The Abominable Mystery: How Flowers Conquered the World

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It was, Charles Darwin wrote in 1879, “an abominable mystery”. Elsewhere he described it as “a most perplexing phenomenon”. Twenty years after the publication of his seminal work The Origin of Species, there were still aspects of evolution that bothered the father of evolutionary biology. Chief among these was the flower problem. … Today’s plant scientists understandably have a better handle on the origins of flowering plants than Darwin did, but they are still struggling to explain the group’s diversity, and why despite this it has failed to become dominant in some parts of the world.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141017-how-flowers-conquered-the-world

Scientists Finally Crack The Code Of The Ancient ‘Phaistos Disk’

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“In collaboration with John Coleman, professor of phonetics at Oxford, we spent six years producing the best possible reading,” [Dr. Gareth ] Owens, a linguist researcher with the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, told The Huffington Post in an email.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/28/ancient-cd-rom-phaistos-disk-code_n_6055178.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

New ‘Solar Cloth’ Allows Solar Cells To Be Stretched Across Parking Lots, Stadiums

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The Cambridge, England-based Solar Cloth Company is beginning to run trials of its solar cloth, which uses lightweight photovoltaic fabric that can be stretched across parking lots or on buildings that can’t hold heavy loads, such as sports stadiums with lightweight, retractable roofs. Perry Carroll, Solar Cloth Company’s founder, told BusinessGreen that the company is working to close deals to install solar cloth on 27,000 parking lots.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/14/3592449/solar-cloth-parking-lots/

This 12-Year-Old Invented A Robot That Could Help End Malaria

David Cohen understands that mosquitoes aren’t just pesky annoyances — they’re global killers, too. That’s why the 12-year-old from Dallas invented a robot that drowns the pests using a pump-jet system that traps them underwater using mesh. He submitted his work to the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge earlier this year and is one of the competition’s ten finalists.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/david-cohen-robot-invention_n_5976982.html

Giant tortoise makes ‘miraculous’ stable recovery

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Where once there were 15, now more than 1,000 giant tortoises lumber around Espanola, one of the Galapagos Islands. After 40 years’ work reintroducing captive animals, a detailed study of the island’s ecosystem has confirmed it has a stable, breeding population.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29801967

Elusive Fanged Deer Spotted For First Time In 66 Years

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The Kashmir musk deer, which is one of seven similar species found throughout Asia, is endangered due to habitat loss and also because of poachers hunting the animal for its prized scent glands. No members of the species had been seen in Afghanistan by scientists since 1948.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/02/fanged-deer-kashmir-musk-deer-afghanistan_n_6089996.html