Archives for the month of: March, 2012

There could be billions of planets known as ‘super-Earths’ – planets with one to 10 times the mass of the Earth – in the universe. About a hundred of these within 30 light years could potentially be habitable.

Balearic shearwaters have single-sex migrations. The male and female seabirds seem to migrate separately, with females spending longer away.

Scientists can grow a new bladder. They take a tissue sample, grow up the cells, and lay them over a bladder-shaped scaffold, which can be implanted into the body.

It only rains on Saturn’s moon Titan about once every thousand years. The rain is methane, and its the only place in the solar system other than the Earth that gets rain. the surface temperature is around -179 degrees C.

Researchers have invented a robot jellyfish, fueled by hydrogen, that could one day be used for ocean rescues. The vehicle, called Robojelly, uses shape memory alloys – metals that ‘remember’ their shape.

Sunshine on your skin triggers your body to make vitamin D, which prevents bone and muscle problems, including rickets, and might even cut your risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Try to get fifteen minutes in every day when you can, but don’t get burned.


A type of plankton, called copepods, leap out of the surface of the ocean to avoid being eaten by fish. These tiny and brightly-coloured shrimp-like animals live just under the surface of the sea and can ‘fly’ 10 to 20 times the length of their body.

Some insects use mimicry to avoid being eaten – for example, a harmless hoverfly looks like a wasp. Some small mimics aren’t very good at it but they still seem to avoid being eaten by predators.

Whales and dolphins can focus beams of sound. They use echolocation, and focusing a stream of clicking sounds allows them to study things in detail.

Fruit flies can be used to study human genetics – but why? We share around 70% of the same genes, and the flies can be engineered to show many of the same symptoms and diseases as us, even kidney stones!

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