Does Facebook affect our self-esteem?

With 1.11 billion users per month on average, Facebook has become a global phenomenon offering continual and direct communication with friends and family. Research into how social media websites define us socially and the influence that social media has on our personal welfare suggests that a lack of social participation on Facebook leads to people feeling less meaningful.

New research looked at how Facebook communication impacts on feelings of social belonging which in turn affects outlook on life; loneliness and self-worth. Researchers, led by Dr Stephanie Tobin, conducted two studies centred on passive Facebook participation, aiming to analyze how participants would feel when deliberately 'snubbed'.

Great valley found on Mercury

Scientists have discovered a new large valley on Mercury that may be the first evidence of buckling of the planet's outer silicate shell in response to global contraction. The researchers discovered the valley using a new high-resolution topographic map of part of Mercury's southern hemisphere created by stereo images from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.

The most likely explanation for Mercury's Great Valley is buckling of the planet's lithosphere -- its crust and upper mantle -- in response to global contraction, according to the study's authors. Earth's lithosphere is broken up into many tectonic plates, but Mercury's lithosphere consists of just one plate. Cooling of Mercury's interior caused the planet's single plate to contract and bend. Where contractional forces are greatest, crustal rocks are thrust upward while an emerging valley floor sags downward.

BP (British Petroleum)Deepwater Horizon oil in land-animal food chain

Researchers in Louisiana have discovered traces of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the feathers of birds eaten by land animals.

A team examined the feathers and digestive tract contents of seaside sparrows - measuring signature carbon from spilled oil.

They say it "is the first demonstration that oil from the spill made it into the" food chain of land animals, according to BBC.

Rum has UK's biggest earthworms, Lancashire scientists say

A Scottish island is home to the UK's largest earthworms, according to researchers from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

The common species Lumbricus terrestris found on Rum are more than three times the weight and length of the average earthworm, according to BBC.

The researchers found the island worms growing to almost 15in (40cm) in length.

A lack of predators and fertile soil have helped to boost their size.

Unknown dinosaur almost blown to oblivion

A newly discovered species of dinosaur has been identified from an extraordinarily complete Chinese fossil almost destroyed by dynamite.

It was preserved raising its beaked head, with feathered wings outstretched in the mud it was mired in when it died 72 million years ago, according to BBC.

The new creature has been named Tongtianlong limosus, "muddy dragon on the road to heaven".

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