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Tuesday, June 11th.)
state-of-the-art atomic-force microscope, scientists at UC-Berkeley have
taken the first atom-by-atom pictures--including images of the chemical
bonds between atoms--that clearly depict how a molecule's structure
changed during a reaction. Until now, scientists have only been
able to infer this type of information, from spectroscopic analysis.
(Posted on June 11th.)
visuals to a textbook lesson in order to attract children's interest may
sometimes make it harder for them to learn; researchers at Ohio State
found that six- to eight-year-old children best learned how to read
simple bar graphs when the graphs were plain and in a single color.
(Posted on June 4th.)
popularity of wireless devices is increasingly clogging the
airwaves--resulting in dropped calls, wasted bandwidth, and botched
connections. However, new software that's being developed at the
University of Michigan works to both control the traffic and
dramatically reduce interference.
(Posted on May 23rd.)
By using swarms of
untethered grippers--each as small as a speck of dust--Johns Hopkins
engineers and physicians say that they've devised a new way to perform
biopsies that could provide a more-effective way to access narrow
conduits in the body--as well as find early signs of cancer or other
(Posted on May 15th.)
Researchers at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed new
micro-batteries that out-power even the best supercapacitors--and could
drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.
(Posted on May 6th.)
Scientists have found that reductions in four heat-trapping pollutants
that cycle comparatively quickly through the atmosphere--methane,
tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons, and black carbon--could
temporarily forestall the rate of sea-level rise by roughly 25 to 50
(Posted on April 26th.)
"Privacy-Preserving Photo-Sharing"--a new tool that was developed by a
research team at USC--removes small amounts of crucial data from a photo
and encrypts them--allowing cloud file-sharing services to have only the
unencrypted, but now unrecognizable, portion. The photo's owner
can then choose to share the encrypted portion with other
parties--allowing them to see the whole picture--without ever uploading
it to the cloud.
(Posted on April 17th.)
A study led by a
University of Iowa psychologist found that residents of a town that was
struck by a tornado thought that their risk of injury from a future
tornado was lower than that of peers--both a month and a year after the
destructive twister. The researchers believe that such optimism
could undermine efforts toward emergency preparedness.
(Posted on April 11th.)
A team of
researchers has found the first example of an organism with a nucleus
that has adapted to extreme environments based on "horizontal gene
transfer": the red alga Galdieria sulphuraria, which can thrive
in such diverse environments as hot springs and old mineshafts.
(Posted on April 1st.)
Northwestern University have identified conditions and properties that
power companies can consider using to keep power generators in a desired
synchronized state--and help make a self-healing power grid a reality.
Their design could help reduce both the frequency of blackouts and the
cost of electricity--as well as offer an improved plan for handling the
intermittent power sources of renewable energy, which can destabilize
(Posted on March 19th.)
engineers at Oregon State have discovered a way to use high-frequency
sound waves to enhance the magnetic storage of data--offering a new
approach to improve the data-storage capabilities of a multitude of
(Posted on March 8th.)
video cameras to record fish feeding on South Pacific coral reefs,
scientists from Georgia Tech have found that herbivorous fish can be
picky eaters--a trait that could spell trouble for endangered reef
systems: Just four species of fish were primarily responsible for
removing common and potentially harmful seaweeds on reefs--and each type
of seaweed is eaten by a different species. The research
demonstrates that particular species--and certain mixes of species--are
potentially critical to the health of reef systems.
(Posted on February 25th.)
The Food and Drug
Administration has granted market approval to an artificial-retina
technology--specifically, the first bionic eye to be approved for
patients in the U.S.; the prosthetic technology was developed in part
with support from NSF. The device--called the Argus® II Retinal
Prosthesis System--transmits images wirelessly from a small,
eyeglass-mounted camera to a microelectrode array that's implanted on a
patient's damaged retina; the array sends electrical signals via the
optic nerve--and the brain interprets a visual image.
(Posted on February 18th.)
A new study finds
that the heat that's generated by everyday activities in metropolitan
areas alters the character of the jet stream and other major atmospheric
systems; this affects temperatures across thousands of
miles--significantly warming some areas, and cooling others.
(Posted on February 14th.)
Researchers at NC
State have come up with a technique to embed needle-like carbon
nanofibers in an elastic membrane--creating a flexible "bed of nails" on
the nanoscale that opens the door to development of new drug-delivery
(Posted on February 4th.)
Michigan State and the Chinese Academy of Sciences forecast how a
changing climate may affect the most-common species of bamboo that
carpets the forest floors of prime panda habitat in northwestern China.
