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Dust could settle Himalaya debates

Deserts covered Central Asia as early as 22 million years ago

The great Asian deserts developed 22 million years ago at the latest, 14 million years earlier than had been thought. So concludes a new analysis of Chinese soils, filling in another piece of the puzzle of the Himalayas’ birth.

Today, huge deserts characterize the vast landmasses inside Asia, the largest continent on Earth. Here, cut off by the Himalayas from the humidity of the Indian Ocean and far from any othe

Giant blue jet caught on film

Blue jets connect Earth’s electric circuit.

Video images captured in Puerto Rico suggest that blue flashes of light, much like lightning, feed energy from thunderstorms up into the Earth’s ionosphere – a blanket of electrically charged air some 70 kilometres above the ground 1 .

Some researchers suspect that such phenomena may also fix nitrogen for plants to use and interact with the ozone layer 2 .

The images, taken in September 2001

Stem-cell powers challenged

Fusion may explain adult stem-cell morphing.

The hyped ability of adult stem cells to sprout replacement tissue types is being called into question. They may instead be fusing with existing cells, say two new reports, creating genetically mixed-up tissues with unknown health effects.

Recent studies have shown that adult stem cells transplanted from one tissue, such as blood, can spawn the cell types of another, such as nerves. The findings have stirred intense interest in st

The first wireless device for multiple networks

+++ EURESCOM for the first time demonstrates seamless access with a PDA. +++

Premiere at the EURESCOM workshop `Wireless Access` in Heidelberg on 12 March: The EURESCOM project on `Bluetooth Access` presented the first PDA, which can seamlessly connect to different access networks, like LAN, Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, and GPRS.

In co-operation with the software company Birdstep from Norway and access point supplier Patria Ailon from Finland, the European project team implement

New channel built

Chemists copy from cells to make a tunnel for salt

Chemists have finally achieved what every human cell can do. They have designed and built from scratch a gate for electrically charged chlorine atoms to pass through 1 .

George Gokel and colleagues at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, based their gate on biological proteins that transport chloride ions from one side of our cell membranes to the other. Like these, the synthetic channel can be opene

Light to entangle mirrors

Bouncing laser beams could bring quantum strangeness to the everyday world.

The quantum world of atoms and subatomic particles is full of intuition-defying phenomena such as objects existing in two different states at once. We don’t normally have to worry about such weirdness impinging on our everyday macroscopic world. But Italian physicists have worked out how to invest something we can see and touch with quantum strangeness.

Stefano Mancini, of the University of Mila

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Physics and Astronomy

Quantum entanglement measures Earth rotation

Quantum entangled photons react to Earth’s spin. A team of researchers led by Philip Walther at the University of Vienna carried out a pioneering experiment where they measured the effect…

Photonic chip integrates sensing and computing for ultrafast machine vision

Technology eliminates optical-electronic conversions, holds promise for revolutionizing edge intelligence. Researchers have demonstrated a new intelligent photonic sensing-computing chip that can process, transmit and reconstruct images of a scene within…

Pair plasmas found in deep space can now be generated in the lab

An international team of scientists has developed a novel way to experimentally produce plasma ‘fireballs’ on Earth. Black holes and neutron stars are among the densest known objects in the…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Pancreatic cancer’s cellular amnesia

Things aren’t always as they seem. Take pancreatic cancer, for example. In up to one in 10 cases, researchers have documented a peculiar characteristic. Some of the pancreatic cells appear…

Innovative Polymer Wound Dressings for Painless and Residue-Free Removal

A new approach enables dressings that adhere firmly to the skin at body temperature, but can be removed easily and painlessly in combination with a cold pack. The dressing adheres…

Gaining a better understanding of brittle bone disease

– without animal experiments. For someone suffering from brittle bone disease, life is fraught with complications. The slightest misstep, a seemingly harmless fall or even one false move can be…

Materials Sciences

The phase transition of multi-component (TiZrVNb)C ceramics

Part Ⅱ: From single phase to multiple phases via adjusting V content. In recent years, high-entropy carbide ceramics have received extensive attention and become another research focus in the high…

New fabric makes urban heat islands more bearable

With applications in clothing, construction and food storage, the new textile reduces heat from both the sun and thermal radiation from nearby buildings. This year has already seen massive heatwaves…

Metal alloys that can take the heat

A multidisciplinary research team has developed an evidence-based predictive tool for designing complex metal alloys that can withstand extreme environments. Cooks love stainless steel for its durability, rust resistance and…

Information Technology

Making ferromagnets ready for ultra-fast communication and computation technology

UC Riverside-led research has potential to unlock terahertz processing power. An international team led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, has made a significant breakthrough in how to…

NASA’s laser relay system sends pet imagery to, from space station

Using NASA’s first two-way, end-to-end laser relay system, pictures and videos of cherished pets flew through space over laser communications links at a rate of 1.2 gigabits per second —…

Parabolic flight with exoskeleton

DFKI and University of Duisburg-Essen test fine motor skills in weightlessness. Fine motor tasks under space conditions are particularly challenging and must first be trained on Earth. Scientists from the…