At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop. That process reveals their existence: the light that is emitted by the gas as it is sucked in and crushed by the black hole's gravity travels for eons across the Universe until it reaches our telescopes.
Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than motion. This technology requires insulating components that can control this quantum property. Scientists have shown experimentally that a novel material shows all the required properties.
Researchers have studied venom and salivary glands, together with other body tissues, from a range of venomous and non-venomous reptiles to identify the evolutionary processes underlying the origin of snake venom toxins.
Biological engineers have demonstrated that a new genome-editing technique, called CRISPR, can disrupt a single parasite gene with a success rate of up to 100 percent— in a matter of weeks. This approach could enable much more rapid gene analysis and boost drug development efforts.
In a subset of infected bronchiectasis patients with particularly poor lung function, researchers noticed an abundance of one specific type of antibody, called IgG2, which stripped the blood of its normal bug-killing capacity.
In creating an adhesive patterned after glue produced by the lowly underwater sandcastle worm, researchers are reporting today that they may have solved the problem of premature births that sometimes result from fetal surgery. It also could open up numerous opportunities to safely perform more complex fetal surgeries in the future.
For the millions of adults and children in the U.S. who have to shun nuts to avoid an allergic reaction, help could be on the way. Scientists are now developing a method to process cashews— and potentially other nuts— that could make them safer to eat for people who are allergic to them.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is focusing a spotlight on an online tool run by experts in Boston that flagged a "mystery hemorrhagic fever" in forested areas of southeastern Guinea nine days before the World Health Organization formally announced the epidemic.
Scientists and farmers agree that phosphorus from agriculture runoff is feeding the blue-green algae blooms on Lake Erie linked to a toxin found in the drinking water of 400,000 people in Ohio and southeastern Michigan last week. Ohio's political leaders are calling for more studies to find out why the blooms are increasing and how to control them.
The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline could produce four times more global warming pollution than the State Department calculated earlier this year, a new study concludes.
Collaborative three-dimensional sketching is now possible thanks to a system known as Hyve-3-D. Users create drawings on hand-held tablets. They can then use the tablets to manipulate the sketches to create a 3-D design within the space.
Can shorter peach and nectarine trees reduce labor costs without sacrificing fruit quality and yield? According to researchers, eliminating ladders for stone-fruit farmers could cut labor costs by 50 percent or more and improve worker safety.
Location. Location. Location. The popular real estate mantra also turns out to be equally important for growing wine grapes in fields and storing bottles of the beverage at home or in restaurants, according to researchers. Those are just two of the topics that will be covered in a symposium on wine this week.
No longer just fantastical fodder for sci-fi buffs, cyborg technology is bringing us tangible progress toward real-life electronic skin, prosthetics and ultra-flexible circuits. Now, scientists are working on the seamless marriage between electronics and brain signaling with the potential to transform our understanding of how the brain works— and how to treat its most devastating diseases.
A sponge-like plastic that sops up CO2 might ease our transition away from polluting fossil fuels and toward new energy sources, such as hydrogen. The material— a relative of the plastics used in food containers— could play a role in President Obama’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2030, and could also be integrated into power plant smokestacks in the future.