Articles about science

labrat

AI threatens yet more jobs – now, lab rats: Animal testing could be on the way out, thanks to machine learning

Machine learning algorithms can help scientists predict chemical toxicity to a similar degree of accuracy as animal testing, according to a paper published this week in Toxicological Sciences. A whopping €3bn (over $3.5bn) is spent every year to study how the negative impacts of chemicals on animals like rats, rabbits or …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Jul 2018
quasar_radio

Astroboffins spy the brightest quasar that lit the universe's dark ages

Scientists have spotted the brightest ancient quasar formed when the universe was less than billion years old, according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal. The newly discovered quasar, known by its not very catchy name PSO J352.4034-15.3373 or P352-15, also shoots out huge jets of plasma that appear extremely …
spider_ballooning

Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

Video Spiders can detect the Earth’s electric field, and use it to lift off and fly through the air, according to new research. The creepy creatures raise their legs and point their bulbous bodies to the sky before shooting lines of silk, using the material to float away in a gentle breeze. The process known as ballooning can carry …
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA makes the James Webb Telescope a looker with a heart of gold

While the spaceship name Heart of Gold was taken by the late, great Douglas Adams, NASA has come up with something similar for its forthcoming space telescope. To capture incoming radiation, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will need to fend off outgoing radiation. The telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020 following several …
Pluto

The ice must flow: Dunes of frozen gas spotted on alien dwarf

Dunes of methane ice grains have been discovered on Pluto after scientists studied snaps taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. That's according to a paper published in the journal Science today. New Horizons, launched over a decade ago in 2006, has allowed boffins to conduct the most detailed study of the largest dwarf …
Katyanna Quach, 31 May 2018
batteries

Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries

Laptop and phone batteries could last 100 times longer if boffins at the University of Missouri, in the US, come good on a new honeycomb design for electronics that they say greatly increases battery life between charges. In papers published in two technical journals – Advanced Electronic Materials and Advanced Science – a …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2018

North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins

Earth's magnetic field flips from time to time, but boffins are now confident it won't happen again any time soon. Research published April 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) says Earth scientists' assessment of our magnetosphere suggest we're more likely to see a …
picture of 3D printed WiFi-capable gears

Something weird to deck the Xmas tree with: 3D-printed Wi-Fi baubles

In an effort to make objects more chatty, boffins at the University of Washington have developed a way to create 3D-printed plastic baubles that can communicate over Wi-Fi with other devices, without batteries or electronics. The technique, developed by UW doctoral students Vikram Iyer and Justin Chan, in conjunction with UW …
Arecibo observatory

Arecibo spared the axe: Iconic observatory vital to science lives on

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has approved a plan to keep the famous Arecibo Observatory running after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria. The NSF this week signed off [PDF] on a proposal to continue funding work at the Puerto Rican radio observatory, and seek out a partner to help cover operational costs. …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2017
People looking sceptical

MoD: Sci-tech strategy? Er, here's a bunch of words and diagrams

The UK Ministry of Defence has unveiled latest its science and technology strategy by writing a jargon-ridden report full of incomprehensible diagrams – but it contains good news for startups. In the Science and Technology Strategy 2017, which is supposed to underpin the £80m/year Defence Innovation Fund, the ministry’s chief …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Oct 2017
Dragonfly sits on a yellow flower

The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act

"Insects are at the bottom of the ecosystem," the lead author of a study into a massive decrease in collected insects told The Reg. Their loss, he added, is "likely to collapse the entire pyramid". Between 1989 and 2016, boffins used nets to fill about 1,500 one-litre bottles with flying insects from 63 conservation sites in …
Andrew Silver, 20 Oct 2017
Pumpkin spice ingredients

SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation

A high school in Baltimore, USA, was evacuated this week after a pumpkin spice air freshener made four people ill and triggered a hazardous materials scare. Cristo Rey Jesuit High School was emptied out Thursday and searched by police after they got a call that two students and two adults had gotten sick after inhaling strong …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Oct 2017
Scientist says nope. Photo by SHutterstock

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Innovation, fetishized by Silicon Valley companies and celebrated by business boosters, no longer provides the economic jolt it once did. In order to maintain Moore's Law – by which transistor density doubles every two years or so – it now takes 18 times as many scientists as it did in the 1970s. That means each researcher's …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Sep 2017
Fruit fly in nature - drosophila melanogaster

Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

Scientists hunting for the secret of how boffin scalpel-fodder favourite Drosophila melanogaster (aka the fruit fly) makes decisions have found that some of the brain circuitry active when it makes choices can be linked to what it has already seen. The research is being undertaken in order to some day help better understand …
Andrew Silver, 6 Sep 2017

Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Norbert Blum, a computer science professor at the University of Bonn, has proposed a solution to an unsolved math problem that could win him $1m, not to mention professional accolades, if his approach withstands scrutiny. The problem is known as P ≠ NP. It's one of The Clay Mathematics Institute's seven Millennium Prize …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017

UK waves £45m cheque, charges scientists with battery tech boffinry

The UK has launched a £45m competition to support research in electric vehicle battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes. Although the now-commonplace lithium ion battery was developed based on research by Oxford University in the 1980s, there are conspicuously no battery manufacturers in the UK today – …
Andrew Silver, 28 Jul 2017

Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

A new anti-glare film could help us see our phones a little bit better on a bright day. "Ambient light is everywhere," says Jiun-Haw Lee, an electrical engineer at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Natural light lowers the contrast of display screens, making them appear much darker. That's because when light from the sun …
Andrew Silver, 26 Jun 2017
Galaxies stretching back into time across billions of light-years of space. The image covers a portion of a large galaxy census called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS).

Scientists are counting atoms to figure out when Mars last had volcanoes

Astroboffins have figured out a new way of dating planets and meteorites by counting individual atoms in rock samples snatched from the depths of space. The atomic-scale imaging technique developed by University of Portsmouth scientists involves locating and counting individual atoms in planetary materials. "Directly linking …
Gareth Corfield, 26 May 2017

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