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  • October 20, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 12 views

A Venusian Mystery Explored Once More

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Venus, the place where women are from... supposedly. To say Venus has a harsh climate would be an understatement, this is one of many reasons why we will never (or maybe not soon) see a "long lasting" Venus rover counterpart to our Mars rover missions. Still, the planet (much like all the other plants) can teach us a lot about not just our own origins, but the origins of the universe. Also like all our neighbor planets Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds, a mystery t........ Read more »

Harrington, E. et. Al. (2014) The puzzle of radar-bright highlands on venus: a high-spatial resolution study in Ovda regio. Geological Society of America. info:other/136-4

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:10 PM
  • 95 views

Solar Panel Hybrid is Cheap and Super Efficient

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar cells are inefficient, it’s a sad fact. With todays technology they boast about a 10-15% efficiency, compare that to todays gas engine at roughly 20-25% and you can see it’s not quite up to par. Well that could all change very soon thanks to a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors. This could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells to as close as 100% efficiency as they can get.... Read more »

Tabachnyk M, Ehrler B, Gélinas S, Böhm ML, Walker BJ, Musselman KP, Greenham NC, Friend RH, & Rao A. (2014) Resonant energy transfer of triplet excitons from pentacene to PbSe nanocrystals. Nature materials. PMID: 25282509  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:55 PM
  • 99 views

Orange Corn Aims to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

GMO food is still a hot button topic, honestly for no other reason than fear. Sure Monsanto is a big evil corporation, but the science is only as bad as what you do with it. In the modern fortified world we don’t think about vitamin deficiency or the horrible things that come with it, however vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem in developing countries. To combat this researchers have identified a set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels, a fi........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 06:00 AM
  • 202 views

Chase The Good, Evade The Bad

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

New research has found a bacterium that is spherical, yet has flagella all over its surface (peritrichous). This bacterium is also the only magnetotactic organism discovered that has both magnetite and Greigite crystals. Other research is showing that changing fields can turn magnetotactic bacteria on command. With some bacteria able to generate electrical circuits and others being able to open and close circuits on command, can bacterial computers be far away?... Read more »

  • September 21, 2014
  • 10:22 PM
  • 96 views

A Short Summary of Nares Strait Physics

by Andreas Muenchow in Icy Seas

The Arctic Ocean is a puddle of water covered by ice that melts, moves, and freezes. Grand and majestic rivers of Siberia and America discharge into the puddle and make it fresher than Atlantic Ocean waters. The fate of the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 17, 2014
  • 12:48 PM
  • 121 views

Live Fast, Die Young: Evolutionary Outcomes of an Asteroid Impact

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

A new semester has started and with it an influx of new students into the lab has begun. Busy has become my middle name. So when I was looking around for a paper to write about I wanted something different and cool. Not exactly hard to find in science. The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 will narrowly miss Earth this Friday, the closest known asteroid flyby on record. And by close we’re talking within the orbits of many communications satellites. This got me thinking about and looking for recent p........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 11:00 AM
  • 146 views

The Friday Five for 9/5/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A look at some of the neatest things science did this week, including solving the mystery of the "wandering stones", what coffee and alcohol do to your brain, and Lego economics!... Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 10:58 AM
  • 168 views

Corals Engineer Their Own Currents

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

There are few more monastic lives in the animal kingdom than a coral’s. In adulthood it gives up swimming to settle on the ocean floor, surround its spineless body with clones, and become a rock. Mouth facing the ocean, it waits passively for whatever drifts by—or maybe not so passively. Taking a closer look at […]The post Corals Engineer Their Own Currents appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Orr H. Shapiro, Vicente I. Fernandez, Melissa Garren, Jeffrey S. Guasto, François P. Debaillon-Vesque, Esti Kramarsky-Winter, Assaf Vardi, & Roman Stocker. (2014) Vortical ciliary flows actively enhance mass transport in reef corals. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1323094111

  • August 27, 2014
  • 09:46 AM
  • 187 views

Fluid-injection could act as 'trigger' for large earthquakes

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study investigates whether fluid-injection techniques (such as fracking, solution mining and enhanced geothermal)can generate enough stress to set off large quakes prematurely... Read more »

Mulargia, F., & Bizzarri, A. (2014) Anthropogenic Triggering of Large Earthquakes. Scientific Reports, 6100. DOI: 10.1038/srep06100  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 06:27 PM
  • 177 views

Mosquitoes on the move: climate change and its effect on vector-born diseases

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A new modeling study has shown that dengue fever incidence will likely increase in Europe over the next century due to climate change increasing its temperature and humidity.... Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 182 views

Global Warming Denial: Common Arguments and Misconceptions

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

An informal collection of common arguments and misconceptions by global warming denialists, as well as my rebuttals. Uses relevant data from IPCC, NOAA, NASA and peer-reviewed literature. Its purpose serves to inform the general public about these false claims so that we can escape this bout with pseudoscience a bit faster.... Read more »

Mann, M., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R., Hughes, M., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., & Ni, F. (2009) Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science, 326(5957), 1256-1260. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177303  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 02:36 PM
  • 153 views

