Latest News

Water power

A new material helps to make clean fuel from water.

Scientists in Japan have found a more efficient way to extract hydrogen, the ultimate ’green’ fuel, from water. They have developed a material that uses sunlight to break water molecules into their constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen 1 .

The material is not yet efficient enough to be commercially viable, but its inventors believe that it can be improved. If they are right, hydrogen may soon be on tap

Ancestors skip adolescence

Dental diary of a teenage hominid aged 1.5 million years.

Our early ancestors never went through the awkward age, suggests a new analysis of dental records. Extended youth may have emerged relatively late in human evolution.

Although apes cut the apron strings at around 12 years, despairing human parents are well aware that their kids take at least 18 years to grow up. The development of this prolonged growth period is seen as a key event in human evolution, allowing extra ti

Receptor Plays Key Role In Stem Cells’ Pluripotency

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a receptor that plays a key role in restricting embryonic stem cells’ pluripotency, their ability to develop into virtually any of an adult animal’s cell types.
The work is the first demonstration of a mechanism by which pluripotency is lost in mammalian embryos, one that operates with nearly the precision of an on/off switch in mouse embryos.

With further study, the receptor, dubbed GCNF, could open the door to new ways of c

Lessons in landscape

Keeping parks pretty means tailoring the trees to their source of water.

Irrigation water recycled from sewage can damage many plant species, new research has found 1 . The results show that landscape architects should tailor their choice of plants to the type of water they will receive.

Dale Devitt of the University of Nevada at Reno and colleagues began studying the effects of different water sources on plants after reports that ’reuse’ water had damaged tr

New Data Kicks Up ’Snowball Earth’ Fight

In 1998, Paul F. Hoffman and Daniel P. Schrag at Harvard University put forth a chilling description of earth’s climate some 650 million years ago. Their theory, dubbed snowball earth, held that between 750 million and 580 million years ago, ice repeatedly enveloped our planet, coating the seas from pole to pole and killing off early life almost completely. During the past few years, the idea has stirred up a great deal of debate. And new data published in the December issue of Geology only furt

The littlest lizard

World’s smallest reptile is discovered in the Caribbean forest.

At just 16 mm from nose to tail, the Jaragua lizard is the world’s smallest. In fact, it’s the smallest vertebrate that can reproduce on dry land 1 .

The newly discovered lizard lives on Isla Beata, a small, forest-covered island in the Caribbean off the Dominican Republic. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, together with Richard Thomas of the

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Physics and Astronomy

Finding superconductivity in nickelates

Arizona State physicist uses intuition, supercomputers to identify new high-temperature superconductor. The study of superconductivity is littered with disappointments, dead-ends, and serendipitous discoveries, according to Antia Botana, professor of physics at…

Custom ‘headphones’ boost atomic radio reception 100-fold

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have boosted the sensitivity of their atomic radio receiver a hundredfold by enclosing the small glass cylinder of cesium atoms…

Planets of binary stars as possible homes for alien life

Nearly half of Sun-size stars are binary. According to University of Copenhagen research, planetary systems around binary stars may be very different from those around single stars. This points to…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Role of cohesins in embryonic stem cell division

Study shows how meiotic cohesin complexes affect chromosome structure and genomic integrity – and the long-term implications of their effects on the stem cell genome. Chromosomes undergo precise structural changes…

New database to “SpUR” on cancer research

An interactive web portal developed by scientists at KAUST offers a platform for cancer researchers to interrogate how RNA splicing in noncoding parts of genes fuels the growth of different…

Lew lab sheds new light on cell membranes

Researchers can now image cells, motions of molecules in 6D. Research from the lab of Matthew Lew at Washington University in St. Louis offers entirely new ways to see the…

Materials Sciences

A candlelight-like glow from a flexible organic LED

Giving off a comfortable glow, candles set the ambiance for a special dinner or just a quiet evening at home. However, some lighting alternatives, such as electronic candles, give off…

Topology is everywhere

An international research team, led by DIPC and Princeton University, discovered that almost all materials in nature exhibit at least one topological state, contradicting the 40-year-old assumption that topological materials…

Researchers unveil a secret of stronger metals

Study shows what happens when crystalline grains in metals reform at nanometer scales, improving metal properties. Forming metal into the shapes needed for various purposes can be done in many…

Information Technology

Error-Free Quantum Computing Gets Real

For quantum computers to be useful in practice, errors must be detected and corrected. At the University of Innsbruck, Austria, a team of experimental physicists has now implemented a universal…

All-optical computation of a group of transformations

… using a polarization-encoded diffractive network. Implementing large-scale linear transformations or matrix computations plays a pivotal role in modern information processing systems. Digital computer systems need to complete up to…

Dutch researchers teleport quantum information across rudimentary quantum network

Researchers in Delft have succeeded in teleporting quantum information across a rudimentary network. Researchers in Delft have succeeded in teleporting quantum information across a rudimentary network. This first of its…