Parallel programming may not be so daunting

Computer chips have stopped getting faster: The regular performance improvements we’ve come to expect are now the result of chipmakers’ adding more cores, or processing units, to their chips, rather than increasing their clock speed.

Engineers design ‘living materials’

Inspired by natural materials such as bone — a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells — MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.

Plugging the hole in Hawking’s black hole theory

Recently physicists have been poking holes again in Stephen Hawking’s black hole theory – including Hawking himself. For decades physicists across the globe have been trying to figure out the mysteries of black holes – those fascinating monstrous entities that have such intense gravitational pull that nothing – not even light – can escape from them. Now Professor Chris Adami, Michigan State University, has jumped into the fray.

Prepping for radar vision

Sentinel-1A, Europe’s first satellite for Copernicus, is almost ready for launch on 3 April. Meanwhile, ESA is showing how its advanced radar will map ice, monitor subsidence and much more. Marking a new era in Earth observation focusing on operational applications, Sentinel-1A is set to deliver timely imagery for numerous Copernicus services.

Mars Rover's next stop has sandstone variations

Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission's next science waypoint.

Study: Plankton make scents for seabirds and a cooler planet

The top predators of the Southern Ocean, far-ranging seabirds, are tied both to the health of the ocean ecosystem and to global climate regulation through a mutual relationship with phytoplankton, according to newly published work from the University of California, Davis.

Report: Lots of carbon dioxide equivalents from aquatic environments

According to a study carried out by two master’s students at Linköping University, large amounts of carbon dioxide equivalents taken up by plants on land are returned to the atmosphere from aquatic environments.

Researchers devise new, stretchable antenna for wearable health monitoring

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new, stretchable antenna that can be incorporated into wearable technologies, such as health monitoring devices.

Discovery of new semiconductor holds promise for 2D physics and electronics

From super-lubricants, to solar cells, to the fledgling technology of valleytronics, there is much to be excited about with the discovery of a unique new two-dimensional semiconductor, rhenium disulfide, by researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. Rhenium disulfide, unlike molybdenum disulfide and other dichalcogenides, behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material.

NASA's Space Sunflower may help snap pictures of planets

A spacecraft that looks like a giant sunflower might one day be used to acquire images of Earth-like rocky planets around nearby stars. The prototype deployable structure, called a starshade, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Hubble peers at the heart of NGC 5793

This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra.

Dramatic new portrait helps define Milky Way's shape, contents

Using more than 2 million images collected by NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, a team of Wisconsin scientists has stitched together a dramatic 360 degree portrait of the Milky Way, providing new details of our galaxy's structure and contents.

Will destruction of forests lead to the ultimate destruction of mammals?

he value of forests and tree-based ecosystems extends far beyond carbon sequestration; they are the foundation of sustainable societies.

Report: Deep ocean current may slow due to climate change

Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe.

Scientists discover potential way to make graphene superconducting

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

Scientists say the surface of Titan Sea is mirror smooth

New radar measurements of an enormous sea on Titan offer insights into the weather patterns and landscape composition of the Saturnian moon. The measurements, made in 2013 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveal that the surface of Ligeia Mare, Titan's second largest sea, possesses a mirror-like smoothness, possibly due to a lack of winds.

Algae may be a potential source of biofuels and biochemicals even in cool climate

Algae are organisms useful in many ways in the transition towards a bio-economy. Even in a cool climate as in Finland, algae might be used to produce biochemicals and biofuels, besides use in capture of industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The ALGIDA project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland explored algae growing in Finland.

Study: Amphibians and dinosaurs were the new large predators after the mass extinction

252 million years ago the largest extinction event occurred at the end of the Permian age. It wiped out almost 90 percent of all life in water. So far researchers had assumed that the ecosystems gradually recovered from this catastrophe over a long stretch of eight to nine million years and that large predators at the uppermost end of the food chain were the last to reappear.

Linking storms to climate change a 'distraction', say experts

Connecting extreme weather to climate change distracts from the need to protect society from high-impact weather events which will continue to happen irrespective of human-induced climate change, say experts.

Report: Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.