Seven days in science - 21 May 2010

21 May 2010

The mystery of the argonaut shell was unveiled in this week’s Royal Society Biology Letters.

The function of the shell, which has eluded naturalists and scientists for millennia, has been revealed as a hydrostatic device for precise buoyancy control.  For more details go to New Scientist or BBC online.

Experts in artificial intelligence, DNA repair, asthma and superstring theory were among the Fellows newly elected by the Royal Society. The 44 new Fellows and eight new Foreign Members join the ranks of the UK and Commonwealth’s leading scientists as the Society celebrates its 350th Anniversary.

The letter Alessandro Volta sent to the Royal Society describing the invention of first electric battery was featured in this week’s The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion on BBC2. Volta’s paper is featured in the Royal Society’s interactive timeline Trailblazing.

A little-known marine snail also featured in this week’s Royal Society journal Biology Letters. The creature, known as Dendropoma and described as a “zoological oddity” by the authors of the study, may be destroying coral reefs at an alarming rate, raising concerns that it may be a significant factor in worldwide coral decline.

The next lecture in the See Further with Science series at the British Museum will discuss the Rosetta Stone. This Capital Science event takes place on 28 May.

Science and natural history take centre stage at Braintree District Museum this weekend, in a series of Local Heroes events honouring John Ray FRS.

Tickets are now available for See Further: The Festival of Science + Arts, a unique ten-day summer festival at Southbank Centre in celebration of the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary. The festival will explore a range of science and technologies, links between the sciences and arts, and our human impulse to understand the world we live in. A host of cross-disciplinary collaborations, scientific and artistic events will also feature.