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The Lead

Antarctic Ice Thinned Rapidly Over Two Decades

March 27, 2015 | by UCSD | Comments

A new study has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.


Recent Manhole Explosions Caused by Winter, Age and Chemistry

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | Comments

Scientific literature traces manhole explosions back nearly a century, but a series of such incidents in Indianapolis has authorities looking for a quick solution. A combination of power system design, winter road salt, older electrical cable insulation and basic chemistry have triggered underground explosions in older downtowns, launching 350-pound manhole covers high in the air.


Philanthropic Partnership Supports Early Career Scientists

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Comments

Three of the nation’s largest philanthropies, the HHMI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation are announcing a new partnership to provide much needed research support to outstanding early career scientists in the U.S. Through the new Faculty Scholars Program, the philanthropies will invest a total of $148 million in research support over the program’s first five years.


Squid Inspire Stickers that May Help Soldiers

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

Squid are the ultimate camouflage artists, blending almost flawlessly with their backgrounds so that unsuspecting prey can't detect them. Using a protein that's key to this process, scientists have designed "invisibility stickers" that could one day help soldiers disguise themselves, even when sought by enemies with tough-to-fool infrared cameras.


Packing Peanuts May Soon Pack Energy

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

They’re in just about every box you get in the mail, and they almost immediately get thrown in the trash. Now, one group of scientists wants to turn those packing peanuts into power. Researchers have shown how to convert waste-packing peanuts into high-performance carbon electrodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that outperform conventional graphite electrodes, representing an environmentally friendly approach to reuse the waste.


Thermo Scientific Lab Robot Guided by High-tech Vision

March 19, 2015 10:13 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Comments

The Thermo Scientific Spinnaker Smart Laboratory Robot with built-in vision, coupled with proprietary Momentum 4 software, is designed to eliminate the need for users to manually correct for drift that occurs over time by automatically compensating for positional variations. 


Color-changing Sunglasses on Demand

March 18, 2015 8:30 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Apart from their style, sunglasses have changed very little in the last few decades. Photochromic lenses that change from clear to tinted in sunlight were a big breakthrough. New research could give that technology a big boost. Researchers have developed a polymer coating that changes colors with the push of a button.


'Smart' Bandage Detects Bedsores Before they are Visible

March 17, 2015 8:38 am | by UC Berkeley | Comments

Thanks to advances in flexible electronics, researchers have created a new "smart bandage" that uses electrical currents to detect early tissue damage from pressure ulcers, or bedsores, before they can be seen by human eyes - and while recovery is still possible.


Method May Enable External Brain Stimulation

March 16, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Comments

Researchers have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles— a technique allowing direct stimulation of neurons, which could be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, without the need for implants or external connections.


Persistence Solves Dancing Droplet Mystery

March 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Stanford | Comments

A puzzling observation, pursued through hundreds of experiments, has led researchers to a simple yet profound discovery: under certain circumstances, droplets of fluid will move like performers in a dance choreographed by molecular physics.


Smartphone Payments Foster Unity

March 12, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Bristol | Comments

There is a rapidly growing momentum driving the development of mobile payment systems. New research has shown systems, such as the Bristol Pound, can have a positive effect on the local community by encouraging consumers to support and value their local businesses.


Small Eddies Play Role Climate Change

March 11, 2015 7:00 am | by ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science | Comments

Research has found that relatively small eddies and jets are doing the heavy lifting in the ocean, driving heat into the Southern Ocean and slowing the impacts of global warming.


Cheap Lamp Key to Energy Storage

March 9, 2015 8:00 am | by Univ. of British Columbia | Comments

Researchers wanted to find a better way to make coatings that can be painted onto surfaces to conduct electricity or convert electricity into hydrogen fuels. Instead, they found a new way to make state-of-the-art materials for energy storage using a cheap lamp from the hardware store.


Why Does Poison Ivy Make You Itch?

March 9, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

Leaves of three, let them be, right? But what happens when you get covered in poison ivy and can't stop scratching?

‘Pee-power’ Toilet Brings Light to Disaster Zones

March 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of the West of England | Comments

A toilet, conveniently situated near the Student Union Bar at a university, is proving pee can generate electricity. The prototype urinal is the result of a partnership between the school and Oxfam. It is hoped the “pee-power” technology will light cubicles in refugee camps, which are often dark and dangerous places, particularly for women.


Teaching Robots Teaches Kids

March 5, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | Comments

By showing a robot how to write letters, children improve their writing skills and gain self-confidence. When a robot struggles to write on a tablet a little girl kindly steps in to help, writing out the word to show the robot how to do it. She puts in effort to teach the robot... without realizing that in reality she is the one who is improving her writing skills.



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