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.
Scientific uncertainty has been described as a 'monster' that prevents understanding and delays mitigative action in response to climate change. New research by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Bristol, and international colleagues, shows that uncertainty should make us more rather than less concerned about climate change.
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.
Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, a team of MIT researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give them completely new functions, such as monitoring environmental pollutants.
Scientists on the CDF and DZero experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have announced that they have found the final predicted way of creating a top quark, completing a picture of this particle nearly 20 years in the making.
Growing industrialization threatens the deep ocean's ecosystems, considered key to the health of the planet.
It is a big dream in science: To start from scratch with simple artificial microscopic building blocks and end up with something much more complex: living systemts, novel computers or every-day materials.
As work to make solar power more efficient and affordable proceeds – important work that can boost solar’s share of the electricity we consume – some scientists are off on an entirely different research path. This is the effort to turn sunlight into fuel.
Carbon nanotubes carry plasmonic signals in the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum, but only if they’re metallic by nature or doped. In new research, the Rice University laboratory of physicist Junichiro Kono disproved previous theories that dominant terahertz response comes from narrow-gap semiconducting nanotubes.
Scientists from the University of New Hampshire and colleagues have published comprehensive findings on space-based radiation as measured by a UNH-led detector aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The data provide critical information on the radiation hazards that will be faced by astronauts on extended missions to deep space such as those to Mars.
Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices.
Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range.
Anyone who's stuffed a smart phone in their back pocket would appreciate the convenience of electronic devices that could bend. Flexible electronics could spawn new products: clothing wired to cool or heat, reading tablets that could fold like newspaper, and so on.
UCLA computer science professor Amit Sahai and a team of researchers have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as "software obfuscation," and it is reportedly the first time it has been accomplished.
There is only one planet we know of, so far, that is drenched with life. That planet is Earth, as you may have guessed, and it has all the right conditions for critters to thrive on its surface. Do other planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, also host life forms?
A new study estimates that global sea levels will rise about 2.3 meters, or more than seven feet, over the next several thousand years for every degree (Celsius) the planet warms.
At the end of the last Ice Age, as the world began to warm, a swath of the North Pacific Ocean came to life. During a brief pulse of biological productivity 14,000 years ago, this stretch of the sea teemed with phytoplankton, amoeba-like foraminifera and other tiny creatures, who thrived in large numbers until the productivity ended — as mysteriously as it began — just a few hundred years later.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed three-dimensional (3-D) printing technology and techniques to create free-standing structures made of liquid metal at room temperature.
Bees use the electric fields that build up on their body to communicate without the need for mobile phones.
NASA scientists are currently researching ways of safely sending astronauts to Mars using advanced nuclear rockets.