Beware the Frankenfish!
Robert Burstein is among several fishermen searching for the Northern Snakehead in Central Park.
May 2nd, 2013
02:00 PM ET

Beware the Frankenfish!

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SKastenbaumCNN

(CNN) – The Northern Snakedhead fish is not going to win any beauty contests.

With a mouth full of sharp teeth beneath bulging eyes, the invasive predator – native to waters in China and Russia – may be threatening the balance of the ecosystem of the  Harlem Meer, a man-made lake in New York’s Central Park.

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Filed under: On Earth
What's the matter with antimatter?
This illustration shows what might happen when matter and antimatter annihilate each other.
May 2nd, 2013
04:13 AM ET

What's the matter with antimatter?

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

Nuclear scientists in Switzerland recently dropped some antimatter. The world didn't blow up, but there were some tiny explosions.

Scientists are hoping the experiment will teach them more about how the universe developed after the Big Bang.

Physicists with ALPHA Collaboration research group are trying to figure out how antimatter interacts with gravity, and if it produces "antigravity," says the group's founder, Jeffrey Hangst.

Their experiment mirrors the way Sir Isaac Newton came up with the law of gravity in the late 17th century.

Legend has it that an apple fell off a tree and hit the English nobleman on the head.

Newton got to thinking how gravity made the apple speed up as it fell.

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Filed under: Discoveries • News • On Earth • Particle physics
May 1st, 2013
06:37 PM ET

Researchers: Jamestown settlers resorted to cannibalism

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

The winter of 1609 to 1610 was treacherous for early American settlers. Some 240 of the 300 colonists at Jamestown, in Virginia, died during this period, called the "Starving Time," when they were under siege and had no way to get food.

Desperate times led to desperate measures. New evidence suggests that includes eating the flesh of fellow colonists who had already died.

Archaeologists revealed Wednesday their analysis of 17th century skeletal remains suggesting that settlers practiced cannibalism to survive.

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Filed under: On Earth
May 1st, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Robot discovers secret chambers in Mexico

By CNN Mexico Staff

An advanced mini-robot named Tlaloc II-TC discovered three chambers built under the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, built approximately 2,000 years ago in the northeast of what now is Mexico City.

Mexican archaeologists used the robot to access the last section of a very narrow tunnel under of the temple. The team, directed by Sergio Gómez Chávez, found multiple chambers instead of one, as it was expected, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico said.

Tláloc II-TC is a system of three independent mechanisms. The main one is a transport vehicle that weights about 35 kilograms (77 pounds) and is approximately 45 cm tall. It features a scanner that can map its surroundings within a 5-meter radius.

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Filed under: On Earth
Full moon involved in general's death?
Stonewall Jackson's left arm is interned separate from the rest of his body.
May 1st, 2013
10:38 AM ET

Full moon involved in general's death?

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

A full moon hung just right in the night sky as the fierce Southern Army faced the encroaching Union troops in the spring of 1863.

Though they were outmanned and outgunned, the momentum of the war seemed to be on the side of Generals Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson in Northern Virginia.

But the tide turned in the American Civil War not long after Jackson's own men inadvertently shot him that May night at the battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

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World's oldest experiment ready for a drop of excitement
Professor John Mainstone with the eighth drop in late 1990, about 2-1/2 years after the seventh drop fell.
April 30th, 2013
05:27 PM ET

World's oldest experiment ready for a drop of excitement

By Katie Hunt, for CNN

At some point in the next few months, a tendril of black tar-like substance will drop from a glass funnel and land in a beaker under a bell jar in what is thought to be the world's oldest scientific experiment.

The "pitch drop" at the University of Queensland in Australia began in 1927 and is designed to show that the brittle pitch - which was once used to waterproof boats and can be shattered by a hammer - is in fact, a liquid.

But the progress of the pitch through the funnel stem is so slow that now, 86 years later, only the ninth drop is forming.

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Filed under: On Earth
April 30th, 2013
09:20 AM ET

Virgin Galactic one flight closer to space tourism

Virgin Galactic is one flight closer to becoming a commercial "spaceline." The company's passenger spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, completed its first rocket-powered flight Monday morning above the Mojave Desert in California.

About 45 minutes into the flight, SpaceShipTwo was released from its carrier craft, WhiteKnightTwo. Ignition of the rocket motor was triggered, carrying SpaceShipTwo to a maximum altitude of 56,000 feet. During the 16-second engine burn, the spaceship broke the sound barrier, according to a statement from Virgin Galactic.

The rocket-powered portion of the flight lasted a little more than 10 minutes, and the entire flight took about an hour. The flight was not a space flight. Virgin Galactic said it will continue testing this year and plans to reach full space flight by the end of 2013.

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April 25th, 2013
12:20 PM ET

Can scientists improve evolution?

Video producer's note: To some, it may seem like Caltech professor Frances Arnold is playing God. But to hear her say it, she is improving upon what nature started and solving some real-world issues in the process.

CNN caught up with the presidentially honored professor at her Caltech lab. In the video above she explains just how her theory and process of "directed evolution" works - and what problems her research could help solve.

Do you think "directed evolution" is overstepping the bounds of science? Let us know in the comments.

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San Francisco's Exploratorium opens in sparkling new home
The entrance to the new Exploratorium science museum on Pier 15 in San Francisco.
April 17th, 2013
01:03 PM ET

San Francisco's Exploratorium opens in sparkling new home

By Heather Kelly, CNN

At the Exploratorium, one does not stand stiffly in front of musty exhibits and read tiny placards. There is no room for boredom or passively observing. The installations at this interactive science museum are hands on - they require touching, building, playing, experimenting and thinking.

And in the Exploratorium's shiny new space, the experience is just as much for adults as it is for children.

On Wednesday, the doors open on the Exploratorium's first new home in its 44 years, the $250 million renovated Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, San Francisco's eastern stretch of waterfront. It is three times larger than the old museum, the cavernous exhibit hall at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, which was originally built for the 1915 World's Fair. The Exploratorium was originally opened in that location in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer.

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Filed under: On Earth
Mammoth remains discovered in Mexico
April 16th, 2013
11:26 AM ET

Mammoth remains discovered in Mexico

Read this story in Spanish at CNNMexico.com.

By CNN Mexico Staff

The remains of a mammoth have been uncovered south of Mexico City, researchers at Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History said.

"For the first time in Latin America, magnetic, electric and ground-penetrating radar methods were applied in paleontology... (methods that are) commonly used in archaeological excavations to detect architectural (findings)," the institute said. Ground-penetrating radar is a technique that uses electromagnetic radiation to generate a picture of the subsurface.

Paleontologists and archaeologists worked together to use these approaches, which saved the scientists time, and helped them determine the magnitude of the discovery before the excavation process started last March.

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