Report: CyberBuddy is better than no buddy

A Michigan State University researcher is looking to give exercise enthusiasts the extra nudge they need during a workout, and her latest research shows that a cyber buddy can help. The study, which appears in the Games for Health Journal, is the first to indicate that although a human partner is still a better motivator during exercise, a software-generated partner also can be effective.

Fiction prepares us for a world changed by global warming

Climate fiction, or simply cli-fi, is a newly coined term for novels and films which focus on the consequences of global warming. New research from University of Copenhagen shows how these fictions serve as a mental laboratory that allows us to simulate the potential consequences of climate change and imagine other living conditions.

Scientists study halving hydrogen

Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and provides insight into how to make the catalyst work better for alternative energy uses.

Fast, furious, and soon to be electric

Early on Saturday mornings, before the rest of campus stirs awake, Jacqueline Sly ’14 grabs coffee and heads down Massachusetts Ave. to building N51. Winding through familiar walkways, past boxes of scrap metal and old pipes, she arrives at a large, airy room dominated by two nearly finished frames of certified Formula One cars. To Sly and the rest of the MIT Formula SAE team, this is home.

Mysteries of a nearby planetary system's dynamics now are solved

Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014.

Claim: Mantis shrimp are stronger than airplanes

Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, in collaboration with University of Southern California and Purdue University, have developed a design structure for composite materials that is more impact resistant and tougher than the standard used in airplanes.

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission

It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have mimicked these viral tactics to build the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body's immune defenses.

Claim: Wildlife response to climate change is likely underestimated

Analyzing thousands of breeding bird surveys sent in by citizen scientists across the western United States and Canada over 35 years, wildlife researchers report that most of the 40 songbird species they studied shifted either northward or toward higher elevation in response to climate change, but did not necessarily do both.

Claim: Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida

Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

From red Mars to green Earth

How can a sensor for analysing the atmosphere of Mars help us to cut greenhouse emissions on Earth? By going where no human or machine has been before. Parts of our planet are so hostile they are unreachable. But if we are to understand Earth’s atmosphere it is vital we monitor factors such as gases around industrial chimneys and erupting volcanoes.

A new key to unlocking the mysteries of physics? Quantum turbulence

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries. But, scientists are continually studying other, less-understood forces that may also shed light on matters not yet uncovered. Among these is quantum turbulence, writes Katepalli Sreenivasan, an NYU University Professor, in a special issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists successfully use krypton to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Asteroid and comet impacts can cause widespread ecological havoc, killing off plants and animals on regional or even global scales. But new research from Brown University shows that impacts can also preserve the signatures of ancient life at the time of an impact.

Old tires become material for new and improved roads

Americans generate nearly 300 million scrap tires every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Historically, these worn tires often end up in landfills or, when illegally dumped, become breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. They also pose a potential fire hazard.

Testing protocols in Internet of Things by a formal passive technique

Protocol conformance and performance testing are two branches of testing designed to determine compliance and performance of protocol implementations to their standard. Dr. CHE Xiaoping and Dr. MAAG Stephane from Laboratory UMR 5157 of French Centre national de la recherché scientifique (CNRS) focus on converging these two kinds of testing in a same formal approach.

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

Researchers from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate (LaNiO3), from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick.

Researchers find 3-million-year-old landscape beneath Greenland ice sheet

Glaciers and ice sheets are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything — vegetation, soil and even the top layer of bedrock. So a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.

Controlling the weather with a dressed laser

The adage "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it," may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida's College of Optics & Photonics and the University of Arizona further develop a new technique to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning.

Doubts surface over climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Internet use can help ward off depression among elderly

It’s estimated that as many as 10 million older Americans suffer from depression, often brought on by feelings of loneliness and isolation. However, new research – a project that followed the lives of thousands of retired older Americans for six years – found that Internet use among the elderly can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.