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Study: Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space

July 2, 2015 8:54 am | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-efficient lighting in contained environments, a finding that could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.

Team develops new storage cell for solar energy storage, nighttime conversion

July 2, 2015 8:41 am | by UT Arlington | News | Comments

A University of Texas at Arlington materials science and engineering team has developed a new...

NASA missions monitor a waking black hole

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from the constellation...

New model of cosmic stickiness favors 'Big Rip' demise of universe

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Vanderbilt University | News | Comments

The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate. That is...

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New method of quantum entanglement vastly increases how much information can be carried in a photon

June 30, 2015 8:51 am | by UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers led by UCLA electrical engineers has demonstrated a new way to harness light particles, or photons, that are connected to each other and act in unison no matter how far apart they are  — a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement.

Physicists shatter stubborn mystery of how glass forms

June 30, 2015 8:37 am | by University of Waterloo | News | Comments

A physicist at the University of Waterloo is among a team of scientists who have described how glasses form at the molecular level and provided a possible solution to a problem that has stumped scientists for decades.

A deep, dark mystery

June 30, 2015 8:31 am | by UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

UC Santa Barbara geologist Jim Boles has found evidence of helium leakage from the Earth's mantle along a 30-mile stretch of the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin.

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Tomorrow will be one second longer

June 29, 2015 8:39 am | News | Comments

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or "leap" second, will be added.

All-plastic solar cell could help power future flexible electronics

June 26, 2015 7:06 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

If you picture a solar panel, it’s most likely dark blue or black, and rigid and flat. Now imagine one that’s semi-transparent, ultra-thin and bendable. Scientists are closing in on making the latter version a reality. They report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a see-through, bendable solar cell made entirely out of plastic. The device could help power the coming wave of flexible electronics.

Could we one day control the path of lightning?

June 22, 2015 8:14 am | by Stéphanie Thibault, INRS | News | Comments

Lightning darts across the sky in a flash. And even though we can use lightning rods to increase the probability of it striking at a specific location, its exact path remains unpredictable. At a smaller scale, discharges between two electrodes behave in the same manner, streaking through space to create electric arcs where only the start and end points are fixed. How then can we control the current so that it follows a predetermined path?

Mold unlocks new route to biofuels

June 19, 2015 10:38 am | by Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

Scientists at The Univ. of Manchester have made an important discovery that forms the basis for the development of new applications in biofuels and the sustainable manufacturing of chemicals. Based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, researchers have identified the exact mechanism and structure of two key enzymes isolated from yeast molds that together provide a new, cleaner route to the production of hydrocarbons.

Climate change won’t reduce winter deaths

June 19, 2015 9:12 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

In a study that contradicts the received wisdom on health impacts of climate change, scientists say that we shouldn’t expect substantial reduction in winter deaths as a result of global warming. This new research is published in Environmental Research Letters.

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Adapting nanoscience imaging tools to study ants’ heat-deflecting adaptations

June 19, 2015 7:41 am | by Alasdair Wilkins, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

The tiny hairs of Saharan silver ants possess crucial adaptive features that allow the ants to regulate their body temperatures and survive the scorching hot conditions of their desert habitat. According to a new research paper, the unique triangular shape and internal structure of the hairs play a key role in maintaining the ant’s average internal temperature below the critical thermal maximum of 53.6 C (128.48 F).

Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

June 18, 2015 1:55 pm | by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body's immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues. Unlike other methods of making carbon nanoparticles, the new approach generates the particles in a few hours and uses only a handful of ingredients, including store-bought molasses.

Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell

June 18, 2015 7:57 am | by Yasmin Anwar, UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Like homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, new research shows. While humans may lack the scent-tracking sophistication of, say, a search-and-rescue dog, we can sniff our way, blindfolded, toward a location whose scent we’ve smelled only once before.

