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.
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.
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.
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.
The habit of Googling for an online diagnosis before visiting a GP can provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.
Imagine seeing a dozen pictures flash by in a fraction of a second. You might think it would be impossible to identify any images you see for such a short time. However, a team of neuroscientists from MIT has found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds — the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.
If we’ve learned anything from post-apocalyptic movies it’s that computers eventually become self-aware and try to eliminate humans.
Just a single foreign atom located in the vicinity of a molecule can change spatial arrangement of its atoms. In a spectacular experiment, an international team of researchers was able to change persistently positions of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in a porphycene molecule by approaching a single copper atom to the molecule.
Vigorous mixing in the air above large cracks in Arctic sea ice that expose seawater to cold polar air pumps atmospheric mercury down to the surface, finds a NASA field campaign. This process can lead to more of the toxic pollutant entering the food chain, where it can negatively affect the health of fish and animals who eat them, including humans.
As scientists forecast the impacts of climate change, one missing piece of the puzzle is what will happen to the carbon in the soil and the microbes that control the fate of this carbon as the planet warms.
Computer security systems may one day get a boost from quantum physics, as a result of recent research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Computer scientist Yi-Kai Liu has devised away to make a security device that has proved notoriously difficult to build—a "one-shot" memory unit, whose contents can be read only a single time.
In the not too distant future, you may hear the hum of a drone's rotors as it descends upon you and be filled with a sense of relief, not panic. After all, it's coming to save you, not harm you.
A study of marine life in the temperate coastal waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean shows a reversal of competitive dominance among species of algae, suggesting that increased ocean acidification caused by global climate change is altering biodiversity.
Researchers at Georgia Tech studying the burgeoning phenomenon of crowdfunding have learned that the language used in online fundraising hold surprisingly predictive power about the success of such campaigns.
Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Now researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun’s energy not into electricity but hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down.
It’s not that younger people are able to remember more than older people. Their memories seem better because they are able to retrieve them in higher definition.
MIT engineers have devised a way to measure the mass of particles with a resolution better than an attogram — one millionth of a trillionth of a gram. Weighing these tiny particles, including both synthetic nanoparticles and biological components of cells, could help researchers better understand their composition and function.
Synthetic chemists today have the ability to construct molecules of almost any atomic composition, creating new materials with any number of promising applications that range from sustainable energy and environmental remediation, to high-performance electronics.
Scientists studying the atmosphere above Barrow, Alaska, have discovered unprecedented levels of molecular chlorine in the air, a new study reports.
Inventor Nikola Tesla imagined the technology to transmit energy through thin air almost a century ago, but experimental attempts at the feat have so far resulted in cumbersome devices that only work over very small distances. But now, Duke University researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of wireless power transfer using low-frequency magnetic fields over distances much larger than the size of the transmitter and receiver.