The oldest fossilized giant penguin

A recently discovered fossil of a giant penguin with a body length of around 150 centimeters has been described in a new article. The new find dates back to the Paleocene era and, with an age of approximately 61 million years, counts among the oldest penguin fossils in the world. The bones differ significantly from those of other discoveries of the same age and indicate that the diversity of Paleocene penguins was higher than previously assumed. The team of scientists therefore postulates that the evolution of penguins started much earlier than previously thought, probably already during the age of dinosaurs.

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Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

Although stingless bees do not have a sting to fend off enemies, they are nonetheless able to defend their hives against attacks. Only four years ago it was discovered that a Brazilian bee species, the Jatai bee, has a soldier caste. The slightly larger fighters guard the entrance to the nest and grip intruders with their powerful mandibles in the event of an attack. Now researchers have identified four further species which produce a special soldier caste to defend their nests.

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How blood can be rejuvenated

Our blood stem cells generate around a thousand billion new blood cells every day. But the blood stem cells’ capacity to produce blood changes as we age. This leads to older people being more susceptible to anemia, lowered immunity and a greater risk of developing certain kinds of blood cancer. Now for the first time, a research team has succeeded in rejuvenating blood stem cells with established reduced function in aging mice.

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Liquid hydrogen may be way forward for sustainable air travel

Transport makes up around 20 percent of our energy use around the world—and that figure is set to grow, according to the International Energy Agency. With sustainable solutions in mind, a new study published by eminent physicist Jo Hermans in MRS Energy and Sustainability—A Review Journal (MRS E&S) looks at the energy efficiency of current modes of transport—from bicycles to buses, from air transport to cruise ships— and concludes that liquid hydrogen seems to be a realistic option for what is probably the most problematic of transportation modes in terms of sustainability, future air travel.

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NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

Abstract: The update of this handbook continues the methodology of the previous revision: a top-down compatibility with higher level Agency policy and a bottom-up infusion of guidance from the NASA practitioners in the field. This approach provides the opportunity to obtain best practices from across NASA and bridge the information to the established NASA systems engineering processes and to communicate principles of good practice as well as alternative approaches rather than specify a particular way t...

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Official naming of surface features on Pluto and its satellites: First step approved

In 2015, in partnership with NASA's New Horizons mission and the SETI Institute, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) endorsed the Our Pluto naming campaign, which allowed the public to participate in the exploration of Pluto by proposing names for surface features on Pluto and its satellites that were still awaiting discovery. Each of the system's six worlds was designated a set of naming themes set out by the IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN - https://www.iau.org/science/scientific_bodies/working_groups/98/ ). The public responded with overwhelming enthusiasm, suggesting and voting on thousands of names within these categories, as well as proposing names not fitting the approved set of themes.

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