Understanding rise, fall and re-emergence of plague strains

One branch of a deadly pathogen’s family tree may have ended centuries ago, but from its ancient traces researchers can read a lineage with links to the modern world.

Environmentally friendly, energy-dense sugar battery developed to power the world's gadgets

A Virginia Tech research team has developed a battery that runs on sugar and has an unmatched energy density, a development that could replace conventional batteries with ones that are cheaper, refillable, and biodegradable.

New boron nanomaterial may be possible

Researchers from Brown University have shown experimentally that a boron-based competitor to graphene is a very real possibility. Graphene has been heralded as a wonder material. Made of a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb arrangement, graphene is stronger pound-for-pound than steel and conducts electricity better than copper.

Is there an ocean beneath our feet?

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that deep sea fault zones could transport much larger amounts of water from the Earth’s oceans to the upper mantle than previously thought.

Why life got big in the Earth's early oceans

Why did life forms first begin to get larger and what advantage did this increase in size provide? UCLA biologists working with an international team of scientists examined the earliest communities of large multicellular organisms in the fossil record to help answer this question.

Report: North and tropical Atlantic warming affects Antarctic climate

The gradual warming of the North and tropical Atlantic Ocean is contributing to climate change in Antarctica, a team of New York University (NYU) scientists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has concluded. Their findings appear in the Jan. 23 edition of the journal Nature.

Changing climate: How dust changed the face of the earth

Bremerhaven/Germany, 24 January 2014. In spring 2010, the research icebreaker Polarstern returned from the South Pacific with a scientific treasure - ocean sediments from a previously almost unexplored part of the South Polar Sea.

Report: Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon

Geoscientist Erik Lundin shows in his thesis that streams and lakes of Northern Sweden are hotspots for emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.

JILA strontium atomic clock sets new records in both precision and stability

Heralding a new age of terrific timekeeping, a research group led by a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) physicist has unveiled an experimental strontium atomic clock that has set new world records for both precision and stability-- key metrics for the performance of a clock.

Air pollution tied to China exports

Chinese air pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods for export to the U.S. and Europe, according to findings by UC Irvine and other researchers published earlier this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

MIT's transparent display system could provide heads-up data

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications — such as the ability to see navigation or dashboard information while looking through the windshield of a car or plane, or to project video onto a window or a pair of eyeglasses. A number of technologies have been developed for such displays, but all have limitations.

2013 marked sustained long-term climate warming trend

NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.

Report: Arctic warmth unprecedented in 44,000 years

When the temperature rises on Baffin Island, in the Canadian high Arctic, ancient Polytrichum mosses, trapped beneath the ice for thousands of years, are exposed. Using radiocarbon dating, new research in Geophysical Research Letters has calculated the age of relic moss samples that have been exposed by modern Arctic warming.

Understanding the origin of life on earth

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, publishes a modern approach to a famed experiment that explored one of the most intriguing research questions facing scientists today—the origin of life on earth.  

Peeking into Schrodinger's box

Until recently, measuring a 27-dimensional quantum state would have been a time-consuming, multistage process using a technique called quantum tomography, which is similar to creating a 3D image from many 2D ones.

Tiny swimming bio-bots boldly go where no bot has swum before

The alien world of aquatic micro-organisms just got new residents: synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots.

Get used to heat waves: Extreme El Nino events to double

Extreme weather events fuelled by unusually strong El Ninos, such as the 1983 heatwave that led to the Ash Wednesday bushfires in Australia, are likely to double in number as our planet warms.

Distant quasar illuminates a filament of the cosmic web

Astronomers have discovered a distant quasar illuminating a vast nebula of diffuse gas, revealing for the first time part of the network of filaments thought to connect galaxies in a cosmic web. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, led the study, published January 19 in Nature.

How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.

Natural 3D counterpart to graphene discovered

The discovery of what is essentially a 3D version of graphene – the 2D sheets of carbon through which electrons race at many times the speed at which they move through silicon – promises exciting new things to come for the high-tech industry, including much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives.