7 posts tagged science
Sightseeing mixed with stunning long-exposure photography. This is a composite of a series of images photographed from a mounted camera over the course of multiple orbits from the International Space Station.
2 Scientists Accidentally Discover A World-Changing Super Material
Since a pair of Russian scientists won the Nobel Prize for discoveringgraphene in 2002, scientists have raced to find a more efficient way to make it. Among them were Ric Kaner and Maher El-Kady, two UCLA scientists who were searching for a better way to manufacture the super-strong material when they accidentally happened upon another holy grail in the science community: an efficient, biodegradable battery-like device—technically speaking, a supercapacitor.
They had accidentally created a graphene supercapacitor, which charges more quickly (and with more power) than regular batteries, making it a potential candidate to power a future generation of super-efficient gadgets, cars, and systems.
Kaner describes the device as “like a battery, but charges and discharges 100 to 1,000 times faster.” He imagines charging an iPhone in 30 seconds, or fully charging an electric car in minutes.
Equally important are the supercapacitor’s environmental benefits: Unlike batteries, which contain toxic chemicals and metals, graphene is entirely biodegradable.
Automated ‘Time Machine’ Reconstructs Ancient Languages
Ancient languages hold a treasure trove of information about the culture, politics and commerce of millennia past. Yet, reconstructing them to reveal clues into human history can require decades of painstaking work. Now, scientists at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, have created an automated “time machine,” of sorts, that will greatly accelerate and improve the process of reconstructing hundreds of ancestral languages.
In a compelling example of how “big data” and machine learning are beginning to make a significant impact on all facets of knowledge, researchers from UC Berkeley and the Univ. of British Columbia have created a computer program that can rapidly reconstruct “proto-languages” – the linguistic ancestors from which all modern languages have evolved. These earliest-known languages include Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Afroasiatic and, in this case, Proto-Austronesian, which gave rise to languages spoken in Southeast Asia, parts of continental Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/02/automated-%E2%80%98time-machine%E2%80%99-reconstructs-ancient-languages
Carbon Sponge Soaks Up Coal Emissions
Emissions from coal power stations could be drastically reduced by a new, energy-efficient material that adsorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide, then releases it when exposed to sunlight.
In a study published today in Angewandte Chemie, Monash Univ. and CSIRO scientists for the first time discovered a photosensitive metal organic framework (MOF) – a class of materials known for their exceptional capacity to store gases. This has created a powerful and cost-effective new tool to capture and store, or potentially recycle, carbon dioxide.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/02/carbon-sponge-soaks-coal-emissions
Study Furthers Einstein’s ‘Theory of Everything’
Sussex Univ. physicists have taken a small step towards fulfilling Einstein’s dream of proving there is only one fundamental force in nature.
Following last year’s discovery of the Higgs boson particle – the so-called “God particle” that answers how the particles have masses – Xavier Calmet and PhD student Michael Atkins looked at how the Higgs field interacts with gravity. Besides giving masses to all known particles, it’s possible that the Higgs boson played a significant role in the expansion of the Universe after the Big Bang.
Read more here.
8 great science visualizations showing the universe at tiny scales (left to right: a cross section of a mouse’s eye; trichomes on an immature cucumber; math equations rendered in trippy tie-dye)
Navigate the brain in a way that was never before possible; fly through major brain pathways, compare essential circuits, zoom into a region to explore the cells that comprise it, and the functions that depend on it.
The Human Connectome Project aims to provide an unparalleled compilation of neural data, an interface to graphically navigate this data and the opportunity to achieve never before realized conclusions about the living human brain.