Articles about science

hidrys camera looking at a rocket plume

NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

Video NASA has built a new camera that can show what's going inside the plume of hot gases produced by rockets, but the device failed during a test because “the sheer power of the booster shook the ground enough for the power cable to be removed from the power box.” Aside from that SNAFU, the new High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS- …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2016

Email proves UK boffins axed from EU research in Brexit aftermath

Following anecdotes of British scientists being axed from EU-funded projects, one academic has revealed actual evidence of UK boffins being dumped from Euro research efforts in the Brexit aftermath. Paul Crowther, interim head of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, today leaked an email confirming colleagues …
NASA image of Io

Jovian moon Io loses its atmosphere every day

If you've ever resented crunching frost underfoot on a cold morning, spare a thought for Jupiter's moon Io: when it's in eclipse, the frost on the ground is a big chunk of its atmosphere. That's the conclusion of research that looked at Io's atmosphere: when it passes behind Jupiter, Io cools down from a balmy -235°F (-148°C) …

'The box' Bones uses to fix any ailment on the Enterprise? Yup, it's real

Researchers at MIT's electronics division have developed a small mobile medical laboratory that could help bring vaccines to remote impoverished areas, battlefields, and space. The reactor is a shoebox-sized biopharmaceutical station that could drop the cost of producing vaccines and diabetes treatments, delivering treatments …
Darren Pauli, 2 Aug 2016
Sun

NASA puts lenses through a different drill to stare at the Sun

NASA Goddard boffins and engineers have taken inspiration from the Fresnel lens to craft a “photon sieve” they hope will help them observe the processes that heat the sun's corona. The diffraction that gives a Fresnel lamp its soft edges is also handy for gathering light. NASA's post here explains that after passing through …
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, has announced that that he has set up an email account to receive evidence that UK scientists have been discriminated against after Brexit. A confidential survey of the UK’s Russell Group universities found cases where British researchers were being asked to give …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jul 2016
Juno

By Juno! NASA delivers first new snaps from Jupiter

NASA has released the first images captured by the Juno probe. The space agency says the image below was captured on July 10th from a distance of “4.3 million kilometers … on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit.” The probe's “JunoCam”, a colour, visible-light camera, collected the image. While it may …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
DSS 35 deep space telescope

SETI mulls reboot: Believing the strangest things, loving the alien

SETI (the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) is both exciting and disappointing: exciting because of peoples' eternal wish for someone else to be out there; and disappointing because life proves so hard to find. The SETI Institute's Nathalie Cabrol is wondering whether the whole idea needs something of a reboot, a …

fMRI bugs could upend years of research

A whole pile of “this is how your brain looks like” fMRI-based science has been potentially invalidated because someone finally got around to checking the data. The problem is simple: to get from a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain to a scientific conclusion, the brain is divided into tiny “voxels”. …

Boffins boggle, baffled by blobs deep inside the Earth

Scientists have revealed new data about two giant blobs at the edge of the Earth's core, larger than continents and possibly older than any rock on the planet. Unlocking the mystery of the blobs, known as thermochemical piles, could help reveal clue about the Earth's formation, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. A team of …
Darren Pauli, 1 Jul 2016
NASA image of the covert black hole

Mystery black hole hides by curbing its appetite

A well-known radio source has turned out not to be the galaxy it's been classified as for 20 years, but a surprisingly quiet black hole. The discovery is causing a bit of buzz among astrophysicists because it suggests there could be thousands or millions more “covert” black holes out there waiting to be discovered. It took …
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PAC slams UK.gov for lack of evidence-based science investments

The Public Accounts Committee has advised the UK government to take a more evidence-based approach when deciding spending on science projects, according to a report published today. The report comes at a time when the future of science funding hangs in the balance after the UK voted to leave the European Union. The EU gives …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Jun 2016
Envisat

Down and out in the Middle Kingdom: Beijing is sinking

Beijing is one of the most water-stressed cities in the world, and research carried out using satellite interferometry shows one of the side-effects of that: the city is sinking. Not by a trivial amount, either: according to this open-access study in the journal Remote Sensing, the eastern part of the city is subsiding by 100 …
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

BREXIT Scientists and politicans have called on the Brexit government to keep funding EU-backed projects at current rates or risk becoming a backwater. Nicola Blackwood, chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, urged the Brexit Government to move quickly to reassure scientists and their collaborators in the EU that the …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jun 2016
Big Bang

LIGO team may have found dark matter

Scientists think the recent discovery of gravitational waves observed from the collision of two black holes may have also detected signatures of the astrophysics mystery of dark matter. Scientists at Johns Hopkins university behind the September 2015 discovery by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) wrote …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jun 2016
Bring out yer dead!

Genes take a shot at rebooting after death

In one of the creepiest bits of science Vulture South has ever encountered, a US scientist has identified 1,000 genes that become active after death. Not just immediately post-mortem, either: some of the genes in question, found in zebrafish, remained active four days after the fish died (and in mice, they were active two days …

US committee green-lights CRISPR-Cas9 human cancer cell trials

A United States advisory committee has green-lighted use of the ground-breaking CRISPR gene-editing technique in human trials. The committee within the US National Institutes of Health approved the use of CRISPR-Cas9 for cancer treatment in which tests will be conducted on immune T cells extracted from melanoma patients. The …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jun 2016
Chiral propylene oxide

Astroboffins' discovery gives search for early life a left hand. Or right

For the first time, astronomers have made an interstellar observation of a molecule that can exist in left- and right-handed versions – which could help unravel how life can come to exist. The discovery was made using two radio telescopes: Green Bank in the USA, and Parkes in Australia. What Brett McGuire (US National Radio …

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