Science in the News

Newly Discovered Carnivore Looks Like Teddy Bear

Observed in the wild, tucked away in museum collections, and even exhibited in zoos around the world―there is one mysterious creature that has been a victim of mistaken identity for more than 100 years. A team of Smithsonian scientists, however, uncovered overlooked museum specimens of this remarkable animal, which took them on a journey from museum cabinets in Chicago to cloud forests in South America to genetics labs in Washington, D.C. The result: the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina)―the first carnivore species to be discovered in the American continents in 35 years. The team’s discovery is published in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal ZooKeys.

Global sea level rise temporarily dampened by 2010-11 Australia floods

Three atmospheric patterns came together above the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 2010 and 2011. When they did, they drove so much precipitation over Australia that the world's ocean levels dropped measurably. Unlike other continents, the soils and topography of Australia prevent almost all its precipitation from flowing into the ocean.

Cactus "flesh" cleans up toxic water


From the National Science Foundation - A University of South Florida team are using the "flesh" from Prickly Pear cacti, called mucilage, to clean up oil and other toxins from water. The objectives of this research are to develop a water purification system based on an economically feasible method for low-income inhabitants of rural communities that are sensitive to existing economic, social and cultural patterns.

AMNH Science Bulletins: Curiosity—Searching for Carbon

The Curiosity rover is seeking environments on Mars that could support life—or could have in the past. Earlier Mars missions found signs of water, but not organic carbon—life's essential building block. Watch the Curiosity team prepare to hunt for carbon at Mount Sharp, which holds a geologic record hundreds of millions of years old.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

Paluweh/Rokatenda Volcano erupts pyroclastic, not lava, flow

The Paluweh Volcano, also referred to as the Rokatenda Volcano, has been busy since late 2012.  This stratovolcano, located in Indonesia, just erupted in early August of 2013, killing at least five people.  Unfortunately, many news media outlets are characterizing the most recent eruption as a lava flow, which is scientifically inaccurate.  The eruptive behavior is that of a pyroclastic flow.  To read the past and present history of Paluweh/Rokatenda, please visit: