552-carat yellow diamond found in Canada, largest ever in North America

Just in time before you send your list to Santa, miners in the far reaches of Canada announced that they found a rough 552-carat yellow diamond, which is the largest diamond ever discovered in North America and the seventh-largest diamond ever found. The diamond—about the size of a chicken egg– was discovered in October in Canada's … Continue reading “552-carat yellow diamond found in Canada, largest ever in North America”

Just in time before you send your list to Santa, miners in the far reaches of Canada announced that they found a rough 552-carat yellow diamond, which is the largest diamond ever discovered in North America and the seventh-largest diamond ever found.

The diamond—about the size of a chicken egg– was discovered in October in Canada's Northwest Territories– in Diavik– which is about 135 miles away from the Arctic Circle, Mining.com reported.

To put the discovery into perspective, the largest diamond ever found at Diavik was in 2015 and two-billion years old. Mining.com reported that the South Africa holds the title for the biggest diamond ever found: a 3,106 Cullinan, found in 1905.

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Rio Tinto Group and Dominion Diamond Mine found the diamond, which will be given to a partner to cut and polish. Forbes reported that it is unclear how much the diamond will eventually fetch. The report pointed out that a 36.80-carat diamond was recently sold at Christies auction house for $1.3 million.

"We can label it fancy yellow, but beyond that, due to its rough nature and the abrasions received through the processing facility, that’s all we can comment on," Shane Durgin, the CEO of Dominion told Bloomberg. "It’s very hard to give a ballpark estimate. It all depends on, again, the cutting and the resulting stone it ends up."

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

Skeleton of ancient marsupial lion, ‘Tasmanian devil on steroids,’ reconstructed for first time

For the first time, scientists have reconstructed the full skeleton of the predatory, prehistoric animal known as the “marsupial lion” which roamed Australia thousands of years ago.

Using recently discovered bones found in Komatsu Cave in Naracoorte in South Australia and Flight Star Cave in the Nullarbor Plain, including the first “known remains of the tail and collarbone of this animal” as well as previously discovered fossils, and comparing their findings to the anatomy of marsupials found today, scientists with Flinders University in Australia were able to reconstruct how the marsupial lion likely looked.

180-MILLION-YEAR-OLD 'SEA MONSTER' FOUND WITH SKIN AND BLUBBER

The research, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS, allowed scientists to “reach new conclusions about the biology and behavior of the ‘marsupial lion,’” according to a statement from the study's authors.

The skeleton was reconstructed in its entirety for the first time. (PLOS)

The marsupial lion, they learned, possibly weighed more than 200 pounds and had a tail that “appears to have been stiff and heavily-muscled.” The animal, more formally known as the Thylacoleo carnifex, likely used its tail and hind legs to support itself while using its forelimbs for climbing or “handling” food, researchers said. This prehistoric creature also used its large, sharp claw to kill prey.

“The analysis suggests that Thylacoleo had a rigid lower back and powerful forelimbs anchored by strong collarbones, likely making it poorly suited for chasing prey, but well-adapted for ambush hunting and/or scavenging,” the researchers added.

The animal launched onto its prey from trees “or others high perches,” ABC in Australia reports. The structure of its collarbones also implies the marsupial lion was capable of pulling its prey up a tree or was able to “hang on to struggling prey,” Rod Wells, one of the study’s authors from Flinders University, told the outlet.

The prehistoric creature was a predatory animal that likely used its tail and hind legs a support when handling prey.  (PLOS)

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Based on their findings, the researchers theorized the marsupial lion resembles the Tasmanian devil. In fact, one paleontologist, Michael Archer with the University of New South Wales in Australia, likened the marsupial lion to “a Tasmanian devil on steroids.”

"When you think of a Tasmanian devil on steroids — a lot of steroids — if it's going to spend time tearing giant kangaroos apart, the idea that it would sit back on its haunches means that its tail really did need to bend like that,” Archer told ABC.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Famous musclebound kangaroo named Roger dead at 12: report

The adorable red male hit the headlines in 2015 when photos of his muscly body and enormous biceps circulated online.

Roger was so ripped he could crush metal buckets with his paws.

While his imposing height of 2m and ripped muscles impressed fans, they also warmed to his troubled story.

Roger was rescued by Chris Barnes, the owner of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia from his dead mum’s pouch.

He was nursed back to health and was able to grow into an imposing alpha male on the ranch.

The Sanctuary announced Roger’s death at the age of 12 in a Facebook post.

It wrote: “Farewell our darling Roger.

“Sadly Roger has passed away of old age. He lived a lovely long life and was loved by millions around the world.

“We will always love you and miss you Roger.”

The post has picked up nearly 2,000 comments and been shared over 1,300 times.

The alpha male characteristics of Roger would have been highly prized in the kangaroo world as fighting between them, especially males in common.

Dominant males will be able to get the pick of the females with smaller, weaker males seemingly being subservient.

Fights among males frequently breakout though, usually connected to a female or a drinking spot with the two animals engaging in ‘boxing’ as they fight for dominance.

Thousands commented online, expressing their sadness at the news.

Click for more from The Sun

South Carolina battlefield covered in white cotton candy-like substance called ‘hair ice’

A wispy, white substance was recently spotted at a historic site in South Carolina, leading some to believe the objects were pieces of trash. But this cotton candy-looking material was actually an unusual frost formation known as “hair ice,” the South Carolina State Parks announced Thursday.

“This frost occurrence happens during humid winter nights when the temperature drops just below the freezing point. The textures and forms are a result of the fungus Exidiopsis effusa,” the South Carolina State Parks explained on Facebook.

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Photos of the hair ice, also known as “ice flowers,” were captured by a park ranger at Musgrove Mill, the site of a Revolutionary War battle in August of 1780.

The fungus responsible for these odd shapes was only recently determined; a study released in 2015 by the European Geosciences Union announced the fungus Exidiopsis effusa was the “missing ingredient” that gives hair ice its “peculiar shape,” the German and Swiss scientists who made the discovery wrote.

The scientists concluded these silky ice filaments are a result “ice segregation,” and noted “the same amount of ice is produced on wood with or without fungal activity, but without this activity, the ice forms a crust-like structure,” Christian Mätzler, a study co-author, said in a statement at the time.

Mätzler added the fungus helps the ice to “form thin hairs,” which have a diameter of roughly 0.01 mm, or 0.0004 inches, he said. The substance is able to keep its shape “over many hours” with close to freezing temperatures.

The fungus responsible was discovered in 2015 by scientists in Germany and Switzerland. (South Carolina State Parks)

A scientist named Alfred Wegener was the first to study hair ice in 1918 and, at the time, hypothesized the fungus was a key component in the formation of the unusual shapes. But the reasoning behind the “rare and fleeting” phenomenon was hard to confirm for just that reason, Gisela Preuß, a biologist who contributed to the study, explained at the time.

“Hair ice grows mostly during the night and melts again when the sun rises. It’s invisible in the snow and inconspicuous in hoarfrost,” Preuß said, noting it is typically seen in “broadleaf forest at latitudes between 45 and 55 degrees North.”

The images posted by the South Carolina State Parks garnered thousands of reactions and shares — many writing comments in awe of the icy creations.

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“Lived in SC all my life, 70 years, and have never seen this. Thank you for sharing,” one person wrote.

“So cool! We homeschool and this just gave us some great material to research more for science today!” another added.

“Never heard of this. How cool,” a third commented.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Mt. Hood fault lines could trigger quake that could knock some off their feet, researchers say

Researchers say active fault lines on Mount Hood could potentially trigger a 7.2 magnitude quake that could reach Portland.

KGW-TV reports the recently discovered fault lines to the north, south and southwest of Mount Hood extend to the Columbia River.

Ian Madin of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and Ashley Streig of Portland State University found the fault lines during an analysis with new imaging technology. The fault lines were verified through field research.

Streig says the quake would be a short crustal earthquake, and it "would be strong enough to knock you off your feet."

Streig says the Portland area would likely see "strong ground motions and could suffer liquefaction damage along waterfront areas."

Scientists grow 3D tissue model of brain, study says

According to a new study, researchers at Tufts University have now grown a 3D tissue model of the brain using human neurons, providing them with a better opportunity to study abnormal brain cells.

Though brain tissue cells have been cultured for years under laboratory conditions, this technique employs a three-dimensional scaffold of functional neural tissue.

"We found the right conditions to get the iPSCs to differentiate into a number of different neural subtypes, as well as astrocytes that support the growing neural networks," said David Kaplan from Tufts.

STEPHEN HAWKING'S CHILDREN AND COLLEAGUES DISCUSS PHYSICIST'S FINAL BOOK, LEGACY

Once these neurons were generated, they were then grown on scaffolds made of silk protein and collagen, allowing researchers to visualize the behavior of individual cells.

The Tufts study is significant as scientists can use cells from patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other diseases, to study how these conditions may respond to treatment.

"The growth of neural networks is sustained and very consistent in the 3D tissue models, whether we use cells from healthy individuals or cells from patients with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease," said William Cantley, an author of the study.

Given the challenges of studying abnormal human neural networks, finding ways to analyze brain cells grown in a setting as natural as possible is critical for research.

"That gives us a reliable platform to study different disease conditions and the ability to observe what happens to the cells over the long term,” Cantley added.

The research was published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said the research could lead to the growing of human brains. It does not provide the technology to do so, and that is not the goal of the research. We regret the error.

Mt. Hood fault lines could trigger quake that could knock some off their feet, researchers say

Researchers say active fault lines on Mount Hood could potentially trigger a 7.2 magnitude quake that could reach Portland.

KGW-TV reports the recently discovered fault lines to the north, south and southwest of Mount Hood extend to the Columbia River.

Ian Madin of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and Ashley Streig of Portland State University found the fault lines during an analysis with new imaging technology. The fault lines were verified through field research.

Streig says the quake would be a short crustal earthquake, and it "would be strong enough to knock you off your feet."

Streig says the Portland area would likely see "strong ground motions and could suffer liquefaction damage along waterfront areas."

Scientists grow 3D tissue model of brain, study says

According to a new study, researchers at Tufts University have now grown a 3D tissue model of the brain using human neurons, providing them with a better opportunity to study abnormal brain cells.

Though brain tissue cells have been cultured for years under laboratory conditions, this technique employs a three-dimensional scaffold of functional neural tissue.

"We found the right conditions to get the iPSCs to differentiate into a number of different neural subtypes, as well as astrocytes that support the growing neural networks," said David Kaplan from Tufts.

STEPHEN HAWKING'S CHILDREN AND COLLEAGUES DISCUSS PHYSICIST'S FINAL BOOK, LEGACY

Once these neurons were generated, they were then grown on scaffolds made of silk protein and collagen, allowing researchers to visualize the behavior of individual cells.

The Tufts study is significant as scientists can use cells from patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other diseases, to study how these conditions may respond to treatment.

"The growth of neural networks is sustained and very consistent in the 3D tissue models, whether we use cells from healthy individuals or cells from patients with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease," said William Cantley, an author of the study.

Given the challenges of studying abnormal human neural networks, finding ways to analyze brain cells grown in a setting as natural as possible is critical for research.

"That gives us a reliable platform to study different disease conditions and the ability to observe what happens to the cells over the long term,” Cantley added.

The research was published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said the research could lead to the growing of human brains. It does not provide the technology to do so, and that is not the goal of the research. We regret the error.

‘Eye-cloud?’ Stunning photos show incredible ‘face-shaped’ cloud formation

Remarkable pictures show ‘face-shaped’ clouds appearing in the sky above southern England.

SWNS reports that Nicola Nicholas captured the stunning cloud formation as she harvested Chardonnay grapes from the Sandhurst Vineyard in Kent.

"We were picking our Chardonnay grapes today and we all saw this amazing face looking down at us,” she said.

UFO? BIZARRE 'ROLL CLOUD' IN TENNESSEE STUNS RESIDENTS

The clouds above Nicholas formed two large eye shapes – with the 'pupils' looking downwards over the vineyard.

The cloud was spotted over Kent, U.K. (SWNS)

"The crop is huge so I presume he was shocked at how much we were picking,'' she quipped.

Other strange cloud formations have also been garnering plenty of attention.

'ANGEL' CLOUD APPEARS OVER TEXAS SKYLINE

A driver in Texas recently snapped a photo of a cloud formation that he said resembled an angel. In 2016, a South Carolina man’s Facebook video of an angel-shaped cloud also went viral.

The cloud formation was photographed over Sandhurst Vineyard (SWNS)

In June, a bizarre funnel-shaped roll cloud in Tennessee stunned residents, with some comparing the formation to a UFO.

Images of a cloud above North Carolina that appeared to resemble President Donald Trump also went viral earlier this year.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz and Jennifer Earl contributed to this article.

Mt. Hood fault lines could trigger quake that could knock some off their feet, researchers say

Researchers say active fault lines on Mount Hood could potentially trigger a 7.2 magnitude quake that could reach Portland.

KGW-TV reports the recently discovered fault lines to the north, south and southwest of Mount Hood extend to the Columbia River.

Ian Madin of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and Ashley Streig of Portland State University found the fault lines during an analysis with new imaging technology. The fault lines were verified through field research.

Streig says the quake would be a short crustal earthquake, and it "would be strong enough to knock you off your feet."

Streig says the Portland area would likely see "strong ground motions and could suffer liquefaction damage along waterfront areas."