Latest News

A little logic goes a long way

Ultra-minaturized electrical components could shrink supercomputers.

Researchers in the Netherlands and the United States have constructed simple computer circuits with electrical components many times smaller than those on commercial silicon chips 1 , 2 . These ultra-minaturized logic circuits hold out the prospect of hand-held computers as powerful as today’s state-of-the-art supercomputers.

Cees Dekker and co-workers at the Delft University

Ancient Bone Tools Suggest Modern Human Behavior Has African Roots

It’s an enduring enigma in paleoanthropology: when and where did modern human behavior arise? The fossil record suggests that anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa sometime between 150,000 and 100,000 years ago. Yet the earliest convincing indications of behavioral modernity in our species, archaeologists have argued, date to tens of thousands of years later and have turned up in Europe, not Africa. With that in mind, some theorists posited that modern behavior blossomed late and rather sudd

New angle on vision

Our brains use angular measurements to decide how far away objects are.

Even if trigonometry wasn’t your strong suit in school, your brain uses it constantly. You judge distance by measuring the angle between the ground and your line of sight to an object, a new study shows. The finding could improve the design of robots and artificial vision systems 1 .

Volunteers who looked through prisms that increased this angle thought objects were closer than they reall

Clean sheet for paper making

New catalyst means greener paper is not pulp fiction.

Pollution from paper production could be cut, say US chemists, with a new way of refining wood pulp 1 . But the process must go through the mill before it can convert industry.

During paper production, gluey wood component lignin is stripped out to leave stringy cellulose. The harsh chemicals used create environmental pollutants, such as toxic and long-lasting chlorinated compounds.

A new chemical

Imaging Study Produces Genetic Brain Maps

Scientists are finally beginning to understand how common genetic differences among individuals underlie differences in the structures that make up their brains. In the first attempt to actually map these variations, neurologist Paul Thompson and colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered that brain structures related to cognitive ability and language seem to be under tight genetic control. The group’s findings, which could help explain how diseases like schizophre

Drop in found out

Air lets water droplets skim across the kitchen sink.

Scientists have found the answer to a question pondered over many a kitchen sink: why do little droplets skim across the surface of washing-up water rather than mix with it?

Yacine Amarouchene and colleagues at the University of Bordeaux in Talence, France have discovered that the height from which the drops fall has no effect on their lifespan 1 .

Soap, detergent – and indeed food grease – are ’

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Physics and Astronomy

NASA: Life signs could survive near surfaces of Enceladus and Europa

Europa, a moon of Jupiter, and Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, have evidence of oceans beneath their ice crusts. A NASA experiment suggests that if these oceans support life, signatures…

Unexpected deviation in the lifetime

First observation of the nuclear two-photon decay in bare atomic nuclei. For the first time, an international research team, led by GSI/FAIR in Darmstadt, the Institut de recherche sur les…

Towards discovering a second Earth

Engineers and scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), led by Oliver Krause, developed crucial optical elements for the Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) of the Roman Space Telescope and…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Study shows promise for a universal influenza vaccine

OHSU-led research uses innovative vaccine platform to target interior of virus; scientists validate theory using 1918 flu virus. New research led by Oregon Health & Science University reveals a promising…

Modular design

New insights into protein factories in human mitochondria. The “power plants” of living cells, the mitochondria, probably evolved through endosymbiosis: A bacterium migrated into a primordial cell and eventually developed…

Key Driver for Epithelial Cancer Development Identified

A distinct signaling pathway called TNF-α drives the transformation of epithelial cells into aggressive tumor cells. During cancer progression, cells activate their own TNF-α program and become invasive. This finding…

Materials Sciences

New technique pinpoints nanoscale ‘hot spots’ in electronics

… to improve their longevity. Borrowing methods from biological imaging, Rochester engineers have developed a way to spot tiny, overheated components that cause electronics’ performance to degrade. When electronic devices…

Caught in the actinium

Researchers grew crystals containing actinium and illuminated them with X-rays to learn how the radioactive metal binds with other elements. That information could help design better cancer treatments. The element…

Microbeads with adaptable fluorescent colors from visible light to near-infrared

Environmentally friendly luminescent material made mainly from plant-derived material. 1. A research team at NIMS has successfully developed an environmentally friendly, microspherical fluorescent material primarily made from citric acid. These…

Information Technology

Chatbot Iris offers individual support

How can a chatbot support students in lectures and with assigned exercises? Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the chatbot Iris, which offers informatics students personalized…

A new approach to accelerate the discovery of quantum materials

A collaboration yields a powerful combination of high-throughput computation and precise fabrication techniques to accelerate the discovery of quantum defects. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory…

Pocket-sized invention revolutionizes ability to detect harmful materials

The low-cost cellphone-based Raman spectrometer system can make identifications of unknown biological molecules within minutes. Imagine knowing what berry or mushroom is safe to eat during a hike or swiftly…