Scientists film shock waves in diamond

June 18, 2015 7:50 am | by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY | News | Comments

Researchers have used ultra-short pulses of x-rays to film shock waves in diamonds. The study headed by DESY scientists opens up new possibilities for studying the properties of materials. Thanks to the extremely bright and short x-ray flashes, the researchers were able to follow the rapid, dynamic changes taking place in the shock wave with a high spatial, as well as a high temporal, resolution.

NASA's Hubble Telescope detects 'sunscreen' layer on distant planet

June 11, 2015 3:31 pm | News | Comments

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth's atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.

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Atmospheric signs of volcanic activity could aid search for life

June 11, 2015 10:25 am | by Peter Kelley, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Planets with volcanic activity are considered better candidates for life than worlds without such heated internal goings-on. Now, graduate students at the Univ. of Washington have found a way to detect volcanic activity in the atmospheres of exoplanets, or those outside our solar system, when they transit, or pass in front of their host stars.

Engineer creates origami battery

June 11, 2015 8:20 am | by Ryan Yarosh, Binghamton Univ. | News | Comments

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can be used to create beautiful birds, frogs and other small sculptures. Now a Binghamton Univ. engineer says the technique can be applied to building batteries, too. Seokheun "Sean" Choi developed an inexpensive, bacteria-powered battery made from paper.

Body’s response to spicy foods guides design of pain relief drugs

June 10, 2015 7:42 am | by Carole Gan, Univ. of California, Davis | Videos | Comments

Univ. of California, Davis, researchers have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain. Capsaicin is the ingredient that makes chili peppers spicy and hot.

Scientists observe photographic exposure live at the nanoscale

June 9, 2015 10:27 am | News | Comments

Scientists have now monitored the chemical processes during a photographic exposure at the level of individual nanoscale grains in real-time. The advanced experimental method enables the investigation of a broad variety of chemical and physical processes in materials with millisecond temporal resolution.

Engineers develop a computer that operates on water droplets

June 9, 2015 9:49 am | News | Comments

Computers and water typically don't mix, but in Manu Prakash's lab, the two are one and the same. Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and his students have built a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets.

Minecraft can declutter the robotic mind

June 9, 2015 9:35 am | by Brown University | News | Comments

Researchers from Brown University are developing a new algorithm to help robots better plan their actions in complex environments. It’s designed to help robots be more useful in the real world, but it’s being developed with the help of a virtual world — that of the video game Minecraft.

Natural rubber from dandelions

June 8, 2015 10:59 am | by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft | News | Comments

Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. Fraunhofer researchers have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion.

Pluto’s moons tumbling in absolute chaos

June 4, 2015 7:53 am | by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

If you lived on one of Pluto's moons, you might have a hard time determining when, or from which direction, the sun will rise each day. Comprehensive analysis of data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows that two of Pluto's moons, Nix and Hydra, wobble unpredictably.

How to weigh the Milky Way

June 3, 2015 8:18 am | by Columbia Univ. | News | Comments

What if your doctor told you that your weight is somewhere between 100 and 400 lbs.? With any ordinary scale every patient can do better at home. Yet, one patient can't: the Milky Way. Even though today we peer deeper into space than ever before, our home galaxy's weight is still unknown to about a factor of four.

Insect mating behavior has lessons for drones

June 1, 2015 7:36 am | by Univ. of California, Riverside | News | Comments

Male moths locate females by navigating along the latter's pheromone (odor) plume, often flying hundreds of meters to do so. Two strategies are involved to accomplish this: males must find the outer envelope of the pheromone plume, and then head upwind. Can understanding such insect behavior be useful for robotics research?

Diagnosing cancer with help from bacteria

May 28, 2015 11:31 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Univ. of California at San Diego have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics, beneficial bacteria similar to those found in yogurt. Many types of cancer, including colon and pancreatic, tend to metastasize to the liver. The earlier doctors can find these tumors, the more likely that they can successfully treat them.

Expanding the code of life with new “letters”

May 28, 2015 7:29 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as “letters,” that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting for the first time that two new nucleotides can do the same thing, raising the possibility that entirely new proteins could be created for medical uses.

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