This is how island chains are born. Scientists spotted the deepest erupting volcano almost 4,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean's surface, and recorded the underwater fury by using the remotely operated submarine Jason.
The West Mata Volcano sits in an ocean area between Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa, and spews out boninite lavas that are among the hottest recorded on Earth in modern times. Water from the volcano has proven as acidic as battery acid or human stomach acid, but that has not stopped shrimp from thriving near the volcanic vents.
Cassini's infrared vision allowed it to peer through the clouds and catch the sunlight sparkling on one of Titan's lakes.
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/DLR
A haze of methane enshrouds Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and prevents scientists from seeing most sunlight reflections off the surface. But NASA's Cassini orbiter managed to snap a stunning image of sunlight glinting off a huge, liquid methane lake -- a smoking gun that confirms liquid in the northern hemisphere.
As bacteria continue to grow more resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, doctors are searching furiously for better ways to kill infectious microbes. Enter hydroxyurea. Researchers at MIT and Boston University have discovered that hydroxyurea, normally a drug prescribed for sickle-cell anemia or psoriasis, also causes bacteria to create their own poisons and kill themselves.
Everyone loves a good road movie, whether it's Hope and Crosby or Fonda and Hopper. But the scope of those films pales in comparison to the ground covered by the Hayden Planetarium's new video, The Known Universe. The video starts in Tibet and zooms out through time and space until it shows well, the entire known universe.
The problem with organ transplants is that the organ has to come from someone else. Since most people rather fancy their hearts and lungs, getting any organ other than a kidney usually requires the difficult combination of donor consent and timely death. In an attempt to circumvent that limitation, the engineering company engineering firm Invetech teamed up with the medical company Organovo to produce the first commercial 3-D bio-printer.
In a major step toward understanding cancer, one of the biggest problems bedeviling modern medicine, scientists have now cracked the genetic code for two of the most common cancers. This marks just the beginning of an international effort to catalog all the genes that go wrong among the many types of human cancer, the BBC reports.
Usually the enticing smell of food is associated with hunger pangs, but researchers in the Netherlands think that foods can be engineered to release satiating aromas during chewing. This would help combat obesity by stimulating areas of the brain that signal fullness.
When a wounded patient begins bleeding, the most commonly employed solution is decidedly low-tech: apply pressure. But a group of medical researchers have developed injectible synthetic nanoparticles that could cut bleeding time in half.
Astronomers have discovered perhaps the first "super-Earth" with an atmosphere, and say that there's a strong possibility of the planet having liquid water on its surface. That's still no Earth -- super-Earths are bigger than Earth but smaller than gas giants -- but it's darn close compared to other known exoplanets. Perhaps equally stunning, astronomers simply used a small array of 16-inch telescopes that any amateur stargazer could have in their garage or backyard.