'Bionic' plants can detect explosives

Scientists have transformed the humble spinach plant into a bomb detector.

By embedding tiny tubes in the plants' leaves, they can be made to pick up chemicals called nitro-aromatics, which are found in landmines and buried munitions, according to BBC.

Real-time information can then be wirelessly relayed to a handheld device.

The scientists implanted nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes (tiny cylinders of carbon) into the leaves of the spinach plant. It takes about 10 minutes for the spinach to take up the water into the leaves.

The FRIENDLY dinosaurs: Huge cache of bones suggests bird-like creatures flocked together in social groups

Dinosaurs may not have been the solitary predators that they are often assumed to be.

According to a new study, they were social creatures that flocked together in groups like modern animals.

The research is based on bones from bird-like Avimimus dinosaurs that were found  a decade ago.

The common mythology of dinosaurs depicts solitary, vicious monsters running around eating everything,' explains Gregory Funston, PhD student.

'Our discovery demonstrates that dinosaurs are more similar to modern animals than people appreciate.

The large cache of bones was first discovered in 2006 at the Nemegt Formation in Mongolia.

The area is well known for an abundance of fossils.

The mystery of the 100,000 year cycle that plunges the Earth into an ice age

Tiny fossils at the bottom of the ocean may hold the clues to Earth’s mysterious ‘100,000 year problem.’

The history of our planet is marked by periodic plunges in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years, starting about a million years ago in what’s known as the Mid-Pleistocene Transition.

Before this, the phenomenon occurred more frequently, blanketing the Northern Hemisphere in vast ice sheets every 40,000 years.

Now, an analysis has revealed evidence of an abundance of CO2 stored deep in the ocean during the 100,000 year intervals, suggesting extra carbon dioxide was sequestered during these periods, lowering the temperature on Earth.

Researchers now say the oceans could be to blame for 100,000 year ice age intervals.

Why does our planet experience an ice age every 100,000 years?

Experts have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years.

This mysterious phenomena, dubbed the '100,000 year problem', has been occurring for the past million years or so and leads to vast ice sheets covering North America, Europe and Asia. Up until now, scientists have been unable to explain why this happens.

Our planet's ice ages used to occur at intervals of every 40,000 years, which made sense to scientists as the Earth's seasons vary in a predictable way, with colder summers occurring at these intervals.

Nowhere left to hide for Planet Nine

Astronomers could discover the solar system’s mystery ninth planet by 2019, scientists have claimed.

Dubbed Planet Nine, the elusive world is believed by many to be responsible for the strange shaped orbits of objects in the outer realms of the solar system, but it is yet to be seen.

But with up to 10 research groups scouring the skies, astronomers believe it won’t remain hidden for long and could be discovered in the next 16 months.

The claims were made by astronomer Mike Brown, one of those who proposed the existence of the mystery world.

‘I'm pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter – not this winter, next winter – I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that … somebody's actually going to track this down,’ said Professor Brown.

The mystery world was first proposed by Professor Brown’s team to account for the long elliptical orbit of frigid objects in the extending out beyond the Kuiper belt past Pluto – whose planetary status was in part killed off by Professor Brown’s team.

But with a number of research groups dedicated to finding evidence of the planet and some of the world’s most advanced telescopes could help pinpoint it in the night sky.

Subcategories