East Greenland Current Instabilities

by Andreas Muenchow in Icy Seas

The coast off north-east Greenland is a grey, cloudy, and icy place. I spent 4 weeks on a ship earlier this summer to place sensors on the ocean floor to measure water currents, salinity, and temperature. The data shall uncover … Continue reading →... Read more »

Beszczynska-Möller, A., Woodgate, R., Lee, C., Melling, H., & Karcher, M. (2011) A Synthesis of Exchanges Through the Main Oceanic Gateways to the Arctic Ocean. Oceanography, 24(3), 82-99. DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2011.59  

Solomon, H., & Ahlnäs, K. (1978) Eddies in the Kamchatka Current. Deep Sea Research, 25(4), 403-410. DOI: 10.1016/0146-6291(78)90566-0  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 09:42 AM
  • 187 views

These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, the saying goes, and stalagmites might grow high enough to reach it. But the simple mnemonic doesn’t come close to covering the variety of weird, rocky shapes growing all over a cave. There are even, it turns out, rocks made from bacteria. They’re not putting the “tight” in “stalactite” so […]The post These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Sallstedt, T., Ivarsson, M., Lundberg, J., Sjöberg, R., & Vidal Romaní, J. (2014) Speleothem and biofilm formation in a granite/dolerite cave, Northern Sweden. International Journal of Speleology, 43(3), 305-313. DOI: 10.5038/1827-806X.43.3.7  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 06:15 PM
  • 225 views

Does the motion of the solar system affect our climate?

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

The solar system is believed to vertically oscillate relative to the galactic disc. A new study analyses proxy-climate data to establish a link between the galactic cycle and climate.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2014
  • 01:29 PM
  • 203 views

Swamp Thing and Plant Communication

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Maybe I’m dating myself here, but ever see the swamp thing movie, television show, or even the comic? Call me picky, after all we are talking about a human/plant hybrid, but he never needed to talk. I know, some of you are probably rolling your eyes at me given it’s a comic, movie or tv show [depending on your level of geek], but come on, this is science![…]... Read more »

G. Kim,, M. L. LeBlanc,, E. K. Wafula,, C. W. dePamphilis,, & J. H. Westwood. (2014) Genomic-scale exchange of mRNA between a parasitic plant and its hosts. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1253122

  • August 14, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 229 views

Few but strong: dense tornado clusters on the rise in the United States

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Analysis of tornado frequency data over the last half-century shows that tornadoes are occurring on fewer days but with greater density and severity, indicating that climate change may be changing the local dynamics at play.... Read more »

JB Elsner, SC Elsner, TH Jagger. (2014) The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States. Climate Dynamics. info:/

  • August 14, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 222 views

Competition for ecological niches limits evolution of new species | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A recently published study finds that competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study finds that speciation rate slows or even stops as available ecological niches fill up. Continue reading...... Read more »

Price Trevor D., Hooper Daniel M., Buchanan Caitlyn D., Johansson Ulf S., Tietze D. Thomas, Alström Per, Olsson Urban, Ghosh-Harihar Mousumi, Ishtiaq Farah, & Gupta Sandeep K. (2014) Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13272  

Kennedy Jonathan D., Weir Jason T., Hooper Daniel M. , Tietze D. Thomas, Martens Jochen, & Price Trevor D. (2012) Ecological limits on diversification of the Himalayan core Corvoidea. Evolution, 66(8), 2599-2613. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01618.x  

Harmon Luke J., Schulte James A., Larson Allan, & Losos Jonathan B. (2003) Tempo and Mode of Evolutionary Radiation in Iguanian Lizards. Science, 301(5635), 961-964. DOI: 10.1126/science.1084786  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 11:05 AM
  • 183 views

Earth’s energy imbalance

by Ed Hawkins in Climate Lab Book

Global surface air temperatures have risen less rapidly over the past 15 years than the previous few decades. The causes of this ‘hiatus’ have been much debated. However, just considering surface temperatures does not tell the whole story – a … Continue reading →... Read more »

Allan, R., Liu, C., Loeb, N., Palmer, M., Roberts, M., Smith, D., & Vidale, P. (2014) Changes in global net radiative imbalance 1985-2012. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060962  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 198 views

Weather Vs. Climate In Global Warming

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Last winter was horrible, and this summer has been mild – so global warming must not be real. This is the thought process for many people, but it points out the confusion between climate and weather. Climate is the average weather for a place over a given period, while weather is what you get day to day. New research is showing that climate change is causing more intense hurricanes - but is the number changing? Recent studies land on both sides of the issue.... Read more »

  • August 2, 2014
  • 09:44 AM
  • 212 views

Metamorphic petrology: under pressure and getting stressed?

by Metageologist in Metageologist

High pressure (HP) terranes are areas containing eclogites and other eclogite-facies rocks found within many mountains belts, including the Himalaya and the Alps. HP rocks were metamorphosed at extreme pressures, up to 3 or even 4 billion Pascals (or GPa. Atmospheric … Continue reading →... Read more »

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