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  • June 23, 2015
  • 12:43 PM
  • 781 views

The New Way to Track Animals Is Tagless

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



There's good news for scientists who study animals that are too small to carry a GPS monitor, or that spit ID tags back out through their arms. A setup using an off-the-shelf camera can precisely capture an animal's path in three dimensions—without anyone touching the animal.

Emmanuel de Margerie, who studies animal behavior at the University of Rennes 1 in France, says there are several reasons to seek new animal-tracking technologies. To put a GPS or other kind of tag on an animal, yo........ Read more »

de Margerie E, Simonneau M, Caudal JP, Houdelier C, & Lumineau S. (2015) 3D tracking of animals in the field, using rotational stereo videography. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 26056245  

  • June 14, 2015
  • 12:05 AM
  • 1,020 views

Pluto and Planetary Pinball

by Angela Reisetter in Steeped in Science

A description of the formation of the solar system and how we think it got to be how it is today, with a focus on Pluto and Kuiper belt.... Read more »

Thayne Currie, Carey M. Lisse, Marc J. Kuchner, Nikku Madhusudhan, Scott J. Kenyon, Christian Thalmann, Joseph Carson, & John H. Debes. (2015) Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Young Extrasolar Kuiper Belt in the Nearest OB Association. Astrophysical Journal Letters. arXiv: 1505.06734v1

Konstantin Batygin, & Gregory Laughlin. (2015) Jupiter's Decisive Role in the Inner Solar System's Early Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. arXiv: 1503.06945v2

  • June 4, 2015
  • 05:06 AM
  • 938 views

Magnetic Nanoparticles In The Brain and MRI

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in the unconventional journal Medical Hypotheses raises concerns that MRI brain scans could be harmful.



E. Z. Meilikhov of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology proposes that the powerful static magnetic fields inside an MRI scanner could exert force on tiny particles of the iron-containing mineral magnetite within the brain. These nanoparticles, being magnetic, could move and rotate in the MRI's magnetic field and even be forced inside neurons, he says:
20 years ago... Read more »

  • May 27, 2015
  • 08:50 AM
  • 763 views

Back in black: record efficiency for black-silicon solar cell

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Crystalline silicon solar cells are reaching their efficiency limit and manufacturing costs. But a new method to create black-silicon solar cells, potentially cheaper, has led to a record 22.1% efficiency. Learn about the physics behind the record here!... Read more »

Savin H, Repo P, von Gastrow G, Ortega P, Calle E, Garín M, & Alcubilla R. (2015) Black silicon solar cells with interdigitated back-contacts achieve 22.1% efficiency. Nature nanotechnology. PMID: 25984832  

  • May 27, 2015
  • 06:23 AM
  • 712 views

Masters Of Magnetism: A Bio-Hacker's Story

by Raymond Vermeulen in United Academics

Magnetic superpowers are now possible by implanting a tiny magnet in your body.... Read more »

Hameed, J.; Harrison, I.; Gasson, M.N.; Warwick, K. (2010) A novel human-machine interface using subdermal magnetic implants. Cybernetic Intelligent Systems (CIS). DOI: 10.1109/UKRICIS.2010.5898141  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 06:04 PM
  • 1,038 views

Tiny grains of lithium dramatically improve performance of fusion plasma

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While fusion might still be a far off dream, a new discovery may help bring that dream closer to reality. Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas, a finding that could quicken the development of large scale fusion energy. The scientists found that when they injected tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence then, under the right conditions, the temperature and pressure rose dramatically.... Read more »

Kaye, S., Abrams, T., Ahn, J., Allain, J., Andre, R., Andruczyk, D., Barchfeld, R., Battaglia, D., Bhattacharjee, A., Bedoya, F.... (2015) An overview of recent physics results from NSTX. Nuclear Fusion, 55(10), 104002. DOI: 10.1088/0029-5515/55/10/104002  

  • May 18, 2015
  • 05:29 AM
  • 507 views

Birth of the blue morphos

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Today’s “Museum Monday” features a visit to the Natural History Museum’s new Sensational Butterflies exhibition, where we watch a time-lapse video of their blue morpho butterflies emerging from chrysalises The Natural History Museum’s filmmakers recently captured a time-lapse video of the first of their blue morpho butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. These butterflies are now on view in their “Sensational Butterflies” exhibition. Several species of butterflies are........ Read more »

Vukusic P., C. R. Lawrence, & R. J. Wootton. (1999) Quantified interference and diffraction in single Morpho butterfly scales. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266(1427), 1403-1411. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1999.0794  

  • May 15, 2015
  • 10:03 AM
  • 935 views

Nature's natural fix to the ticking carbon time bomb in the peatlands

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Peatlands have long been seen as a dangerous store of carbon that could be released as glaciers melt and temperatures increase. But new research suggests Nature has some natural adaptations at hand to prevent such a release from occurring!... Read more »

  • May 11, 2015
  • 06:15 AM
  • 735 views

Ending A Relationship: Slow Fade Or Sudden Death?

by Kate Blanchfield in United Academics

Of two network breakdown models, researchers find ‘link deletion’ to be most common.... Read more »

Yohsuke Murase, Hang-Hyun Jo, János Török, János Kertész, & Kimmo Kaski. (2015) Modeling the role of relationship fading and breakup in social network formation. arXiv. arXiv: 1505.00644v1

  • May 8, 2015
  • 04:01 PM
  • 744 views

To Zoom In, Bats Say "Ahh!"

