Latest News

Cylinders make circuits spontaneously

Carbon nanotubes assemble themselves into electronic grids

Tiny electrical circuits with a single molecule for each wire have been created in the United States 1 . These grids could replace silicon chips, making computers and memory devices much more compact and powerful than they are today.

The grids comprise carbon nanotubes – long, hollow cylinders of pure carbon a few millionths of a millimetre (nanometres) across and several thousand nanometres long. Dep

Air traffic tussles up annoyance

Controversies over new airport runways make locals more noise-sensitive.

Public controversy surrounding the impending building of a runway may make locals much more sensitive to increased aircraft noise than planners predict. A new study warns that it could be easy to underestimate the impact of changes such as those proposed for Britain’s Heathrow Airport.

A new runway began operating at Vancouver International Airport in 1996 after highly publicized local objection to

Car work for quantum mechanics

A quantum afterburner extracts laser light from vehicle exhaust.

The hot gases belching out of your car’s exhaust are not just useless waste. They are a laser waiting to happen, says physicist Marlan Scully1.

All you need to harness this potential, suggests Scully, of Texas A&M University in College Station, is a quantum afterburner. This hypothetical modification would use quantum mechanics to boost the engine’s efficiency by clawing back waste heat and turning it

Clamping down on a cancer-causing protein

Many of today’s medicines were discovered by trial and error: a substance is found which helps alleviate the symptoms of a disease, and it may take years before scientists really understand how it works. Typically they find that a drug has its effects by attaching itself to a particular molecule in a cell and blocking part of its activity, the way you might prevent someone from turning a light on or off by putting a lock over the switch. Scientists now hope to take the opposite approach, and custom-d

China leads GM revolution

Government funding puts Chinese plant biotechnology second only to US

While westerners vacillate about the risks and benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops, China is embracing the technology. A new survey shows that the Chinese are working on more plant biotechnology products than anyone outside North America1.

Chinese research institutes claim to have developed 141 GM plants, 65 of which have been approved for release into the environment. Scott Rozelle, an agricultura

Noise quietens driving

Sensors and loudspeakers reduce in-car racket.

Tired of shouting to your passenger as you drive, striving to make your voice heard over the rumble of the car? Help is on the way, in the form of strategically placed sensors and loudspeakers.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Taejon have developed a prototype system that shaves up to 6 decibels off the typical motoring noise of around 60 decibels. That’s more than any other co

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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…