Thursday, July 12, 2007

Science bits, dead animal edition

Some notable stories for science fans:

A Siberian reindeer herder discovered the frozen body of a 10,000-year-old baby mammoth, with trunk, eyes, organs and fur intact. Scientists estimate the female was six months old when she died. They plan to take DNA samples, part of an effort to map the mammoth genome. This could eventually lead to cloning a mammoth, resurrecting them from the dead.

Further south and several millennium later, a rare giant squid washed up on a beach in Australia. 26 feet long and weighing 550 pounds, It's one of the largest specimens ever found. Giant squid are deepwater creatures, so they're very hard to observe. It wasn't until 2005 that a live one was photographed, and 2006 before a squid was captured (photo, above) -- but it died from injuries sustained in the process.

And while this doesn't involve a dead animal (unless you want to metaphorically refer to NASA's creaking manned space program), here's a cool tale of a lone inventor, Peter Homer, who created a better space glove in his garage -- besting NASA's own design and winning $200,000.

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