Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face

New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.

Slowdown of global warming fleeting

The recent slowdown in the warming rate of the Northern Hemisphere may be a result of internal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation -- a natural phenomenon related to sea surface temperatures, according to Penn State researchers.

Report: Permafrost thawing could accelerate global warming

A team of researchers lead by Florida State University have found new evidence that permafrost thawing is releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere via plants, which could accelerate warming trends.

Why food quality will suffer with rising CO2

For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.

New algorithm supercharges robot navigation

Suppose you're trying to navigate an unfamiliar section of a big city, and you're using a particular cluster of skyscrapers as a reference point. Traffic and one-way streets force you to take some odd turns, and for a while you lose sight of your landmarks. When they reappear, in order to use them for navigation, you have to be able to identify them as the same buildings you were tracking before — as well as your orientation relative to them.

To bridge LEDs' green gap, scientists think small... really small

Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs), especially in the "green gap," a portion of the spectrum where LED efficiency plunges, simulations at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have shown.

Scientists unmask the climate uncertainty monster

Scientific uncertainty has been described as a 'monster' that prevents understanding and delays mitigative action in response to climate change. New research by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Bristol, and international colleagues, shows that uncertainty should make us more rather than less concerned about climate change.

Bacteria get new badge as planet's detoxifier

A study published this week in PLOS ONE authored by Dr. Henry Sun and his postdoctoral student Dr. Gaosen Zhang of Nevada based research institute DRI provides new evidence that Earth bacteria can do something that is quite unusual.

Report: Criticism of violent video games has decreased

Members of the media and others often have attributed violence in video games as a potential cause of social ills, such as increased levels of teen violence and school shootings.

Designing trees that make it easier to produce paper

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel, a breakthrough that will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

Never say never in the nano-world

Objects with sizes in the nanometer range, such as the molecular building blocks of living cells or nanotechnological devices, are continuously exposed to random collisions with surrounding molecules.

Magnetic anomaly deep within Earth's crust reveals Africa in North America

The repeated cycles of plate tectonics that have led to collision and assembly of large supercontinents and their breakup and formation of new ocean basins have produced continents that are collages of bits and pieces of other continents.

Claim: Coffee consumption reduces mortality risk from liver cirrhosis

New research reveals that consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis.

Why Arctic ice is disappearing more rapidly than expected

A new study led by Lance Lesack, a Simon Fraser University geographer and Faculty of Environment professor, has discovered unexpected climate-driven changes in the mighty Mackenzie River’s ice breakup. This discovery may help resolve the complex puzzle underlying why Arctic ice is disappearing more rapidly than expected.  

Report: Americans using more energy

Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Knowledge transfer: Computers teach each other Pac-Man

Researchers in Washington State University’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have developed a method to allow a computer to give advice and teach skills to another computer in a way that mimics how a real teacher and student might interact.

Remotely operated aircraft successfully tested as tool for measuring changes in polar ice sheets

Scientists studying the behavior of the world's ice sheets--and the future implications of ice sheet behavior for global sea-level rise--may soon have a new airborne tool that will allow radar measurements that previously would have been prohibitively expensive or difficult to carry out with manned aircraft.

Misleading mineral may have resulted in overestimate of water in moon

he amount of water present in the moon may have been overestimated by scientists studying the mineral apatite, says a team of researchers led by Jeremy Boyce of the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences.

Report: Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for mass extinction

Evidence left at the crime scene is abundant and global: Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out — by far the largest of this planet’s five known mass extinctions. But pinpointing the culprit has been difficult, and controversial.

Wind energy: On the grid, off the checkerboard

As wind farms grow in importance across the globe as sources of clean, renewable energy, one key consideration in their construction is their physical design -- spacing and orienting individual turbines to maximize their efficiency and minimize any "wake effects," where the swooping blades of one reduces the energy in the wind available for the following turbine.