Now 21st-century technology is confirming his statement, as mining companies, spurred by high commodity prices, prepare to extract metal ore from rich deposits more than a kilometre under water.
The triangular delta-wing shape found on many modern fighter jets was used by a small reptile to glide between trees 225 million years ago, a new study suggests. Sharovipteryx mirabilis is known from only a single fossil. It was about 8 inches lon
The proteins called CapG and Gelsolin regulate cell movement. Unusually high concentrations are found in cancerous tissue and could be involved in the spread of the disease to other areas of the body. "These proteins may play a fundamental ro
Scientists say they may have found an important clue in the mystery of why the Confederate submarine Hunley sank 140 years ago after making history by sinking an enemy warship in battle. Archaeologists and others working to restore the submarine r
Majority Leader Bill Frist predicted the US Senate would pass legislation next week expanding federal stem cell research, likely triggering a veto from President Bush with unpredictable political repercussions. Bush has vowed to cast his first vet
Maine lobsterman caught a lobster this week that looks like it's half-cooked. The lobster caught by Alan Robinson in Dyer's Bay that is a typical mottled green on one side; the other side is a shade of orange that looks cooked. Robinson
Chocolate is not widely consumed in the tropics, even though that's where most of the world's cocoa is produced. The reason: It's too hot. High temperatures in countries like Nigeria reduce chocolate into a sticky, gooey mess. Fo
A tiny telescope designed to be implanted in the eyes of some elderly patients should not receive Food and Drug Administration approval, the panel recommended on a 10-3 vote. The FDA's ophthalmic devices panel recommended against the pea-sized
Scientists find that moms consistently rank the stink of their baby's "number two" as No. 1. In a new study, 13 mothers were asked to sniff soiled diapers belonging to both their own child and others from an unrelated baby. The women
When a spider wants to travel long distances, it simply casts out a strand of silk, captures the breeze and "flies" away. They are known to travel hundreds of miles, even ending up on islands in the middle of the ocean. Now scientists ha
With a gentle thud, the Johnson-Sea-Link II submersible lands on the ocean floor in the middle of an underwater desert that seems more like the sands of Kuwait than those enchanted undersea scenes seen in the films of Jacques Cousteau. Aboard the
A major midlife crisis came early for dinosaurs in the tyrannosaur family, as new research suggests many of the giant beasts died just as they reached their sexual prime. Like modern long-living birds and mammals, T. rex and other tyrannosaur spec
For the first time scientists have observed in real-time evolutionary changes in one species driven by competition for resources from another. In a mere two decades, one of Charles Darwin's finch species, Geospiza fortis, reduced its beak size
From an evolutionary perspective, making babies with a closely related family member is a cardinal sin. A new study suggests that like many animals, humans have evolved built-in mechanisms to help keep this from happening. The study finds that the
Forget cute, cuddly marsupials. A team of Australian paleontologists say they have found the fossilized remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom". The fearsome fossils were among 20 previously unkn
Historians and scientists have exhumed the remains of legendary castrato Farinelli in Italy to study the anatomical effects of castration carried out on young boys to turn them into high-pitched stars of the opera.
Recent research has found evidence that the value of certain fundamental parameters, such as the speed of light or the invisible glue that holds nuclei together, may have been different in the past.
Some peoples' bodies play a percussive symphony of cracking and creaking, thanks to the large orchestra of noise-making human joints. But what's behind it all?
After observing mountain gorillas in Uganda for nearly a year, scientists believe they have discovered why the animals eat decayed wood and lick tree stumps, behaviors that have puzzled primate researchers for decades. The answer: for the sodium.
In a breakthrough that could help improve the treatment of male infertility, scientists have produced mice using sperm grown in the laboratory from embryonic stem cells. They isolated stem cells from very early mouse embryos, sorted those they had
Scientists have long known that male mosquitoes key in on the buzzing of females to help them find a partner. But a new study finds that female mosquitoes, despite their comparatively simple antennae, are among the best listeners in the insect world.
There's no way to prove Tata was the world's oldest crow when he died Sunday at age 59. But an expert on crows says it's possible. Tata's tale began in 1947 when a thunderstorm blew the fledgling out of his nest in a Long Island ce
Scientifically, though, there's hope—that is, if politics and economics don't quash it. As infections get worse and harder to handle, a medical treatment largely abandoned by Western Europe and the Americas might make a comeback. It's cal
Tests in hamsters suggest it may be possible to develop a blood test for mad cow and related diseases in both humans and animals before they develop symptoms, researchers reported. The damaged brain cells may "leak" the infectious prions th
A gene mutation that shrinks brain cells may be responsible for the mental retardation of Down's syndrome. The finding suggests there may be a way to interfere with or even reverse the additional mental decline often seen as people with Down'
Scientists have identified a new species of ancient aquatic reptile that swam the seas when dinosaurs still ruled the Earth. Dubbed Umoonasaurus, the creature lived in waters off the coast of what is now Australia 115 million years ago, when the c
Museum dioramas typically portray mammoths as having shaggy brown coats, but some of the hairy beasts might have been blonde, raven-haired or red-bodied in real life, thanks to a gene that controls hair color in humans and other mammals.
Hundreds of people are thronging a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata to see a patient holding a piece of his own skull that fell off. Doctors say a large, dead section of 25-year-old electrician Sambhu Roy's skull came away Sunday
Doctors have their first proof that a man who was barely conscious for nearly 20 years regained speech and movement because his brain spontaneously rewired itself by growing tiny new nerve connections to replace the ones sheared apart in a car crash.
A newly discovered clue to the workings of a protein that helps regulate sleep could point scientists to better treatments for sleep-related illnesses. A gene that affects the body clock doesn't work the way it was originally thought, research