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Scientists Urge New Approaches to Plant Research

You’d be amazed at how much you can learn from a plant. In a paper published this week in the journal Science, a Michigan State University professor and a colleague discuss why if humans are to survive as a species, we must turn more to plants for any number of valuable lessons. “Metabolism of plants … Continue reading

Photosynthesis Re-Wired: Chemists Use Nanowires to Power Photosynthesis-Like Process

“If we can start to use carbon dioxide and light to power reactions in organic chemistry, there’s a huge benefit to that” Harnessing the power of the sun has inspired scientists and engineers to look for ways to turn sunlight into clean energy to heat houses, fuel factories and power devices. While a majority of … Continue reading

Oil Exploration Ramps Up in U.S. Arctic

Shell is preparing to lead a new oil rush in the American north this summer despite spill risks A new round of exploratory oil drilling is due to begin in the Arctic this July. Oil companies are no doubt dreaming of a northern oil rush, while environmentalists face nightmares of devastating spills. The oil giant … Continue reading

Rice University Develops Spray-on Battery Prototype

Imagine being able to paint surfaces to make them batteries and then paint solar cells on top . . . Researchers at Rice University in Houston have developed a prototype spray-on battery that could allow engineers to rethink the way portable electronics are designed. The rechargeable battery boasts similar electrical characteristics to the lithium ion … Continue reading

New Vaccine for Nicotine Addiction

Weill Cornell Researchers Develop Novel Anti-Body Vaccine that Blocks Addictive Nicotine Chemicals from Reaching the Brain Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed and successfully tested in mice an innovative vaccine to treat nicotine addiction. In the journal Science Translational Medicine, the scientists describe how a single dose of their novel vaccine protects mice, … Continue reading

World Supersonic jet to fly London to Sydney journey in four hours

Could be available by 2030 LONDON to Sydney in just four hours – that’s the aim of US aeronautical engineers as they race to develop a ‘Son of Concorde’ prototype. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream – with the help of NASA – are working towards the first supersonic commercial passenger airliner, aimed initially at the … Continue reading

Faster, Cheaper Gas and Liquid Separation Using Custom Designed and Built Mesoscopic Structures

In what may prove to be a significant boon for industry, separating mixtures of liquids or gasses has just become considerably easier. Using a new process they describe as “reverse fossilization,” scientists at Kyoto University’s WPI Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have succeeded in creating custom designed porous substances capable of low cost, high … Continue reading

Will Google’s Personal Assistant Be Creepy or Cool?

Is there also an uncanny valley that applies to our level of comfort One day, people won’t have to type queries into a box to search for information. It’ll be delivered to them, via their various screens, based on where they are, who is nearby and what they might like and need to know. Google … Continue reading

Real-time, brain-scanning speller gives the silent a voice

The letter-encoding technique required almost no pre-training Researchers at Maastricht University in The Netherlands have developed a device that gives a voice to those who are completely unable to speak or move at all. Building on previous work using functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) technology, which allowed individuals to give yes/no responses or answer multiple-choice questions, … Continue reading

U.S. Army weapon shoots lightning bolts down laser beams

The device would fry targets that conduct electricity Thought that title might get your attention, but shooting lightning bolts down laser beams is just what a device being developed at the Picatinny Arsenal military research facility in New Jersey is designed to do. Known as a Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, or LIPC, the device would fry … Continue reading