Articles about science

Kepler

'Tabby's Star' intrigues astro-boffins with brief 'dimming event'

Astronomers worldwide are scrambling a worldwide effort to capture as many images of the famous “Tabby's Star” (also known as Boyajian's Star), which has abruptly entered a dimming phase. The mysterious KIC 8462852 has intrigued astro-boffins ever since Tabetha Boyajian worked out the dimming signature in Kepler observations …
Meantime Bespoke beer

DNA-bothering eggheads brew beer you were literally born to like

London-based Meantime Brewing Company, acquired a year ago by Belgian beverage multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev, wants to sell you beer tuned to your taste. To do so, the company plans to direct willing customers to genetic testing service 23andMe – the Silicon Valley personal genomics biz that's slowly emerging from its …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Mar 2017
Desk beer - pint at a keyboard. Photo by shutterstock

Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Moderate drinking is good for you, a BMJ-published study has found, directly contradicting the advice of the UK government's "Chief Medical Officer", who advised last year there was "no safe level" of drinking. A daily pint reduces risk of a heart attack and angina by a third, a big data study of Brit adults has found, while …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017

Shine on, you crazy Eind minds: Boffins fire out 43Gbps infrared 'Wi-Fi'

In five years or so, Wi-Fi access points could carry data at rates 100 times faster than today using infrared light rather than other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands have developed a way to use fiber optic cables, mounted with networking …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Mar 2017
Graduate student Seongjun Park holds an example of a new flexible fiber

MIT goes down to the wire: Brain cable pipes electricity, chemicals, light straight into minds

MIT brain boffins have developed a tiny fiber that can carry chemical, electrical, and optical signals back and forth between the brain and an external device, offering an improved path for testing brain functions and interactions. The fiber is 200 micrometers wide, comparable to the width of a human hair. Described in a paper …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2017

From drugs to galaxy hunting, AI is elbowing its way into boffins' labs

Feature Powerful artificially intelligent algorithms and models are all the rage. They're knocking it out of the park in language translation and image recognition, but autonomous cars and chatbots? Not so much. One area machine learning could do surprisingly well in is science research. As AI advances, its potential is being seized …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Feb 2017

Dead cockroaches make excellent magnets – now what are we supposed to do with this info?

Fun Fact: Dead cockroaches stay magnetized far longer than their live brethren, according to real actual science. In a bizarre experiment, a team of international physicists gassed a group of roaches to death with nitrogen before rinsing them in an ultrasonic bath. The luckier ones were kept alive and fed an unlimited diet of …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Feb 2017
NASA's astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly

Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

As it prepares for interplanetary missions, NASA is offering a glimpse of its study of the effects of space on twins. Twins have intrigued scientists for millennia and have been used to study genetics, behavior, biology, and psychology, among other areas of research, for good and for ill. They provide an experimental subject …
Image by Vasilius https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Vasilius

NASA brews better test to find ET in cosmic cocktails

Space agency NASA has created a test 10,000 times more sensitive than current technology to detect signs of life beyond Earth. Scientists hope to use the enhanced "capillary electrophoresis", an improvement on a three-decade old technique, in explorations of liquid-laden locales such as Europa where the test could help detect …
Darren Pauli, 27 Jan 2017

Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

A cup of tea, coffee or even a mocha could extend your life, new research shows. The Stanford University research published in the journal Nature reveals how a cuppa can directly combat underlying chronic inflammatory processes, particularly in older people. Inflammation is a critical process which helps the body fight …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jan 2017

Fatal genetic conditions could return in some 'three-parent' babies

Troubling new findings have been discovered that could affect the lives of (misleadingly* branded) "three-parent" offspring born thanks to breakthrough mitochondrial replacement therapy. The technique grabbed the world's attention when in September a baby was born bearing the DNA of three parents, a feat that overcame the …
Darren Pauli, 5 Jan 2017

Speeding jet of Siberian liquid hot Magma getting speedier, satellites find

A speeding jet of magma 420 kilometres wide, described nearly as hot as the Sun's surface underneath Russia is moving three times faster that previously recorded, scientists say. The jet is now travelling at up to 45 kilometres a year underneath Siberia towards Europe, triple the pace of other outer core liquids, thanks to …
Darren Pauli, 4 Jan 2017

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Professor David Solomon, the inventor of the polymer banknote, has told vegetarians that they're being "stupid" over their opposition to its trace amounts of animal fat. The UK's new plastic notes were introduced earlier this year to replace the UK's battered and disintegrating stocks of paper** £5 notes. However, when the …

UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson has promised that the UK government will not "dip into the ringfence" of the allocated science budget to underwrite EU funding following Blighty's departure from the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the UK will formally begin the Brexit negotiation …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Oct 2016

Low-power transistors hint at alternative to battery bonfires

Since 1965, transistors have followed a path predicted by Gordon Moore, becoming more densely packed year after year. The result has been a steady improvement in CPU performance. Batteries, however, haven't advanced at the same pace. As Fred Schlachter, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, put it in a 2013 …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Oct 2016

British trio win Nobel prize for physics

A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. The prize will be shared by David Thouless (82), Duncan Haldane (65) and Michael Kosterlitz (76) for their work on exotic states of matter. The men will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (£720,000) prize. Thouless …
Kat Hall, 4 Oct 2016

Boffins ID bug behind London's Great Plague of 1665

Scientists have revealed Yersinia pestis as the bacteria that caused London's 1665 Great Plague. The findings were made from studies of DNA from some of the 3,500 bodies in a mass grave burial pit uncovered at an excavation site at the Liverpool Street Crossrail site. Testing at labs in Germany revealed DNA of Yersinia pestis …
Darren Pauli, 9 Sep 2016
Nurse erects drip behind privacy curtain at hospital bed. Photo by Shutterstock

That Public Health study? No, it didn't say 'don't do chemo'

“Chemotherapy kills” was bound to pique our interest, especially since in the best traditions of modern research, its source was a badly-reported scientific study. The screaming headlines were just as you'd expect: “Chemotherapy warning as hundreds die from cancer fighting drugs” from Blighty's The Telegraph; almost the same …

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