Newton's notebooks published online

Isaac Newton’s own annotated copy of his Principia Mathematica is being released online by Cambridge University, kicking off a project to create one of the world's most important digital libraries.

Gender differences in math performance 'purely cultural'

The idea that girls are innately less good at math than boys just doesn't add up, a new international study shows.

Radioactivity in Japanese waters thousands of times higher than normal

With recent reports that there have been further radioactive leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plants, a new study has assessed the level of radioactivity in the ocean in the first months after the disaster.

World's smallest steam engine comes to life

German physicists say they've built a heat engine measuring only a few micrometers across which works as well as a normal-sized version - although it sputters, they admit.

Team demos Matrix-style automatic learning

Scientists say they've found a way for people to learn to play a piano, fly a plane or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort.

Night lights used to track diseases

Satellite images of city lights can be used to monitor outbreaks of disease, says a team led by Princeton University.

Human beings unlikely to get cleverer

Given that we've been evolving for millions of years, and generally reckon it's our intelligence that's given us the edge as a species, it's perhaps surprising that we're all not a little bit brighter.

Two merging tsunamis caused Japanese devastation

The tidal wave that hit Japan in March was formed by two separate tsunamis, in a phenomenon that had been theorized but never before observed.

Mammoth find raises hopes of successful cloning

A Japanese team which has been hoping to clone a mammoth says that a specimen discovered this summer looks likely to yield up the necessary DNA.

Starfish robot shimmies through tight spaces

Harvard University engineers have built a limbo-dancing robot that can squeeze under obstacles in its path for search and rescue missions.

Graphene used to sniff out explosives

It sometimes seems as if there isn't anything that can't be done better with graphene. Now, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute say that the stuff can outperform leading commercial gas sensors in detecting potentially dangerous and explosive chemicals.

GM offers free loaner cars after Volt battery fires

If you own a Volt, GM is willing to offer you a free alternative car for the time being, while it is the subject of a national safety investigation.

CT scanning used to recreate Stradivarius violin

Using computed tomography (CT) imaging and advanced manufacturing techniques, a team of radiologists and violin makers has created a reproduction of a 1704 Stradivarius.

Study - doorways may cause memory lapses

Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you were doing? It turns out there may be a psychological reason for this mini-mental breakdown everyone is somewhat familiar with.

Beetles with backpacks could check out danger

University of Michigan engineers are kitting out beetles with sensors, aiming to use them to monitor hazardous situations before sending in human beings.

Team creates 'human-on-a-chip'

Researchers have for the first time used stem cells to grow neuromuscular junctions between human muscle cells and human spinal cord cells - the key connectors used by the brain to communicate and control muscles in the body.

Degrees of separation? Under five, and falling

When it comes to Facebook, it seems we're not all linked by six degrees of separation - the true figure is actually 4.74.

Unmanned subs begin record-breaking journey

Over the weekend, four robot vehicles set out to cross the Pacific, on the longest journey ever attempted by an unmanned ocean vehicle.

New experiment shows faster-than-light travel

An improved re-run of the experiment that appeared to show faster-than-light travel was possible has produced the same result.

World's lightest material created

A team of researchers from UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s lightest material – about one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam.