Random Linkage 05/12/09
Astronomers witness biggest star explosion
'Astronomers have watched the violent death of what was probably the most massive star ever detected. The supernova explosion, which lasted for months, is thought to have generated more than 50 Suns' worth (10^32 kilograms) of different elements, which may one day go on to make new solar systems.'
UPDATED: Original now paywalled. Try here instead.
Why Humans Outlive Apes
'In spite of their genetic similarity to humans, chimpanzees and great apes have maximum lifespans that rarely exceed 50 years. The difference, explains USC Davis School of Gerontology Professor Caleb Finch, is that as humans evolved genes that enabled them to better adjust to levels of infection and inflammation and to the high cholesterol levels of their meat rich diets.'
Do mice with two mothers spell the end for men?
'If you believe some reports, the future of humanity is a super race of genetically-engineered women who can reproduce without men.'