Report: Gusev Crater on Mars once held a lake

If desert mirages occur on Mars, "Lake Gusev" belongs among them. This come-and-go body of ancient water has come and gone more than once, at least in the eyes of Mars scientists.

Growing crops on photovoltaic farms

Growing agave and other carefully chosen plants amid photovoltaic panels could allow solar farms not only to collect sunlight for electricity but also to produce crops for biofuels, according to new computer models by Stanford scientists.

How to make ethanol without corn or other plants

Stanford University scientists have found a new, highly efficient way to produce liquid ethanol from carbon monoxide gas. This promising discovery could provide an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ethanol production from corn and other crops, say the scientists. Their results are published in the April 9 advanced online edition of the journal Nature.

Scientists develop bacterial ‘FM Radio’

Programming living cells offers the prospect of harnessing sophisticated biological machinery for transformative applications in energy, agriculture, water remediation and medicine. Inspired by engineering, researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology have designed a tool box of small genetic components that act as intracellular switches, logic gates, counters and oscillators.

Report: Movies synchronize minds

When we watch a movie, our brains react to it immediately in a way similar to other people's brains.

Did life as we know it originate in deep sea vents?

One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began (roughly 3.8 billion years ago), but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility has grown in popularity in the last two decades - that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world.

Micro-robots, smaller than a penny, could one day swarm to the rescue

Imagine robots no bigger than your finger tip scrambling through the rubble of a disaster site to search for victims or to assess damage. That's the vision of engineer Sarah Bergbreiter and her research team at the University of Maryland.

On the trail of a galactic serial killer

Several clues in the structure of NGC 1316 reveal that its past was turbulent. For instance, it has some unusual dust lanes embedded within a much larger envelope of stars, and a population of unusually small globular star clusters.

Regolith of small asteroids formed by thermal fatigue

The centimeter-sized fragments and smaller particles that make up the regolith — the layer of loose, unconsolidated rock and dust — of small asteroids is formed by temperature cycling that breaks down rock in a process called thermal fatigue, according to a paper published today in the Nature Advance Online Publication.

Yes, memory accuracy and strength can be manipulated during sleep

The sense of smell might seem intuitive, almost something you take for granted. But researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center have found that memory of specific odors depends on the ability of the brain to learn, process and recall accurately and effectively during slow-wave sleep — a deep sleep characterized by slow brain waves.

Green tea boosts your brain

Green tea is said to have many putative positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory.

These electronics dissolve when triggered

A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person’s body. Or, a military device could collect and send its data and then dissolve away, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. Or, an environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain.

Report: Social networking use linked to infidelity and divorce

Twitter and other social networking services have revolutionized the way people create and maintain relationships. However, new research shows that Twitter use could actually be damaging to users’ romantic relationships.

Trees go high-tech: process turns cellulose into energy storage devices

Based on a fundamental chemical discovery by scientists at Oregon State University, it appears that trees may soon play a major role in making high-tech energy storage devices.

New catalog brings NASA software down to Earth

From the rudimentary but effective Apollo Guidance and Navigation System that landed the first humans on the lunar landscape to the code used to manage robotic missions to explore other planets, software has always been at the core of NASA’s mission successes.

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.

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity scopes out new target

Last week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover drove the last 98 feet feet (30 meters) needed to arrive at a site planned since early 2013 as a destination for studying rock clues about ancient environments that may have been favorable for life.