On Monday, Novosibirsk scientists of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences announced that there is a huge deposit of diamonds buried under an impact crater in Siberia. These diamonds are twice as hard as normal because of their origin.
There have been sightings of white whales sporadically over the last few decades, but the only white killer whales (Orcinus orca) were young, including one with a rare genetic condition that died in a Canadian aquarium in 1972.
It took two chilling decades, but the Russian team has finally broken into Lake Vostok, the largest of the lakes hidden under Antarctica’s ice, and the most deeply buried. Lake Vostok has been isolated for millions of years and it might contain specifically adapted microorganisms, that haven’t been seen on the surface of the planet for a long time.
The Russian space capsule Soyuz was slated to launch on March 29th, but a botched pressure test has delayed the launch until May 15th. Soyuz will contain the next crew of the ISS, who are anxiously awaiting the launch.
The Denisova Cave, perched high in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, has been a large natural shelter for humans and animals for tens of thousands of years. Buried deep in the cave sediments, scientists discovered genetic material from a previously unknown hominin, dubbed Denisovans, who inhabited a large area of Asia and, just like the Neanderthals, mated with modern humans.
The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which was supposed to have traveled to Phobos, a moon of Mars, and back, crashed on Earth. The ambitious project crashed into the Pacific Ocean, on January 15th, between 4:59PM and 5:47PM. The exact time is still unclear, as the most advanced tracking equipment belongs to the US military, and is not available to astronomers.