Report: Radiation damage at the root of Chernobyl’s ecosystems

Radiological damage to microbes near the site of the Chernobyl disaster has slowed the decomposition of fallen leaves and other plant matter in the area, according to a study just published in the journal Oecologia. The resulting buildup of dry, loose detritus is a wildfire hazard that poses the threat of spreading radioactivity from the Chernobyl area.

Comparing Fukushima to the cold light of Chernobyl

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster spread significant radioactive contamination over more than 3500 square miles of the Japanese mainland in the spring of 2011. Now several recently published studies of Chernobyl, directed by Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Møller of the Université Paris-Sud, are bringing a new focus on just how extensive the long-term effects on Japanese wildlife might be.

Particle accelerator discovered in Earth’s Radiation Belts

Scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe called the Van Allen radiation belts.

Beyond Planck’s equations

All the objects around us emit thermal radiation. Usually, this radiation can be described very accurately using Planck’s law. If, however, the radiating object is smaller than the thermal wavelength, it behaves according to different rules and cannot emit the energy efficiently.

NASA finds third Van Allen belt around Earth

The Earth temporarily gained a third radiation belt last year, NASA's Van Allen Probes mission has revealed.

Pulsar shows puzzling behavior

Astronomers are baffled by the discovery of a pulsar - a tiny spinning stars, heavier than the sun and smaller than a city - that emits different types of radiation at different times.

Protecting astronauts beyond the ISS

Astronauts venturing beyond the safety of the International Space Station (ISS) will face increased exposure to cosmic radiation.

Radiation belt probe lifts off

NASA's finally launched its Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), the first twin-spacecraft mission designed to explore the Van Allen belts.

Radiation damages electronics more than thought

Radiation causes ten times as much structural damage to electronic materials at the atomic level as previously believed, say scientists using a new investigation technique.

'Deflector shield' protects moon from radiation

Scientists from the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have made a discovery that could help future astronauts shelter from radiation on the moon.

Solar storm warning system will help protect astronauts

With a solar storm washing over the Earth this weekend, it's welcome timing for a new solar radiation warning system that gives more warning than ever before.

Life's building blocks could be near Martian surface

If there's any evidence of ancient life on Mars, it's likely to be found near the surface, new research suggests - dramatically upping the chances that it'll be discovered by the Curiosity rover, set to land next month.

New technology to detect radioactive materials

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have created a new prototype radiation detection device for use at ports, border crossings, airports and elsewhere.

After nuclear disasters, wildlife thrives

Radiation from nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima may, surprisingly, have done the local wildlife no harm at all.

Single pill for radiation decontamination

Berkeley Lab scientists are soon to move into clinical trials of a pill that can decontaminate people after exposure to radiation.

The post-nuclear world of GAMMA

Factory Fifteen has released a short, yet haunting sci-fi film dubbed GAMMA. The surreal movie depicts a post-nuclear future, in which the earth is riddled with dangerous radiation.

Judge tosses most of SF cellphone warning law

A federal judge has thrown out most provisions of a San Francisco law requiring phone retailers to display the amount of radiation emitted by each device.

Children absorb more cellphone radiation

A new study from the Environmental Health Trust has found that  children absorb twice as much microwave radiation from phones as do adults.

Polluted Russian city wants 'positive' Google search results

Russian city Chelyabinsk - widely known as the most polluted in the country - is using taxpayers' money for a search engine optimisation project aimed at cleaning up its image (though not the city itself).

Tawkon: Avoid radiation & talk on!

Tawkon has been making quiet ripples in the smartphone market. But most people only heard of the Israeli firm after the dramatic rejection of its app by the chief Apple guru himself - Steve Jobs.