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  • November 4, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,406 views

Where Do All Those Leaves Come From?!

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

You rake leaves and lug them to the curb, or you push them into your neighbor’s yard with your blower. Either way, do you know where the matter/mass in all those leaves comes from? You won’t believe the answer. But the leaf may be passé. New research is showing how artificial leaves can produce oxygen for space travel and hydrogen for fuel cells.... Read more »

Pijpers, J., Winkler, M., Surendranath, Y., Buonassisi, T., & Nocera, D. (2011) Light-induced water oxidation at silicon electrodes functionalized with a cobalt oxygen-evolving catalyst. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(25), 10056-10061. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106545108  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 09:54 AM
  • 1,055 views

Understanding the past to know more about our future: study finds spikes in carbon dioxide levels correlated with end of last glacial cycle

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

We've always thought that the last glacial cycle correlated with a slow rise in CO2, however new data from Antarctica shows quick spikes in CO2 and methane lasting under 100 years. This data could provide new insights into the carbon cycles useful for understanding today's CO2 increases.... Read more »

Marcott, S., Bauska, T., Buizert, C., Steig, E., Rosen, J., Cuffey, K., Fudge, T., Severinghaus, J., Ahn, J., Kalk, M.... (2014) Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature, 514(7524), 616-619. DOI: 10.1038/nature13799  

  • October 28, 2014
  • 09:51 AM
  • 906 views

Tagged Dolphins Adjust by Swimming Slowly

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Scientists love the data they get by attaching electronic tags to animals, but these devices can be a literal drag. For animals that fly or swim, tags can mess up their mechanics and force them to spend more energy. That’s what scientists expected to see when they studied dolphins with data loggers suction-cupped to their […]The post Tagged Dolphins Adjust by Swimming Slowly appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

van der Hoop JM, Fahlman A, Hurst T, Rocho-Levine J, Shorter KA, Petrov V, & Moore MJ. (2014) Bottlenose dolphins modify behavior to reduce metabolic effect of tag attachment. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25324344  

  • October 21, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 852 views

Dude, wheres my Hover Car? Oh wait…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We all (of a certain age) remember the Jetsons, a futuristic family with hi-tech gadgets and gizmos. However, nothing said, “the future is here” quite like things hovering. Even in the movie Back to the future, they have hover boards and flying cars. Unfortunately we don’t, which is a shame because according to the 1950’s we are the future, we should have hover-cars and hover boards… well the wait is over. Yep, introducing the first real hover board!... Read more »

Hendo Hover. (2014) Hendo Hoverboards - World's first REAL hoverboard. Kickstarter. info:other/Here

  • October 20, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 1,001 views

A Venusian Mystery Explored Once More

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Venus, the place where women are from... supposedly. To say Venus has a harsh climate would be an understatement, this is one of many reasons why we will never (or maybe not soon) see a "long lasting" Venus rover counterpart to our Mars rover missions. Still, the planet (much like all the other plants) can teach us a lot about not just our own origins, but the origins of the universe. Also like all our neighbor planets Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds, a mystery t........ Read more »

Harrington, E. et. Al. (2014) The puzzle of radar-bright highlands on venus: a high-spatial resolution study in Ovda regio. Geological Society of America. info:other/136-4

  • October 20, 2014
  • 12:12 PM
  • 1,361 views

How a camera and quantum physics could improve phone security

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study uses mobile phone camera to detect light, using shot noise to generate true random numbers which researchers hope could be used for encryption in the future.... Read more »

Sanguinetti, B., Martin, A., Zbinden, H., & Gisin, N. (2014) Quantum Random Number Generation on a Mobile Phone. Physical Review X, 4(3). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031056  

  • October 14, 2014
  • 08:19 PM
  • 636 views

Ghost in the Lab

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

How science can be used to explain paranormal experiences.... Read more »

Tandy V, & Lawrence TR. (1998) The Ghost in the Machine. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62(851). info:/

Berglund B, Hassmén P, & Job R. (1996) Sources and effects of low-frequency noise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 99(5), 2985-3002. DOI: 10.1121/1.414863  

  • October 13, 2014
  • 10:18 AM
  • 1,211 views

Guiding light to boost algae biofuel production

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study uses waveguides dotted with SU-8 pillars to scatter light in a tank of algae. By varying the spacing of the pillars, light intensity across the tank was approximately uniform and increased algae growth by 'at least 40%' compared to scheme with uniformly-distributed pillars... Read more »

  • October 12, 2014
  • 09:56 AM
  • 938 views

Largest methane hotspot in the US found in the Four Corners: fracking not to blame!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New space-based observation has found a methane hotspot in the Four Corners due to coalbed methane from coal mines!... Read more »

