New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso's great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie).

Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece, according to BBC.

The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems - and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it.

'Extraordinary' fossil sheds light on origins of spiders

An "extraordinary" spider "cousin" trapped in amber for 100 million years is shaking up ideas about the origins of spiders.

The ancient creature had a tail, unlike its modern relatives.

It belongs to a group of arachnids (spiders, scorpions and the like) that were related to true spiders, according to BBC.

Researchers say it's possible - but unlikely - that the animal might still be alive today in the rainforests of southeast Asia.

New malleable 'electronic skin' self-healable, recyclable

Researchers have developed a new type of malleable, self-healing and fully recyclable "electronic skin" that has applications ranging from robotics and prosthetic development to better biomedical devices, according to Science Daily.

Electronic skin, known as e-skin, is a thin, translucent material that can mimic the function and mechanical properties of human skin. A number of different types and sizes of wearable e-skins are now being developed in labs around the world as researchers recognize their value in diverse medical, scientific and engineering fields.

Viruses -- lots of them -- are falling from the sky

An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth's atmosphere -- and falling from it -- according to new research from scientists. according to Science Daily.

The study marks the first time scientists have quantified the viruses being swept up from the Earth's surface into the free troposphere, that layer of atmosphere beyond Earth's weather systems but below the stratosphere. The viruses can be carried thousands of kilometres there before being deposited back onto the Earth's surface.

Moon's slow retreat from frozen Earth

A study led by researchers provides new insight into the Moon's excessive equatorial bulge, a feature that solidified in place over four billion years ago as the Moon gradually distanced itself from the Earth according to Science daily.

The research sets parameters on how quickly the Moon could have receded from the Earth and suggests that the nascent planet's hydrosphere was either non-existent or still frozen at the time, indirectly supporting the theory of a fainter, weaker Sun that at the time radiated around 30 percent less energy than it does today.

"The Moon's fossil bulge may contain secrets of Earth's early evolution that were not recorded anywhere else," said Shijie Zhong, a professor and the co-lead author of the new research. "Our model captures two time-dependent processes and this is the first time that anyone has been able to put timescale constraints on early lunar recession."

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