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In the future when touch screens are obsolete and we control our devices by facial gesture, maybe we'll zoom in and out the same way a bat does it. We'll open our mouths wide to narrow our field of focus. To see the bigger picture, we'll purse our lips tightly. But while we'll only be reading the news or shopping online, bats are operating one of the coolest sensory systems owned by a mammal.

An Italian priest, Lazzaro Spallanzani, sent blindfolded bats through obstacle courses in the lat... Read more »

Kounitsky P, Rydell J, Amichai E, Boonman A, Eitan O, Weiss AJ, & Yovel Y. (2015) Bats adjust their mouth gape to zoom their biosonar field of view. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25941395  

  • May 8, 2015
  • 07:56 AM
  • 1,548 views

MPs with Science Degrees: How did Science & Technology do in the UK General Election 2015?

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

In case you missed it, the people of the United Kingdom just elected 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to run their government for the next give years. How many of these newly elected MPs have science backgrounds? Like many, I was inspired by Mark Henderson’s book The Geek Manifesto [1] back in 2012 after reading an article which argued that (quote) “with just one British MP having a scientific background, the people who run the country clearly need some expert advice”. So when I........ Read more »

  • May 7, 2015
  • 05:46 PM
  • 970 views

What you need to know about the newly proposed science funding legislation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The House Science Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith, unveiled their new science budget last week. Read on to see what it proposes and what it means for science.... Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 12:38 PM
  • 925 views

3 Reasons Octopus Locomotion Is the Weirdest

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Of course there's nothing ordinary about an octopus. It's the animal that showed us spinelessness doesn't have to mean a lack of smarts. But when researchers brought some octopuses into the lab to study exactly how the animals move, their findings were bizarre—both predictably and unpredictably.

Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem studied nine common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) that fishers had scooped out of the ocean for them. Once the animals got comfortable in the lab, t........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 866 views

this is your brain on cosmic rays

by Greg Fish in weird things

Back in the day, I argued that if we were going to get serious about space exploration, we also had to budget for large, luxury spacecraft rather than just capsules in which we would cram the brave men and women we’d be sending to other worlds with a pat on the back for agreeing to deal with the discomfort and damage to their bodies. Among the reasons listed were the basic physiological problems of spending many months in zero gravity, and mental health hazards of boredom and cabin fever. ........ Read more »

Vipan K. Parihar, Barrett Allen, Katherine K. Tran, Trisha G. Macaraeg, Esther M. Chu, Stephanie F. Kwok, Nicole N. Chmielewski, Brianna M. Craver, Janet E. Baulch, Munjal M. Acharya, Francis A. Cucinotta, & Charles L. Limoli. (2015) What happens to your brain on the way to Mars. Science Advances, 1(4). info:/10.1126/sciadv.1400256

  • May 1, 2015
  • 12:08 AM
  • 799 views

Eyes on Environment: the search for artificial photosynthesis

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

How can we mimic plant photosynthesis to move to a fossil-free economy? Read here to find out!... Read more »

Sun, K., Saadi, F., Lichterman, M., Hale, W., Wang, H., Zhou, X., Plymale, N., Omelchenko, S., He, J., Papadantonakis, K.... (2015) Stable solar-driven oxidation of water by semiconducting photoanodes protected by transparent catalytic nickel oxide films. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201423034. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1423034112  

  • April 29, 2015
  • 06:00 AM
  • 991 views

Where Are All The Galaxy-Harvesting Alien Civilizations At?

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

The alien civilizations we search might be too advanced to be found.
... Read more »

  • April 27, 2015
  • 12:28 PM
  • 1,131 views

Boron and the Permian extinction: a glimpse into the past gives a hint of the future

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

How will ocean acidification from anthropogenic CO2 emissions affect marine life? Recent work studying a similar time during the Permian extinction 200 million years ago gives a clue.... Read more »

Clarkson MO, Kasemann SA, Wood RA, Lenton TM, Daines SJ, Richoz S, Ohnemueller F, Meixner A, Poulton SW, & Tipper ET. (2015) Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 348(6231), 229-32. PMID: 25859043  

  • April 25, 2015
  • 11:53 AM
  • 1,180 views

NASA and warp drive: An update

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

There is some excitement in the net about some news of Harold White’s experiment at NASA. I have uncovered it by chance at a forum. This is a well-frequented site with people at NASA posting on it and regularly updating about the work that they are carrying out. You can also have noticed some activity […]... Read more »

Marco Frasca. (2005) Strong coupling expansion for general relativity. Int.J.Mod.Phys.D15:1373-1386,2006. arXiv: hep-th/0508246v3

  • April 24, 2015
  • 01:55 PM
  • 1,696 views

Hubble's 25th anniversary

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Δεδομένης της ολοκλήρωσης των 25 χρόνων λειτουργίας του, παρουσιάζονται μερικές από τις σημαντ&iota........ Read more »

Periklis D. Livas. (2015) Hubble's 25th anniversary. Chilon. info:/

  • April 23, 2015
  • 10:35 AM
  • 1,411 views

of microwave noodles and extragalactic signals

by Greg Fish in weird things

FRBs just can’t seem to catch a break this month. First, they were an alien signal. Then just as quickly as they were attributed to aliens because the Daily Fail decided to get creative with two out of context words and no one seemed to bother to fact check them, the bursts were called a false signal caused by microwave interference. Not just any microwave interference mind you, but the kind in which you warm up leftovers [...]... Read more »

E. Petroff, E. F. Keane, E. D. Barr, J. E. Reynolds, J. Sarkissian, P. G. Edwards, J. Stevens, C. Brem, A. Jameson, S. Burke-Spolaor.... (2015) Identifying the source of perytons at the Parkes radio telescope. n/a. arXiv: 1504.02165v1

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