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Sun unleashes X6.9 class flare; Earth spared this time

August 10, 2011

An x-class flare began at 3:48 AM EDT on August 9, 2011 and peaked at 4:05 AM. The flare burst from sun spot region AR11263, before it rotated out of view. The image here was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in extreme ultraviolet light at 131 Angstroms (credit: NASA)

On August 9, 2011 at 3:48 a.m. EDT, the sun emitted an Earth-directed X6.9 flare, as measured by the NOAA GOES satellite.

This was the largest flare of the current solar cycle, an R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout, alternatively classified as an X6,  according to the U.S. NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

These gigantic bursts of radiation can disrupt GPS and communications signals. In this case, scientists… read more

Carbon nanotubes light up

May 5, 2003

Scientists at IBM Research have obtained light from a carbon nanotube by a passing current through it. The device could be used to fabricate ultra-small optoelectronics devices for applications in high-speed communications.

Algae as a hydrogen fuel source

April 2, 2008

Argonne National Laboratory scientists are engineering algae’s photosynthesis process to produce hydrogen gas by adding the enzyme hydrogenase.

Algae that naturally have hydrogenase produce only small volumes of hydrogen. With the enzyme added to photosynthesis the algae should produce as much hydrogen as oxygen.

See Also Algae-Based Fuels Set to Bloom

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory News Release

Stem Cells May Be Key to Cancer

February 21, 2006

At the heart of every tumor, some researchers believe, lie a handful of aberrant stem cells that maintain the malignant tissue.

The idea, if right, could explain why tumors often regenerate even after being almost destroyed by anticancer drugs. It also points to a different strategy for developing anticancer drugs, suggesting they should be selected for lethality to cancer stem cells and not, as at present, for their ability… read more

Nanotech researchers develop artificial pore

September 29, 2009


Using an RNA-powered nanomotor, University of Cincinnati biomedical engineering researchers have developed an artificial pore able to move single- and double-stranded DNA through the membrane, which could lead to the development of a single-pore DNA sequencing apparatus.

Source: University of Cincinnati news release

Wired to the Brain of a Rat, a Robot Takes On the World

May 15, 2003

Georgia Tech researchers have created a hybrid mechanical/biological robot controlled by the neural activity of rat brain cells grown in a dish.

The neural signals are analyzed by a computer that looks for patterns emitted by the brain cells and then translates those patterns into robotic movement, providing real-world feedback to the neuron.

Intelligent paint turns roads pink in icy conditions

April 6, 2008

A new temperature-sensitive varnish developed by researchers at French company Eurovia can be applied to road surfaces to warn drivers about dangerous conditions near freezing.

Create your favourite website, automatically

March 9, 2006

Boxxet allows users to create websites on any subject, automatically filling it with relevant news stories, blog posts, maps and photos.

The site’s algorithm starts by reading through the web pages submitted by the user. It calculates the frequency of unique words and which words these unique words are likely to be adjacent to. It also notes the number of images and which news organisation or blogger created those… read more

3 Americans Share Nobel for Medicine

October 6, 2009

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded Monday to three American scientists who solved a longstanding puzzle involving telomeres (the ends of chromosomes, counting off the cell’s allotted span of life), with importance to aging and cancer.

A low-cost, low-power DIY cellular data network

August 29, 2011

Mobile Network

Professor Kurtis Heimerl of the University of California, Berkeley has created a do-it-yourself GSM (global system for mobile communications, a worldwide cell-phone standard) cellular data network for areas (such as remote villages) with limited power and network resources, reports Shareable.

The network can be deployed off-the-grid because only low power is required, using solar or wind, and no connection to a cell-phone company is required.

What if devices… read more

Analog Over Digital? For a Better Ear Implant, Yes

May 30, 2003

An MIT researcher has devised a processor for cochlear implants that he says consumes only about .5 milliwatt, one-tenth of the processing power of current devices. The trick: using analog instead of digital processing, which requires more power.

Helping a micromachine to work

April 8, 2008
(Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies)

A dilute gas may soon become the lubricant of choice for microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, devices.

By saturating devices with argon gas containing a small amount of 1-pentanol vapor, they can make microscopic machines run at least 100,000 times longer without failing.

The pentanol seems to adhere to silicon MEMS surfaces, creating a one-molecule-thick coating.

Virus used to make nanoparticles

March 20, 2006

UK scientists have used a plant virus as a scaffold to create nanoparticles that function as capacitors.

The bound ferrocene compounds to amino acids on the virus surface and attached approximately 240 organometallic compounds, each containing an electronically active iron atom.

This could lead to the particles being used in biosensors, nanoelectronic devices, or for electrocatalytic processes.

The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate

October 13, 2009

The hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the Large Hadron Collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, suggest Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics.

FLOATEC project develops new floating house technology

September 6, 2011
Floating houses

The FLOATEC project has developed “amphibian houses” designed to float in the event of a flood, gizmag reports.

Building a floating house is actually a relatively easy construction process, says a Floatec exec. The secret: the foundations, using multiple layers of light plastic foam supporting the concrete, allowing it to float.

The primary market for floating houses is low-lying land such as the Netherlands,… read more

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