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The Lead

Atom-thick CCD Could Capture Images

December 19, 2014 3:25 pm | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

An atomically thin material may lead to the thinnest-ever imaging platform. Synthetic two-dimensional materials based on metal chalcogenide compounds could be the basis for superthin devices, according to researchers.
                     

Drones Can Help Explain How Tornadoes Form

December 19, 2014 2:54 pm | by Associated Press, Dan Elliott | News | Comments

Researchers say they have...

Good News: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

December 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National Univ. of Singapore | News | Comments

Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An...

Squid Protein Key to Thermoplastics

December 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Penn State | News | Comments

Squid, what is it good for? You can eat it and you can make ink or dye from it, and now a team...

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Physics of Champagne Key to Meeting Future Energy Needs

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles immediately form and then rapidly begin the process of "coarsening," in which larger bubbles grow at the expense of smaller ones. This fundamental non-equilibrium phenomenon is also seen in a wide range of scientific systems including spin systems, foams and metallic alloys and can be observed in a power-generating turbine.

Radiation in Airplane Cockpits on Par with Tanning Beds

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by The JAMA Network Journals | News | Comments

Airline pilots can be exposed to the same amount of UV-A radiation as that from a tanning bed session because airplane windshields, commonly made of polycarbonate plastic or multilayer composite glass, do not completely block UV-A radiation.

Predicting the Lab of the Future

December 17, 2014 10:17 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Hypothesizing about the lab of the future in the next decade unveils specific technologies that will revolutionize the industry and propel science forward. In a recent Laboratory Equipment reader survey, 48 percent of respondents said instrumentation improvements will expand their research capabilities in the next 10 years.

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2014: Celebrating the Year of Women in Science

December 17, 2014 10:15 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

The media is often accused of being perpetrators of bad news—that is, it takes every opportunity to report negative news. Take your local news channel, for example. I’d bet that on any given night, negative news reports outweigh positive reports by a ratio of 10:1. But, with the year coming to a close, I want to take time to highlight some of the positive strides society, specifically women in science, have made in 2014.

Seven School Districts to Add Computer Science in Gov’t Deal

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Josh Lederman, Kimberly Hefling | News | Comments

Smartphones and laptops have become essential tools for today's teenagers. But learning how these devices work has often taken a backseat to other priorities in U.S. schools. The White House wants to help change that direction. It announced that the seven largest school districts in the U.S. are joining more than 50 others to start offering introductory computer science to all their students.

TV Series Showcases Girls in STEM

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

Richard Hudson and his team at Twin Cities Public Television are putting middle school girls in front of a national audience on the PBS series "SciGirls." This is the first television science series designed specifically for girls, ages eight to 12, to inspire and empower them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Young Scientists Must Be Seen, Heard

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, David Riglar, Douglas Hilton | News | Comments

Postdoctoral scientists are the engines of biomedical research. As early career researchers, they conduct the most experiments and are responsible for sculpting how we treat disease in decades to come. But, as a major stakeholder in discussions about the future of biomedical research, their views are often overlooked.

STEM Postdocs are Highly, But Incorrectly, Trained

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Gary McDowell | News | Comments

The STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics supposedly suffer from a shortage of graduates. But, there are plenty of STEM graduates; the U.S. is just training them the wrong way. It’s true there are many professional STEM vacancies but there are also many STEM grads who could fill them. The problem is the current training pipeline doesn’t direct graduates to these non-academic jobs.

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Students Design Better Workstations

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Penn State | News | Comments

New school and office workspace designs, created by a group of Penn State engineering students, are intended to allow users to share space and materials while maintaining their own work areas— a dual purpose the researchers say has been neglected.

Higgs Boson May Be Piece of Matter-antimatter Puzzle

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Several experiments have helped explain some– but not all– of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now, a theorist and his colleagues have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs boson is involved.

Brain-like Circuits Mimic Pavlov's Dogs

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Charles Choi | News | Comments

Artificial electronic circuits that mimic the pathways connecting neurons in the brain can learn, unlearn and store memories, researchers have reported. These inventions could not only help researchers better understand how the brain works, but could also lead to advanced new computers.

All-electric Cars May Be Worse for Environment

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But, a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either.

Research Key to 'Valleytronics'

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

New findings could provide a pathway toward a kind of two-dimensional microchip that would make use of a characteristic of electrons other than their electrical charge, as in conventional electronics. The new approach is dubbed “valleytronics,” because it makes use of properties of an electron that can be depicted as a pair of deep valleys on a graph of their traits.

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Image of the Week: Rare Weather Fills Grand Canyon with Clouds

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A rare weather phenomenon at the Grand Canyon had visitors looking out on a sea of thick clouds just below the rim last week. Cory Mottice of the National Weather Service said the weather event happens about once every several years, though the landmark was treated to one last year.

MAVEN IDs Links in Chain Leading to Atmospheric Loss

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. The observations reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere.

Today in Lab History: Gustave Eiffel

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Gustave Eiffel, born Dec. 15, 1832, was a French civil engineer and architect, most famous for the Eiffel Tower, built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. However, he started his career, in 1855, working as an unpaid assistant is his brother-in-law’s foundry.

Logic, Memory Combine for 'High-rise' Chip

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Stanford School of Engineering | News | Comments

For decades, the mantra of electronics has been smaller, faster, cheaper. Today, engineers add a fourth word— taller. A team is revealing how to build “high-rise” chips that could leapfrog the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today's circuit cards.

Computer Failure Shut Down London's Airspace Today

December 12, 2014 2:58 pm | by Associated Press, Danica Kirka, Gregory Katz | News | Comments

The airspace over London was briefly closed Friday afternoon because of what authorities said was a computer failure at one of Britain's two air traffic control centers. The British government demanded an investigation into the "unacceptable" disruption. The 35-minute shutdown caused flight delays in and out of London and flight slowdowns in other parts of Europe that officials said would linger into Saturday.

Isotopes May Shed Light on Origins of Life-supporting Planets

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Surrey | News | Comments

New research has described how recreating isotopes that occur when a star explodes can help physicists understand where life-supporting elements may be found in space. Researchers were able to observe the isotopes of certain elemental chemicals formed as a star explodes.

Real Data, Not Theory, Used to Measure Cosmos

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity. The team used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe.

Scientists Find Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists believe they may have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter.

Pluto-sized Objects Create Dust around Adolescent Star

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

Astronomers may have detected the dusty hallmarks of an entire family of Pluto-size objects swarming around an adolescent version of our own Sun. By making detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star, the astronomers detected an unexpected increase in the concentration of millimeter-size dust grains in the disk's outer reaches.

Gift Guide: Tech is Small, Smart

December 11, 2014 2:24 pm | by Associated Press, Ron Harris | News | Comments

If you were naughty this year, you might end up with something big and boring, like a vacuum cleaner. If you were good, you might ask for one of these little high-tech gems instead.

Berners-Lee: Internet Access is Human Right

December 11, 2014 2:12 pm | by Associated Press, Sylvia Hui | News | Comments

The computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says affordable access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right, as a report showed that billions of people still cannot go online and government surveillance and censorship are increasing.

Modification Simplifies Standard Model of Physics

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

The Standard Model of particle physics is a powerful mathematical model that has guided physicists to the discovery of the Higgs boson and other particles before it. Now, scientists have found a simplified mathematical description that is entirely consistent with the mathematics of the Standard Model but is an add-on that accounts for small deviations in the expected behavior of low mass particles.

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