03/05/2012 - 15:53

New research from the University of California shows how the ability to detect light could have evolved before anything like an eye.  As published today (March 5) in the journal BMC Biology, the research is based on the stinging mechanism in the tiny, brainless and eyeless freshwater polyp Hydra magnipapillata. Part of a group of animals called cnidarians that includes sea anemones, corals and jellyfish, a hydra is essentially a mouth surrounded by tentacles armed with stinging cells, or cnidocytes.

07/22/2011 - 10:37

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite — temporarily designated P4 — was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet. The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 746 miles (1,200 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km).