short cut on April 3, leaking tonnes of oil into a famed nature sanctuary and breeding site.

About 200,000 litres of heavy fuel oil spewed into waters south of the reef last March when shipping containers full of fertiliser tumbled off the Hong Kong-flagged Pacific Adventurer during a cyclone, piercing its hull.

It was one of Australia’s worst ever oil spills.

Marshall said the cameras would now be sent to the sludge-ridden Gulf of Mexico to monitor the effects of the oil spill there on marine life.

Source: SGGP

Rare pheasant species discovered in Quang Binh

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 8:40 am

Rare pheasant species discovered in Quang Binh

QĐND – Thursday, June 17, 2010, 20:57 (GMT+7)

Camera traps have revealed a flock of over 100 individuals of Siamese Fireback pheasant (lophura diardi), living in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh.

The species is listed in both Vietnam’s and the world’s Red Books for endangered species.

The park’s management board on June 15 said that this was the first time camera traps had captured the images of the species in the wild. The result was a surprise to researchers as the area where the pheasants were filmed is frequented by local people.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

650m corridor discovered in Phong Nha Cave

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm

First Jesus-era house discovered in Nazareth

In World on December 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

 Just in time for Christmas, archaeologists on Monday unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus’ childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of around 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood.

Archaeologists and present-day residents of Nazareth imagined Jesus as a youngster, playing with other children in the isolated village, not far from the spot where the Archangel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the boy.

Today the ornate Basilica of the Annunciation marks that spot, and Nazareth is the largest Arab city in northern Israel, with about 65,000 residents. Muslims now outnumber Christians two to one in the noisy, crowded city.

The archaeological find shows how different it was 2000 years ago: There were no Christians or Muslims, the Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem and tiny Nazareth stood near a battleground between Roman rulers and Jewish guerrillas.

Reverend Jack Karam, left, stands near Israel’s Antiquities Authority workers at the excavation site of the remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth, Israel that can be dated back to the time of Jesus,

The Jews of Nazareth dug camouflaged grottos to hide from Roman invaders, said archaeologist Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority. But the hamlet was so far off the beaten path that the caves were apparently not needed, she said.

Based on clay and chalk shards found at the site, the dwelling appeared to house a “simple Jewish family,” Alexandre added, as workers carefully chipped away at mud with small pickaxes to reveal stone walls.

“This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with,” Alexandre said. A young Jesus may have played around the house with his cousins and friends. “It’s a logical suggestion.”

The discovery so close to Christmas pleased local Christians.

“They say if the people do not speak, the stones will speak,” said the Rev. Jack Karam of the nearby basilica.

Archaeologist Stephen Pfann, president of the University of The Holy Land, noted: “It’s the only witness that we have from that area that shows us what the walls and floors were like inside Nazareth in the first century.” Pfann was not involved in the dig.

Alexandre said workers uncovered the first signs of the dwelling last summer, but it became clear only this month that it was a structure from the days of Jesus.

Alexandre’s team found remains of a wall, a hideout, a courtyard and a water system that appeared to collect water from the roof and supply it to the home. The discovery was made when builders dug up the courtyard of a former convent to make room for a new Christian center, just yards from the Basilica.

It is not clear how big the dwelling is. Alexandre’s team has uncovered about 900 square feet of the house, but it may have been for an extended family and could be much larger, she said.

Archaeologists also found a camouflaged entry way into a grotto, which Alexandre believes was used by Jews to hide from Roman soldiers who were battling Jewish rebels for control of the area.

The grotto could have hidden around six people for a few hours, she said.

However, Roman soldiers did not end up battling Nazareth’s Jews because the hamlet had little strategic value. The Roman army was more interested in larger towns and strategic hilltop communities, she said.

Alexandre said similar camouflaged grottos were found in other ancient Jewish communities of the lower Galilee, such as the nearby biblical village of Cana, which did witness battles between Jews and Romans.

Archaeologists also found clay and chalk vessels likely used by Galilean Jews of the time. The scientists concluded a Jewish family lived there because of the chalk, which Jews used to ensure the ritual purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels.

The shards also date back to the time of Jesus, which includes the late Hellenic, early Roman period that ranges from around 100 B.C. to the first century, Alexandre said. The determination was made by comparing the findings to shards and remains typical of that period found in other parts of the Galilee, she said.

The absence of any remains of glass vessels or imported products suggested the people who lived in the dwelling were simple, but Alexandre said the remains did not indicate whether they were traders or farmers.

The only other artifacts from the time of Jesus found in the Nazareth area are ancient burial caves that provided a rough idea of the village’s population at the time, Alexandre said.

Work is now taking place to clear newer ruins built above the dwelling, which will be preserved. The dwelling will become part of a new international Christian center being built close to the site and funded by a French Roman Catholic group, said Marc Hodara of the Chemin Neuf Community overseeing construction.

