The oldest submerged town in the world is about to give up its secrets — with the help of equipment that could revolutionise underwater archaeology.
The ancient town of Pavlopetri lies in three to four metres of water just off the coast of southern Laconia in Greece. The ruins date from at least 2800 BC through to intact buildings, courtyards, streets, chamber tombs and some thirty-seven cist graves which are thought to belong to the Mycenaean period (c.1680-1180 BC). This Bronze Age phase of Greece provides the historical setting for much Ancient Greek literature and myth, including Homer’s Age of Heroes.
Bio-oil is an aqueous, acidic, highly oxidized mixture. However, its high oxygen content and instability turn out to have a negative impact: bio-oil cannot be used directly as a liquid fuel. It would, however, be highly interesting as a source of basic raw materials if it were possible to convert it to alkanes. Alkanes, which are also commonly called paraffins, are saturated hydrocarbons; they are among the most important raw materials for chemical industry, and in particular as starting materials for the production of plastics. Furthermore, they are among the primary fuels in the world's economy.
Rare traits persist in a population because predators detect common forms of prey more easily. Researchers writing in BMC Ecology found that birds will target salamanders that look like the majority – even reversing their behavior in response to alterations in the ratio of a distinguishing trait.
The discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species in northwestern Alberta.
University of Alberta student Tetsuto Miyashita and Frederico Fanti, a paleontology graduate student from Italy, made the discovery near Grande Prairie, 450 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
A new machine developed at North Carolina State University makes an animal heart pump much like a live heart after it has been removed from the animal's body, allowing researchers to expedite the development of new tools and techniques for heart surgery. The machine saves researchers time and money by allowing them to test and refine their technologies in a realistic surgical environment, without the cost and time associated with animal or clinical trials.
Acupuncture can help people with chronic low back pain feel less bothered by their symptoms and function better in their daily activities, according to the largest randomized trial of its kind, published in the May 11, 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine. But the SPINE (Stimulating Points to Investigate Needling Efficacy) trial raises questions about how the ancient practice actually works.