I've come across two pretty interesting stories from today that I thought I'd share.
The first story is about scientists in Australia and New Zealand who have "rebuilt" a bird, the giant Moa (it measured up to 2.5 metres tall), which went extinct around 1280 AD. DNA was recovered from 2500 year old fossilized feathers and analysed, allowing the scientists to discover - by comparison to modern day birds' DNA - what the Moa's feathers would have looked like. It's an amazing achievement considering the sheer age of the DNA. It's a somewhat similar story to the one posted here yesterday about the ibex, except, obviously, that this bird wasn't brought to life.
-Article outlining the story.
-Official scientific paper (released in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B).
The second story is about astronomers, who at the University of Hawaii, have discovered a binary star system where both stars are surrounded by individual protoplanetary disks (the precursors to planetary formation). There is nothing particulary special about binary stars (the majority of stars are binary), nor is there anything special about protoplanetary disks (many have been discovered); what's special is that this is the first known instance of the two occuring together. It would be quite a sight to live on a planet with two Suns (although it is theorised that life could not develop in a binary system).
-Article outlining the discovery.