Great Barrier Reef almost drowned; climate implications

An analysis of the Great Barrier Reef during a time prior to it becoming the modern shallow reef has found the World Heritage Listed 'wonder' almost drowned because of rapid sea-level rise from melting glaciers and polar ice sheets -- with implications for conservation in an era of climate change according to Science daily.

The international research shows the Great Barrier Reef is resilient, with shallow reef growth recommencing once the rapid sea-level rise stabilised during the Last Interglacial period more than 125,000 years ago.

Mimicking biological movements with soft robots

Designing a soft robot to move organically -- to bend like a finger or twist like a wrist -- has always been a process of trial and error. Now, researchers have developed a method to automatically design soft actuators based on the desired movement according to Science daily.

"Rather than designing these actuators empirically, we wanted a tool where you could plug in a motion and it would tell you how to design the actuator to achieve that motion," said Katia Bertoldi, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor.

Designing a soft robot that can bend like a finger or knee may seem simple but the motion is actually incredibly complex.

"The design is so complicated because one actuator type is not enough to produce complex motions," said Fionnuala Connolly, a graduate student. "You need a sequence of actuator segments, each performing a different motion and you want to actuate them using a single input."

Are bugs giving you the flu?

Almost 1,500 viruses have been found in the bugs and spiders that live in homes and backyards according to Daily mail.

The remarkable number of diseases has been uncovered in insects, spiders and worms - those insects surrounding humans in their day-to-day lives.

The number has baffled researchers who say it's far more than ever thought before.

The study claimed the number of diseases even're-writes the virology textbook'.

In the study found that human diseases like the common flu was derived from those diseases found in insects.

And while the study showed that invertebrates like insects were the 'true hosts for many types of virus' researchers revealed it was not all bad news.

Professor Edward led the project and said although humans were surrounded by the viruses, they did not transfer easily.

Mummified remains identified as Egyptian Queen Nefertari

A team of international archaeologists believe a pair of mummified legs on display in a museum may belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertari -- the favourite wife of the pharaoh Ramses II according to Science daily.

The team, which included Dr Stephen Buckley and Professor Joann Fletcher, used radiocarbon dating, anthropology, palaeopathology, genetics and chemical analysis to identify the remains.

They conclude that "the most likely scenario is that the mummified knees truly belong to Queen Nefertari."

Cosmic dust found on rooftops of 3 major European cities

Tiny particles dating back to the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago have been discovered on rooftops in Paris, Oslo and Berlin.

Previously, the space debris was only found in Antarctica and deep parts of the ocean, but this is the first time, cosmic dust has appeared in major cities, according to RT.

Scientists looked through 300 kilograms of grime from the gutters of roofs in the three cities and used magnets to extract the particles, which also contain minerals consisting of magnetic materials.