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The Lead

Immune System Dazed, Confused During Spaceflight

August 20, 2014 | by NASA | Comments

Researchers have a good idea what causes immune system changes on Earth— things like stress, inadequate sleep and improper nutrition. New research suggests that spaceflight may temporarily alter the immune system of crew members flying long-duration missions aboard the ISS.

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Old Batteries Could Be Recycled into Solar Cells

August 19, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Comments

A system proposed by researchers recycles materials from discarded car batteries— a potential source of lead pollution— into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.

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NASA to Investigate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

August 18, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Comments

A new field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt.

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Harvard Creates Robot Flash Mob

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard Univ. | Comments

Through commands, autonomous devices arranged selves into vast, complex shapes in the first 1,000-robot flash mob.

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Lunar-landing Rocket Research Hits Milestone

August 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | Comments

A student team has designed, built and tested a critical part of a new rocket engine as part of a NASA project to develop spacecraft technologies needed to land on the moon, Mars and other cosmic venues.

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Tattoo Batteries are Powered by Sweat

August 13, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

In the future, working up a sweat by exercising may not only be good for your health, but it could also power your small electronic devices. Researchers are reporting today that they have designed a sensor in the form of a temporary tattoo that can both monitor a person’s progress during exercise and produce power from their perspiration.

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Tractor Beam on Water Could Contain Oil Spills

August 12, 2014 7:00 am | by The Australian National Univ. | Comments

Physicists have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.

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Venoms Hold Potential to Fight Cancer

August 12, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

Bee, snake or scorpion venom could form the basis of a new generation of cancer-fighting drugs, scientists say. They have devised a method for targeting venom proteins specifically to malignant cells while sparing healthy ones, which reduces or eliminates side effects that the toxins would otherwise cause.

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Symposium Explores Wine

August 11, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

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.

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Robots See Through Walls with Wi-Fi

August 8, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Barbara | Comments

Researchers are using Wi-Fi to look through solid walls and see every square inch of what’s on the other side. Built into robots, the technology has far-reaching possibilities.

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Study of Camouflage Sheds Light on Vision

August 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

How do animals see? It’s a question that vexes biologists and fascinates anyone who has watched animals go about their business: what does the world look like through their eyes? Scientists are attempting to answer some of these fundamental questions by studying the success of bird and egg camouflage.

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Tortoises Can Use Touchscreens

August 7, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Lincoln | Comments

Tortoises have learned how to use touchscreens as part of a study that aimed to do so. A researcher gave tortoises treats, such as strawberries, when the reptiles looked at, approached and then pecked blue circles on the screen. Two of the tortoises went on to apply their knowledge to a real-life situation.

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New Microscopic Structures Bend Like Hair

August 7, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Comments

Engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hair like structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field. Depending on the field’s orientation, the micro-hairs can tilt to form a path through which fluid can flow.

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Breath Reveals Image in Anti-counterfeit Drug Labels

August 6, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Counterfeit drugs, which at best contain wrong doses and at worst are toxic, are thought to kill more than 700,000 people per year. To fight back against these and other forms of counterfeiting, researchers have developed a way to make labels that change when you breathe on them, revealing a hidden image.

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Tool Enables Manipulation of Images in 3-D

August 6, 2014 7:00 am | by Carnegie Mellon Univ. | Comments

Editors of photos routinely resize objects, or move them up, down or sideways. Now, researchers are adding an extra dimension to photo editing by enabling editors to turn or flip objects any way they want, even exposing surfaces not visible in the original photograph.

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Planets Visible at Dusk, Dawn

August 5, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Comments

This month, Mars and Saturn pair up at sunset, and Venus and Jupiter before dawn. The two planetary conjunctions are visible to the unaided eye everywhere.

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