Alexandre said limited space and population density makes it unlikely that archaeologists can carry out further excavations in the area, leaving this dwelling to tell the story of what Jesus’ boyhood home may have looked like.

The discovery at “this time, this period, is very interesting, especially as a Christian,” Karam said. “For me it is a great gift.”

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

New Alzheimer’s gene link discovered

In World on September 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Scientists working in seven countries announced they had uncovered variants of three genes which play a role in Alzheimer’s, a discovery that should throw open many new avenues for tackling this tragic, mind-killing disease.

The biggest cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s has a strong heritability — nearly one in four cases are believed to have a genetic cause — but precisely which genes are to blame and how their fiendish mechanism works remain elusive.

So far, three culprit genes have been found in “familial” Alzheimer’s, a rare, early-onset form in which the disease shows up before the age of 60. This type accounts for less than three percent of all cases.

Of the far more common “sporadic” type, where there is no readily identifiable family history of the disease, just a single gene, APOE4, has come to light — and it was spotted way back in 1993.

The hands of an elderly person. Scientists working in seven countries announced they had uncovered variants of three genes which play a role in Alzheimer’s

But hopes are now rising that a few of the many knowledge gaps may now be filled.

In two papers published in the journal Nature Genetics, a team based in Britain and the other in France report that a trawl through the DNA of 36,000 individuals has added three new genes, whose tell-tale variants showed up among people with Alzheimer’s.

That finding could be useful in the search for a diagnostic tool, helping people with a heightened susceptibility to Alzheimer’s make lifestyle decisions, even if a cure for the disorder remains beyond the far horizon.

Farther afield, it could help tease out a pharmaceutical weapon to interfere with the action of the faulty genes.

In Alzheimer’s, clumps of protein called amyloid plaques and tau tangles proliferate in the brain, especially the cortex and hippocampus, destroying brain cells and their connections.

A progressive, degenerative disease, it causes forgetfulness and confusion, disturbs thinking, emotions and behaviour, eventually leading to death.

The role of the three newly-identified genes remains unknown.

Two of them, called CLU and CR1, may be involved in the elimination of amyloid plaques, so faulty variants may allow the toxic compound to build up, the scientists believe.

The other, called PICALM, controls brain chemicals that are important at synapses — the connection between neurons — and is involved in the transport of molecules into and inside nerve cells, thus helping to form memories and other brain functions.

“These findings are a leap forward for dementia research,” Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, a British charity that funded research encompassing universities in Britain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland and the United States.

“At a time when we are yet to find ways of halting this devastating condition, this development is likely to spark off numerous ideas, collaborations and more in the race for a cure.”

The other paper was authored by a team from France’s National Institutional of Health and Medical Research (Inserm).

The team “has about 10 other genes that may be possible targets” but further work is needed to confirm this, lead researcher Philippe Amouyel, of the Institut Pasteur in Lille, told AFP.

There is no cure at present for Alzheimer’s, although some researchers are confident that a first generation of drugs that will slow or block the spread of the disease is not far away.

Present drugs have only a temporary effect. They inhibit an enzyme that reduces acetylcholine, a vital chemical used in communication between brain cells.

A breakthrough is urgently needed.

Alzheimer’s primarily surfaces among people beyond their mid-60s, thus as the world’s population ages, case numbers will surge, badly straining hospital systems.

According to an estimate published by the journal The Lancet in December 2005, the number of people with dementia will more than triple by 2040, reaching 81 million. China and South Asia will see the biggest increases.

Source: SGGP

Illegal toxins discovered in Italian scrap metal shipment

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2008 at 5:20 pm

DA NANG CITY — Banned toxic substances have been found in 18 containers of metal scrap imported from Italy, according to officials.

The 434 tonnes of metal scrap arrived at Tien Sa Port on July 7, said the Da Nang Zone 2 Custom Agency of the municipal Customs Department.

During a routine inspection, customs officials discovered a smelly black liquid leaking from three containers and then later found the same substance in another 18 containers.

The toxic substances in the containers were identified as mercury and arsenic, which are both under an import ban because of their harmful effects to human health and the environment, according to Tran Dinh Chien, deputy director of the Zone 2 Centre of Standards, Measurement and Quality.

The 20-foot-long containers were imported by the Thanh Loi Steel Stock Company, which is located at No.10 Hoa Khanh Industrial Park in Da Nang.

The company said it had imported the metal scrap to recycle for industrial production.

The total value of the imports is estimated at US$234,414.

Tar, nylon bags and a small amount of silk were also reportedly found inside the containers.

Phan Van Thuoc, chief of Da Nang’s environmental police, said a thorough investigation was underway to determine who was responsible for shipping the banned substances and other items in the 18 containers.—