(Posted on January 28th.)
the University of Illinois and UC San Diego have discovered a new
compound that restores the health of mice that are infected with
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)--an
otherwise-dangerous bacterial infection. The new compound targets
an enzyme that's not found in human cells, but which is essential to
(Posted on January 18th.)
Research from the
University of Chicago finds that people are able to detect--within a
split second--if a hurtful action that they're witnessing is intentional
or accidental. Its study is the first to explain how the brain is
hard-wired to recognize when another person is being intentionally
harmed--and provides new insights into how such recognition is connected
with emotion and morality.
(Posted on January 11th.)
Scientists at the
University of Utah uncover how insects domesticate bacteria--after a man
who was cutting down a tree cut his hand and then sought medical help.
(Posted on January 2nd.)
UCLA have developed a lightweight device that attaches to a cellphone to
detect allergens in food samples. The "iTube" attachment uses the
phone's built-in camera--along with an accompanying application that
runs a test with the same high level of sensitivity that a laboratory
would. (Posted on
According to a
recent study, threatened corals send signals to fish "bodyguards" that
quickly respond to trim back noxious algae--which can kill the coral, if
not promptly removed. Scientists at Georgia Tech found evidence
that these "mutualistic" fish respond to chemical signals from the coral
in a matter of minutes--like an emergency call. (Posted on
A study finds that
decades of extreme weather crippled--and ultimately decimated--first the
political culture and later the human population of the ancient Maya. (Posted on
A chemist at
Princeton has developed a way to make common metals act like precious
ones--specifically, to make iron function like platinum. The
process could help reduce companies' dependence on rare elements that
are used as catalysts in the manufacturing process. (Posted on
Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati have discovered why plants
and animals had a hard time recovering from the largest mass extinction
in Earth's history, 250 million years ago: According to their
study, the species that survived the extinction didn't fully recover for
five million years because of the environmental consequences of rising
temperatures. (Posted on
Harvard find that--when it comes to the health of forests, native
plants, and wildlife--the best management decision may be to do nothing. (Posted on
Akron polymer scientists and biologists have discovered that the common
house spider--in order to more efficiently capture different types of
prey--performs an uncommon feat: It tailors one glue to
demonstrate two adhesive strengths--firm and weak. (Posted on
Cornell University indicates that getting rid of insects could trigger
some unwelcome ecological consequences--such as the rapid loss of
desired traits in plants, including their good taste and high yields. (Posted on October 26th.)
Rice University, Bell Labs, and Yale University have created a
multi-antenna technology that could help wireless providers keep pace
with the voracious demands of data-hungry smartphones and tablets.
The technology aims to dramatically increase network capacity by
allowing cell towers to simultaneously beam signals to more than a dozen
customers on the same frequency. (Posted on October 22nd.)
A team of
researchers based at Oregon State University has, for the first time,
confirmed some of the mechanisms by which overfishing and nitrate
pollution can help destroy coral reefs: It appears that they allow
an overgrowth of algae that can bring with it unwanted pathogens, choke
off oxygen, and disrupt helpful bacteria. (Posted on October 10th.)
researchers have created a synthetic protein that--when activated by
ultraviolet light--can guide doctors to places within the body where
cancer, arthritis, and other serious medical disorders can be detected.
(Posted on September 28th.)
Responding to an
urgent need for better antibacterial coatings on surgical sutures,
scientists at UMass-Amherst report the discovery of a new coating that's
almost 1,000 times more effective than the most-widely-used commercial
(Posted on September 21st.)
Research by a
professor at the Florida Institute of Technology finds that predatory
crabs are poised to return to warming Antarctic waters and disrupt the
primeval marine communities that have lived there for millions of years.
(Posted on September 13th.)
University researchers find that the "pulvinar"--a mysterious region
deep in the human brain--could be where we sort through the onslaught of
stimuli from the outside world, and focus on the information that's most
important to our behavior and survival.
(Posted on September 6th.)
Arizona State University and the National Center for Atmospheric
Research conduct a study attempting to quantify the impact of rapidly
expanding "megapolitan" areas--such as Arizona's "Sun Corridor"--on
(Posted on August 29th.)
"super-eruptions" with the potential to end civilizations may have
surprisingly short fuses, a Vanderbilt University-led study finds.
(Posted on August 17th.)
A new study--which
includes the first large-scale comparison of fungi that cause rot
decay--suggests that the evolution of a type of fungi known as "white
rot" may have brought an end to a 60-million-year-long period of coal
deposition known as the "Carboniferous period". In addition, the
study provides insights about diverse fungal enzymes that might be used
in the future to help generate biofuels--which are currently among the
most-promising and -attractive alternatives to fossil fuels for powering
(Posted on August 10th.)
