Crystalline silicon solar cells are reaching their efficiency limit and manufacturing costs. But a new method to create black-silicon solar cells, potentially cheaper, has led to a record 22.1% efficiency. Learn about the physics behind the record here!... Read more »
Savin H, Repo P, von Gastrow G, Ortega P, Calle E, Garín M, & Alcubilla R. (2015) Black silicon solar cells with interdigitated back-contacts achieve 22.1% efficiency. Nature nanotechnology. PMID: 25984832
Magnetic superpowers are now possible by implanting a tiny magnet in your body.... Read more »
Hameed, J.; Harrison, I.; Gasson, M.N.; Warwick, K. (2010) A novel human-machine interface using subdermal magnetic implants. Cybernetic Intelligent Systems (CIS). DOI: 10.1109/UKRICIS.2010.5898141
While fusion might still be a far off dream, a new discovery may help bring that dream closer to reality. Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas, a finding that could quicken the development of large scale fusion energy. The scientists found that when they injected tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence then, under the right conditions, the temperature and pressure rose dramatically.... Read more »
Peatlands have long been seen as a dangerous store of carbon that could be released as glaciers melt and temperatures increase. But new research suggests Nature has some natural adaptations at hand to prevent such a release from occurring!... Read more »
Wang, H., Richardson, C., & Ho, M. (2015) Dual controls on carbon loss during drought in peatlands. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2643
Of two network breakdown models, researchers find ‘link deletion’ to be most common.... Read more »
Yohsuke Murase, Hang-Hyun Jo, János Török, János Kertész, & Kimmo Kaski. (2015) Modeling the role of relationship fading and breakup in social network formation. arXiv. arXiv: 1505.00644v1
In the future when touch screens are obsolete and we control our devices by facial gesture, maybe we'll zoom in and out the same way a bat does it. We'll open our mouths wide to narrow our field of focus. To see the bigger picture, we'll purse our lips tightly. But while we'll only be reading the news or shopping online, bats are operating one of the coolest sensory systems owned by a mammal.
An Italian priest, Lazzaro Spallanzani, sent blindfolded bats through obstacle courses in the lat... Read more »
Kounitsky P, Rydell J, Amichai E, Boonman A, Eitan O, Weiss AJ, & Yovel Y. (2015) Bats adjust their mouth gape to zoom their biosonar field of view. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25941395
In case you missed it, the people of the United Kingdom just elected 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to run their government for the next give years. How many of these newly elected MPs have science backgrounds? Like many, I was inspired by Mark Henderson’s book The Geek Manifesto  back in 2012 after reading an article which argued that (quote) “with just one British MP having a scientific background, the people who run the country clearly need some expert advice”. So when I........ Read more »
Anon. (2012) Books in brief: The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters. Nature, 485(7397), 173-173. DOI: 10.1038/485173a
The House Science Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith, unveiled their new science budget last week. Read on to see what it proposes and what it means for science.... Read more »
Mervis, J., & Cho, A. (2015) House science chief unveils contentious vision for science. Science, 348(6233), 380-381. DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6233.380
Of course there's nothing ordinary about an octopus. It's the animal that showed us spinelessness doesn't have to mean a lack of smarts. But when researchers brought some octopuses into the lab to study exactly how the animals move, their findings were bizarre—both predictably and unpredictably.
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem studied nine common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) that fishers had scooped out of the ocean for them. Once the animals got comfortable in the lab, t........ Read more »
Levy G, Flash T, & Hochner B. (2015) Arm Coordination in Octopus Crawling Involves Unique Motor Control Strategies. Current biology : CB. PMID: 25891406
Back in the day, I argued that if we were going to get serious about space exploration, we also had to budget for large, luxury spacecraft rather than just capsules in which we would cram the brave men and women we’d be sending to other worlds with a pat on the back for agreeing to deal with the discomfort and damage to their bodies. Among the reasons listed were the basic physiological problems of spending many months in zero gravity, and mental health hazards of boredom and cabin fever. ........ Read more »
Vipan K. Parihar, Barrett Allen, Katherine K. Tran, Trisha G. Macaraeg, Esther M. Chu, Stephanie F. Kwok, Nicole N. Chmielewski, Brianna M. Craver, Janet E. Baulch, Munjal M. Acharya, Francis A. Cucinotta, & Charles L. Limoli. (2015) What happens to your brain on the way to Mars. Science Advances, 1(4). info:/10.1126/sciadv.1400256
How can we mimic plant photosynthesis to move to a fossil-free economy? Read here to find out!... Read more »
Sun, K., Saadi, F., Lichterman, M., Hale, W., Wang, H., Zhou, X., Plymale, N., Omelchenko, S., He, J., Papadantonakis, K.... (2015) Stable solar-driven oxidation of water by semiconducting photoanodes protected by transparent catalytic nickel oxide films. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201423034. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1423034112
The alien civilizations we search might be too advanced to be found.
... Read more »
Griffith, R., Wright, J., Maldonado, J., Povich, M., Sigurđsson, S., & Mullan, B. (2015) THE Ĝ INFRARED SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL CIVILIZATIONS WITH LARGE ENERGY SUPPLIES. III. THE REDDEST EXTENDED SOURCES IN . The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 217(2), 25. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/217/2/25
How will ocean acidification from anthropogenic CO2 emissions affect marine life? Recent work studying a similar time during the Permian extinction 200 million years ago gives a clue.... Read more »
Clarkson MO, Kasemann SA, Wood RA, Lenton TM, Daines SJ, Richoz S, Ohnemueller F, Meixner A, Poulton SW, & Tipper ET. (2015) Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 348(6231), 229-32. PMID: 25859043
There is some excitement in the net about some news of Harold White’s experiment at NASA. I have uncovered it by chance at a forum. This is a well-frequented site with people at NASA posting on it and regularly updating about the work that they are carrying out. You can also have noticed some activity […]... Read more »
Δεδομένης της ολοκλήρωσης των 25 χρόνων λειτουργίας του, παρουσιάζονται μερικές από τις σημαντ&iota........ Read more »
Periklis D. Livas. (2015) Hubble's 25th anniversary. Chilon. info:/
FRBs just can’t seem to catch a break this month. First, they were an alien signal. Then just as quickly as they were attributed to aliens because the Daily Fail decided to get creative with two out of context words and no one seemed to bother to fact check them, the bursts were called a false signal caused by microwave interference. Not just any microwave interference mind you, but the kind in which you warm up leftovers [...]... Read more »
E. Petroff, E. F. Keane, E. D. Barr, J. E. Reynolds, J. Sarkissian, P. G. Edwards, J. Stevens, C. Brem, A. Jameson, S. Burke-Spolaor.... (2015) Identifying the source of perytons at the Parkes radio telescope. n/a. arXiv: 1504.02165v1
Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) which comprise of a free magnetic layer (whose magnetization orientation can be manipulated) and a fixed magnetic layer (whose magnetization is...
The post Microwave goodbye to inefficient spintronic microwave detectors appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »
Gui, Y., Xiao, Y., Bai, L., Hemour, S., Zhao, Y., Houssameddine, D., Wu, K., Guo, H., & Hu, C. (2015) High sensitivity microwave detection using a magnetic tunnel junction in the absence of an external applied magnetic field. Applied Physics Letters, 106(15), 152403. DOI: 10.1063/1.4918677
Five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill changed the trajectory of ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. We take a look at how species have been affected and what we can do to prevent another disaster.... Read more »
Remember the anomalous Cold Spot, the bizarre, low temperature area spotted in the maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, or CMBR for short, the echo the Big Bang which gives us a very high level overview of the structure of our universe? Cosmologists bristled at an anomaly stretching some 1.8 billion light years and seemingly violating what we thought was a universal rule [...]... Read more »
Szapudi, I., Kovacs, A., Granett, B., Frei, Z., Silk, J., Burgett, W., Cole, S., Draper, P., Farrow, D., Kaiser, N.... (2015) Detection of a supervoid aligned with the cold spot of the cosmic microwave background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 450(1), 288-294. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv488
Dark matter is a substance that makes up nearly all mass in the universe, but decades after we discovered it, all we have are indirect measurements which show us that it’s there in very large amounts, forming galactic halos, but ultimately, little else. It doesn’t seem to interact with any of the stuff that makes stars, dust, and planets, it emits or reflects no radiation, and this utter lack of interesting properties we could study [...]... Read more »
Harvey, D., Massey, R., Kitching, T., Taylor, A., & Tittley, E. (2015) The nongravitational interactions of dark matter in colliding galaxy clusters. Science, 347(6229), 1462-1465. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261381
Massey, R., Williams, L., Smit, R., Swinbank, M., Kitching, T., Harvey, D., Jauzac, M., Israel, H., Clowe, D., Edge, A.... (2015) The behaviour of dark matter associated with four bright cluster galaxies in the 10 kpc core of Abell 3827. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449(4), 3393-3406. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv467
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