Latest News

Green tomatoes’ future foretold

Fruit’s hidden colour reveals whether it will ripen.

Some green tomatoes have a rosy future; others do not. A sensor that picks up subtle differences in the light the fruits reflect could sort future salads from greens.

Many tomatoes are picked green and bathed in ripening gas ethylene. Fruit picked too early will never ripen. Discerning consumers avoid them and growers lose out.

A scanner that analyses the wavelengths green tomatoes bounce back can predict th

Search engine makes social calls

New algorithm exploits community structure of the web.

The web has spontaneously organized itself into communities. A new search algorithm that pinpoints these could help surfers find what they want and avoid offensive content.

Page builders can link anywhere. But they don’t, Gary Flake, of the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, and his colleagues have found. Instead, pages congregate into social groups that focus most of their attention on each other.

Web dir

Man left Africa three times

Early humans came out of Africa again and again.

There were at least three major waves of early human migration out of Africa, our DNA suggests. Apparently the wanderers made love, not war: gene patterns hint that later emigrants bred with residents.

Human origins are contentious. Most researchers agree that there have been several major migrations out of Africa. Some hold that human populations in many regions evolved in parallel after Homo erectus left Africa around two mi

Earliest life or rare dirt?

Gloves are coming off in ancient bacteria bust-up.

A claim to have found evidence of the oldest living things on Earth is being fiercely contested. The argument looks set to run and run, and no one may win, but it may lead to a better understanding of the origins of life on our planet.

The debate is academic, but its implications are not. The ’fossil bacteria’ in question are around 3.5 billion years old. That’s roughly one billion years older than the only confirmed fossil

Revolutionary new findings about the history of trees and climate in Scandinavia

Scientists at Umeå University in Sweden are putting forward an entirely new picture of climate change and the first immigration of trees following the last Ice Age. Research shows that 8,000-14,000 years ago the climate was considerably warmer than was previously thought. When it was at its warmest 9,000-10,000 years ago, the timberline was 500 m higher than today, and leafy trees grew in the mountains. The spruce immigrated considerably earlier that was assumed until now, and it probably came from t

Elektrischer Anstoß zur Selbstorganisation

Neue Materialien mit nichtlinearen optischen Eigenschaften

Fensterscheiben und Brillengläser, die sich bei zunehmender Helligkeit dunkler färben, sind besonders im Sommer eine feine Sache. Optische Eigenschaften, die sich mit der Lichtstärke verändern, so genannte nichtlineare optische Eigenschaften, sind ihr Geheimnis. Auch als optoelektronische Bauteile sind derartige Materialien von Interesse. Voraussetzung für die besonderen optischen Eigenschaften ist eine sehr regelmäßigen Mikrostruktu

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Physics and Astronomy

Volcano-like rupture could have caused magnetar slowdown

Star’s sudden 2020 slowdown allows for test of ‘anti-glitch’ theory. On Oct. 5, 2020, the rapidly rotating corpse of a long-dead star about 30,000 light years from Earth changed speeds….

Simulations reproduce complex fluctuations in soft X-ray signal detected by satellites

Models capture how solar wind charge exchange events are observed. Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have used numerical methods to model the variations observed in soft X-ray signals detected by…

Quantum sensors see Weyl photocurrents flow

Boston College-led team develops new quantum sensor technique to image and understand the origin of photocurrent flow in Weyl semimetals. Quantum sensors can be used to reveal a surprising new…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

New species of microalgae discovered

Ultrasmall microalgae found in home aquarium could have multiple useful applications. A new species of microalgae was found in water from a home aquarium. While analyzing DNA samples taken from…

New hybrid catalyst could help decarbonization

… and make ethylene production more sustainable. A new hybrid catalyst converts carbon dioxide into ethylene in one pot. The catalyst was developed by scientists from Ames National Laboratory, Iowa…

Unraveling the protein map of cell’s powerhouse

Study provides insight into organization of proteins in mitochondria. Mitochondria, the so-called powerhouse of the cells, are responsible for the energy supply of the organism and fulfill functions in metabolic…

Materials Sciences

A waste product of the timber processing industry rethought

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) has investigated how the natural properties of native tree bark can be used to create…

Sustainable, ultra-strong and ductile steel through advanced processing

International researcher team presents a novel microstructure design strategy for lean medium-manganese steels with optimized properties in the journal Science. Cars, buildings, infrastructures – all unimaginable without steels. While metallic…

Optical coating approach prevents fogging and unwanted reflections

Technology helps sensor and camera systems perform optimally by keeping optics transparent. Researchers have developed an optical coating system that combines antifogging and antireflective properties. The new technology could help…

Information Technology

A fairy-like robot flies by the power of wind and light

The development of stimuli-responsive polymers has brought about a wealth of material-related opportunities for next-generation small-scale, wirelessly controlled soft-bodied robots. For some time now, engineers have known how to use…

The future of robotics is soft and tactile

TUD startup teaches robots to feel. Robotics has evolved at an unprecedented rate over the past several decades. Yet many robots remain inflexible, cumbersome and noisy. Now, the TU Dresden…

Nanoscopic advance of colossal significance

In a new breakthrough, researchers at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Ruhr University Bochum, have solved a problem that has caused quantum researchers headaches for years. The researchers…