Scientists at the
Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecological Research site discover that a
combination of today's higher atmospheric carbon-dioxide level and its
atmospheric fallout is altering the hydrology and water quality of
(Posted on August 3rd.)
Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute have invented a "smart"
headlight system that can improve visibility for drivers by constantly
redirecting light to shine between particles of precipitation.
(Posted on July 26th.)
change in diet to high-energy carbohydrates while being hunted by
spiders may affect the way that soil releases carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere--according to a study by researchers at Yale and Hebrew
(Posted on July 22nd.)
With the advent of
semiconductor transistors has come the consistent demand for faster,
more-energy-efficient technologies. To fill this need, researchers
at the University of Pittsburgh are proposing a new spin on an old
method: a switch from the use of silicon electronics back to vacuums as
a medium for electron transport.
(Posted on July 13th.)
Participants in a
study at Northwestern University learned how to play two artificially
generated musical tunes with key presses. Then, while the
participants took a nap, the researchers presented one of the tunes--but
not the other. The study results show that such stimulation during
sleep can indeed enhance skill learning.
(Posted on July 6th.)
Harvard University have invented a way to keep any metal surface free of
ice and frost. The technology prevents ice sheets from developing
on surfaces--and any ice that does form slides off effortlessly.
(Posted on June 29th.)
A laboratory test
that's used to both detect disease and perform biological research could
be made more than three million times more sensitive--according to
Princeton University researchers who combined standard biological tools
with a breakthrough in nanotechnology.
(Posted on June 22nd.)
"RoboBees" project aims to artificially mimic the collective behavior
and "intelligence" of a bee colony, with the goal of gaining a greater
understanding of fields such as entomology, developmental biology,
amorphous computing, and electrical engineering.
(Posted on June 14th.)
the University of Michigan and The New School for Social Research find
that text messaging is a surprisingly good way to get candid responses
to sensitive questions.
(Posted on June 6th.)
A study by
researchers at Notre Dame, Princeton, and Duke universities finds that
high-ranking male baboons recover more quickly from injuries--and are
less likely to become ill--than other males.
(Posted on May 31st.)
Birds and other
animals change their behavior in response to manmade noise.
However, research conducted by the National Evolutionary Synthesis
Center finds that such clamor doesn't just affect them: Because
many animals also pollinate plants or disperse their seeds, human noise
can also have ripple effects on plants.
(Posted on May 25th.)
An Ohio State
University study suggests that people aren't very good at "media
multitasking" (for example, reading a book while watching TV), but do it
anyway because it makes them feel good.
(Posted on May 17th.)
Purdue University are developing a technique that uses nanotechnology to
harvest energy from hot pipes or engine components, in order to
potentially recover energy that's wasted in factories, power plants, and
(Posted on May 11th.)
Analysis of data
from the "IceCube Neutrino Observatory"--a massive detector
that's deployed in
deep ice at the geographic South Pole--provides new insight into one of
the most-enduring mysteries in physics: the production of cosmic rays.
(Posted on May 3rd.)
A fossil that was
found in Ethiopia by researchers from The Cleveland Museum of Natural
History and Case Western Reserve University indicates that--between
three million and four million years ago--there were at least two
pre-human species living on the Earth.
(Posted on April 27th.)
A study led by
researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital has revealed a remarkably
simple--but previously hidden--organizational structure within the
(Posted on April 20th.)
high-school teachers think that math is harder for girls than for boys?
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin who looked at grades,
test scores, and how teachers rated their students' abilities found bias
against white girls that can't be explained by their academic
(Posted on April 12th.)
New research finds
that sea levels will likely rise between 40 and 70 feet over at least
the next several centuries--even if global warming is limited to 2
degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
(Posted on April 6th.)
A University of
Illinois at Chicago biologist and his colleagues think that the
subterranean lifestyle of the naked mole-rat may hold clues to keeping
brain cells alive and functioning when oxygen is scarce. The key
may lie in how brain cells regulate their intake of calcium.
(Posted on April 2nd.)
the University of Utah have developed a set of calculus equations to
make it easier for doctors to save acetaminophen-overdose patients, by
quickly estimating how much painkiller they took, when they consumed it,
and whether they will require a liver transplant to survive.
(Posted on March 22nd.)
An engineer at
Iowa State University is working to develop computer-modeling technology
that will show engineers how to chip away at the surfaces of electric
motors, in order to help them create new designs and shapes that can
increase power generation.
