Embarking on geoengineering, then stopping, would speed up global warming

Spraying reflective particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and then stopping it could exacerbate the problem of climate change, according to new research by atmospheric scientists at the University of Washington.

Solar-induced hybrid fuel cell produces electricity directly from biomass

Although low temperature fuel cells powered by methanol or hydrogen have been well studied, existing low temperature fuel cell technologies cannot directly use biomass as a fuel because of the lack of an effective catalyst system for polymeric materials.

Evolution stuck in slime for a billion years

Tasmanian researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits.

New 'pomegranate-inspired' design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries

An electrode designed like a pomegranate – with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind – overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, say its inventors at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Is truth stranger than fiction? Yes, especially for science fiction

From warp drives to hyperspace, science fiction has continuously borrowed from, and sometimes anticipated, the state of the art in scientific progress. This has resulted in the perception that science and science fiction have a causal relationship, one finding direction from and fulfilling the science fantasy laid out before it.

Why the deep ocean is Earth's last frontier

Growing industrialization threatens the deep ocean's ecosystems, considered key to the health of the planet.

Finding common ground fosters understanding of climate change

Grasping the concept of climate change and its impact on the environment can be difficult. Establishing common ground and using models, however, can break down barriers and present the concept in an easily understood manner.

These self-organizing robots are inspired by termite colonies

On the plains of Namibia, millions of tiny termites are building a mound of soil—an 8-foot-tall "lung" for their underground nest. During a year of construction, many termites will live and die, wind and rain will erode the structure, and yet the colony's life-sustaining project will continue.

Graphene's love affair with water

Graphene has proven itself as a wonder material with a vast range of unique properties. Among the least-known marvels of graphene is its strange love affair with water.

Could action video games help people with dyslexia learn to read?

In addition to their trouble with reading, people with dyslexia also have greater difficulty than typical readers do when it comes to managing competing sensory cues, according to a study reported February 13 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The findings suggest that action video games might improve literacy skills in those with dyslexia, which represent five to ten percent of the population.

Claim: Cars, computers, TVs spark obesity in developing countries

The spread of obesity and type-2 diabetes could become epidemic in low-income countries, as more individuals are able to own higher priced items such as TVs, computers and cars.

Cities support more native biodiversity than previously thought

The rapid conversion of natural lands to cement-dominated urban centers is causing great losses in biodiversity. Yet, according to a new study involving 147 cities worldwide, surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species persist and even flourish in urban environments — to the tune of hundreds of bird species and thousands of plant species in a single city.

New system combines control programs so fleets of robots can collaborate

A new system combines simple control programs to enable fleets of robots -- or other 'multiagent systems' -- to collaborate in unprecedented ways.

Report: Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel

Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.

Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change

As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to follow their ideal climate. A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate. The findings appear in the science journal Nature.

Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change

As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to follow their ideal climate. A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate. The findings appear in the science journal Nature.

NASA completes radar study of Icelandic glacier movement

The cold of an Icelandic winter did not stop one NASA science aircraft from completing a mission to map glaciers on the island during the past week. NASA's C-20A, based at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., flew four radar missions from Keflavik International Airport near Reykjavik, Iceland.

US lead in science and technology shrinking

The United States' (U.S.) predominance in science and technology (S&T) eroded further during the last decade, as several Asian nations--particularly China and South Korea--rapidly increased their innovation capacities.

Is global warming hiding underwater?

Satellite observations of global sea-surface temperature show that a 30-year upward trend has slowed down within the last 15 years. Climate scientists say this is not the end of global warming, but the result of a rearrangement in the energy flow of the climate system and, in particular, how the ocean stores heat.

Scientists transform primitive artificial cell into complex biological materials

It is a big dream in science: To start from scratch with simple artificial microscopic building blocks and end up with something much more complex: living systemts, novel computers or every-day materials.