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Sea Snails Help Scientists Explore a Possible Way to Enhance Memory

The result was a significant increase in memory. Efforts to help people with learning impairments are being aided by a species of sea snail known as Aplysia californica. The mollusk, which is used by researchers to study the brain, has much in common with other species including humans. Research involving the snail has contributed to … Continue reading

The faster the internet becomes, the slower it loads pages

Image via Wikipedia World Wide Wait EVER noticed how long it takes for web pages to load these days? You click on a link and wait and wait, and then wait some more, for the content to trickle in. If nothing has happened after ten seconds or so, your impatient correspondent hits the browser’s stop … Continue reading

Israeli researchers develop oil-based pesticide

Volcani Center scientist come up with first-of-its-kind environmentally friendly pesticide based on garden-variety vegetable oil True recycling: Israeli scientists have made a breakthrough development – a vegetable oil-based, environmentally friendly pesticide. According to the an Agriculture Ministry, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) scientists at the Volcani Institute have been able to Learn more …

Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Rolling Study Hall

Image via Wikipedia Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates). But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down … Continue reading

Wikileaks and Iceland MPs propose ‘journalism haven’

Image via Wikipedia Wikileaks has provoked the dream of Iceland becoming a haven for whistle-blowing Iceland could become a “journalism haven” if a proposal put forward by some Icelandic MPs aided by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks succeeds. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), calls on the country’s government to adopt laws protecting journalists and their sources. … Continue reading

Flu research and biological warfare

TEMPTING fate is never wise; tempting a flu pandemic is downright foolish. Yet it is impossible for scientists to understand influenza or create vaccines without at least some risk. The question, then, is what level of risk is acceptable. On December 20th the American authorities said they had asked the world’s leading scientific journals to … Continue reading

Quantum Dots and More Used to Beat Efficiency Limit of Solar Cells

New approaches, not yet ready for a rooftop near you, explore simple designs that are different from what’s out there Most photovoltaic solar cells have an inherent efficiency cap, limiting how much useful energy they can extract from the sun. But scientists are finding ways around this obstacle with new research that could make solar … Continue reading

The Age of Impossible Numbers

The human brain is poorly equipped for comprehending massive quantities. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective; large numbers are relatively new features of our mental landscapes. Thousands, millions, billions, and recently trillions—once reserved for describing cosmic distances of faraway galaxies€”have been brought down to Earth in terms of the national deficits we accrue, the … Continue reading

Tiny microphones provide a new way to eliminate background noise

Opting for the quiet life MANY of those who talk loudly into their mobile phones are just inconsiderate show-offs for whom no punishment is too evil. Sometimes, however, there is an excuse. Noise in the background can make it hard for your interlocutor to hear what you are saying. Raised voices are an inevitable consequence. … Continue reading

NFC’s Stuttering Start

“NFC’s Great, but Rumors of Credit Cards’ Death Are Greatly Exaggerated.” Back in March, as part of our South-by-Southwest 2011 coverage, we wrote “NFC’s Great, but Rumors of Credit Cards’ Death Are Greatly Exaggerated.” Our contention was simple: “The fantasy of buying a Slurpee, say, with nothing more than a dramatic wave of your iPhone … Continue reading