Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe exhumed to solve mystery [via the BBC]
16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe’s corpse has been exhumed in Prague in an attempt to confirm a cause of death. Brahe, who served as a mathematician for Bohemian Emperor Rudolf II, had previously had his 1601 death attributed to a bladder infection. A 1901 exhumation, however, tested his hair and found traces of mercury. Scientists are now hoping to use fragments of his bone and clothing to search for new clues.
Mystery of Australian twins shot in US [via ABC News]
Two 29-year-old twin sisters from Australia appear to have shot each other at a shooting range south of Denver — and police aren’t yet certain which one died and which one survived. Although little information is available, police have video footage of just outside where the shooting occurred, and have video of one twin falling to the ground. Witnesses said there had been no fight and that the sisters had been talking prior to the incident. The surviving twin is in stable but critical condition.
Ears could make better unique IDs than fingerprints [via Wired]
Scientists have developed a new way to identify people in addition to fingerprints: the ear. Using an algorithm called “image ray transform,” scientists can identify people with 99.6 percent accuracy based on measurements of their outer ear. Proponents of the technology note that fingerprints can rub off or become callous over time, but ears stay roughly the same. Critics, however, charge there is no scientific proof ears remain the same and hold up fingerprinting’s 100-year history of accuracy.