(Posted on March 15th.)
A two-year study
of high-school football players conducted by Purdue University suggests
that concussions are likely caused by many hits over time--and not from
a single blow to the head, as is commonly believed.
(Posted on March 9th.)
restoration is a billion-dollar-a-year industry in the U.S. that aims to
create ecosystems similar to those that disappeared over the past
century. However, a new analysis of restoration projects shows
that restored wetlands seldom reach the quality of a natural wetland.
(Posted on February 28th.)
developed a system that taps into photosynthetic processes to produce
efficient and inexpensive energy. Specifically, the system
improves the efficiency of generating electric power by using molecular
structures that were extracted from plants--which has the potential to
make "green" electricity dramatically cheaper and easier.
(Posted on February 22nd.)
Engineers at Brown
University have designed a biological device that can measure glucose
concentrations in human saliva--which could eliminate the need for
diabetics to draw blood to check their glucose levels.
(Posted on February 15th.)
Predictions of the
loss of animal and plant diversity around the world are common under
models of future climate change. But, a new study by researchers
at both the University of Connecticut and the University of Washington
shows that--because these climate models don't account for species
competition and movement--they could grossly underestimate future
(Posted on February 8th.)
Michigan State University demonstrate how a new virus evolves--which
sheds light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous
(Posted on February 2nd.)
study in Chicago-area communities where neighborhood evacuations are
likely due to large amounts of toxic materials that are transported
nearby found that most respondents felt that the evacuation of New
Orleans residents to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina was a
"failure"--and that this opinion has shaped their willingness to accept
shelter, if offered, in an emergency evacuation.
(Posted on January 25th.)
A group of
researchers at Case Western Reserve University report that an insect's
internal chemicals can be converted to electricity--potentially
providing power for sensors or recording devices, or even to control the
(Posted on January 16th.)
For the first
time, scientists at the University of Southern California have unlocked
a mechanism behind the way that short- and long-term motor memory both
work together and compete against one another. The research could
potentially pave the way to more-effective rehabilitation for stroke
(Posted on January 16th.)
with children who move from high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhoods
experience notable, long-term improvements in some aspects of their
health--specifically, reductions in diabetes and extreme
obesity--according to a study led by the University of Chicago.
(Posted on January 5th.)
the University of California, Riverside, and The University of
Nottingham have discovered how plants sense low oxygen levels to survive
flooding--which could eventually lead to the production of
high-yielding, flood-tolerant crops that would benefit farmers, markets,
and consumers everywhere.
(Posted on December 29th.)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to design
antibodies that are aimed at combating disease. Specifically, the
process was used to make antibodies that neutralize the harmful protein
particles that lead to Alzheimer's disease.
(Posted on December 20th.)
A new software
tool called MediaMined™ provides unprecedented searches of audio files
that go beyond just keywords--because it analyzes and categorizes the
actual characteristics of the sounds themselves.
(Posted on December 13th.)
Researchers at the University of Chicago
have found that preschool children who hear their parents describe the
size and shape of objects--and then use those words themselves--perform
better on tests of their spatial skills. The study is the first to
show that learning to use a wide range of spatial words predicts
children's later spatial thinking--which, in turn, is important in
mathematics, science, and technology.
(Posted on December 4th.)
A first-of-its-kind study from Harvard
shows that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat. The finding
may challenge the current food-labeling system--and suggests that humans
are evolutionarily adapted to take advantage of the benefits of cooking.
(Posted on November 26th.)
A new study from researchers at Worcester
Polytechnic Institute shows that cranberry juice is better than extracts
at fighting urinary-tract infections.
(Posted on November 14th.)
Scientists have created an EEG-based,
noninvasive brain-computer interface that allows users to control a
virtual helicopter using only their minds.
(Posted on November 8th.)
A decade-long study by a team of U.S. and
Chinese researchers is one of the first to provide hard evidence that
certain environmental pollutants are indeed linked to birth defects.
(Posted on November 5th.)
Cassava, banana, and plantain--staple
foods for millions of the world's poorest people--are notoriously
difficult to breed. But, an international team of scientists aims
to change that--using a revolutionary new approach to plant breeding
developed at the University of California, Davis. (Posted
on November 5th.)
Gamers have solved the structure of a
retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more
than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing
Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in
predicting the structure of protein molecules. (Posted on
Researchers at the University of Michigan
are developing a new "subconscious mode" for smartphones and other
mobile devices that could greatly extend battery life.
(Posted on November 5th.)