Science Doesn’t Sleep (7.1.08)

Huge green lizard
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rosina ♫♪

So here’s what went down after you logged off.

The world’s most organized lizards: not only do members of the chameleon species Furcifer labordi  all hatch at the same time – they also manage to always do so in November. They then live for only four months – making them the shortest-lived, four-limbed vertebrates.

Penguins are dying – sounding the alarm over the health of the world’s oceans.

Scientists have compiled the first complete map of the human brain.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the formal presentation of the theory of evolution. Though it is often credited to Charles Darwin, NPR has an interesting story about whether his contemporary, Alfred Russel Wallace, deserves some of the credit.

In laser news: use a beam of light to tweeze your eyebrows; or, fire up a laser to clean a wound of medicine-resistent bacteria.

It’s cheaper to fill your tank in space than in The Netherlands. Speaking of filling your tank, our own Claire was interviewed about how gas gets from the ground to the pump this morning in the Wiess Energy Hall.

Science Doesn’t Sleep – Earth Day!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Xirzon

So here’s what went down since you logged off.

It’s Earth Day! And what’t the most annoying thing about saving the planet? Everything is way more expensive when its made out of organic, renewable bamboo. The Chronicle’s guide to going green without breaking the bank has you covered. You can take all that money you save and go shopping…or check out the Nature Conservancy’s ideas for green living.

Earth Day is no laughing matter,” say 46 comic strip artists. Irony of using a product printed on millions of reams of newspaper in order to make this point apparently lost.

Scientists find the earliest known example of oil painting, in Buddhist caves dating to the 5th to 9th century – 6 to 10 centuries before the technique was thought to have been developed in Europe.

Lizards from Italy are evolutionary whiz kinds – 5 mating pairs were transplanted to Croatia 3 decades ago, and their descendants have evolved a completely new gut structure, larger heads and a stronger bite – changes that should take millions of years.

Creative Commons License photo credit: shareski

If you can make a tiny satellite, you could win a tiny (well, relatively) prize! The just announced “N-prize” (a takeoff of Google’s X-prize, valued at $30 million) offers 9999.99 pounds to the first person to “put a tiny satellite that weighs less than 19.99 grams – the weight of about two British pound coins or four US quarters – into orbit on a budget of only 999.99 pounds (about $2000). The satellite must complete nine orbits around the Earth, and this must somehow be verifiable from the ground.”