Kort, E., Frankenberg, C., Costigan, K., Lindenmaier, R., Dubey, M., & Wunch, D. (2014) Four corners: The largest US methane anomaly viewed from space. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061503  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 797 views

For Disguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Did you know this week is International Cephalopod Awareness Days? I’ll assume your gifts are in the mail. Today is dedicated to squid, and you can’t have total cephalopod awareness without discussing fake squid testes. This post was first published in September 2013. The best way to stay out of trouble, if you’re a shimmery, […]The post For Disguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

DeMartini DG, Ghoshal A, Pandolfi E, Weaver AT, Baum M, & Morse DE. (2013) Dynamic biophotonics: female squid exhibit sexually dimorphic tunable leucophores and iridocytes. The Journal of experimental biology, 216(Pt 19), 3733-41. PMID: 24006348  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:10 PM
  • 1,094 views

Solar Panel Hybrid is Cheap and Super Efficient

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar cells are inefficient, it’s a sad fact. With todays technology they boast about a 10-15% efficiency, compare that to todays gas engine at roughly 20-25% and you can see it’s not quite up to par. Well that could all change very soon thanks to a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors. This could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells to as close as 100% efficiency as they can get.... Read more »

Tabachnyk M, Ehrler B, Gélinas S, Böhm ML, Walker BJ, Musselman KP, Greenham NC, Friend RH, & Rao A. (2014) Resonant energy transfer of triplet excitons from pentacene to PbSe nanocrystals. Nature materials. PMID: 25282509  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 07:45 PM
  • 802 views

Climate change roundup: underestimated ocean heat content and emissions from the peatlands!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A quick review of two new climate change-related articles. One finds we have underestimated the heat content in upper oceans, suggesting possibly higher future warming rates. The other discusses a new model to look at methane emissions in the peatlands... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 04:13 AM
  • 1,184 views

Not-So-Green Men

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

The Webb Telescope searches for alien life on exoplanets by analyzing CFC pollution from potentially advanced civilizations. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • October 3, 2014
  • 10:02 AM
  • 871 views

How to Say “SOS” in Catfish

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

It’s good to have a plan in case of emergency. If there’s a fire, take the stairs to the ground floor. If a bird tries to eat you, say “ERK ERK ERK” by grinding your spine bone against your shoulder bone until it drops you. That latter one will work best if you’re a certain […]The post How to Say “SOS” in Catfish appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • October 3, 2014
  • 10:02 AM
  • 618 views

How to Say "SOS" in Catfish

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



It's good to have a plan in case of emergency. If there's a fire, take the stairs to the ground floor. If a bird tries to eat you, say "ERK ERK ERK" by grinding your spine bone against your shoulder bone until it drops you. That latter one will work best if you're a certain kind of catfish (but feel free to try it and report back).

Our glossary of thorny catfish phrases is getting a little more complete, thanks to Lisa Knight and Friedrich Ladich at the University of Vienna. Thorny or "ta... Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 06:16 PM
  • 1,332 views

Living on the edge: graphene quantum dots perform as well as platinum in fuel cell electrodes

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Down with platinum! New research out of Rice University shows that graphene quantum dots attached to graphene oxide sheets perform as well as platinum in fuel cell electrodes. And they're much cheaper!... Read more »

  • September 29, 2014
  • 08:52 PM
  • 811 views

There's nothing quite like renewables: Modeling indicates natural gas production will not reduce future greenhouse gas emissions as hoped

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Not so fast natural gas! New modeling using 'commitment' accounting to represent social inertia indicates that natural gas may not reduce emissions as hoped.... Read more »

Steven J Davis and Robert H Socolow. (2014) Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 9(084018). info:/

  • September 29, 2014
  • 03:04 PM
  • 842 views

Wind Turbines Kill Bats by Impersonating Trees

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Survival tip: don’t hang around machines that have giant spinning blades. It’s a lesson bats have been slow to learn, judging by the large numbers of their corpses found beneath wind turbines. New video footage suggests some bats are attracted to wind farms because they can’t tell turbines apart from trees. If it’s true, this […]The post Wind Turbines Kill Bats by Impersonating Trees appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Paul. M. Cryan, P. Marcos Gorresen, Cris D. Hein, Michael R. Schirmacher, Robert H. Diehl, Manuela M. Huso, David T. S. Hayman, Paul D. Fricker, Frank J. Bonaccorso, Douglas H. Johnson.... (2014) Behavior of bats at wind turbines. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1406672111

  • September 27, 2014
  • 01:29 PM
  • 1,209 views

Are Black Holes just in Our Imagination?!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Black holes, physicists have been fighting over them forever, heck there is even a book entitled the black hole war! (which I do recommend for anyone interested) It’s no real surprise since they are the ultimate unknown – the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape. And as if they weren't bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don’t exist.... Read more »

Laura Mersini-Houghton, Harald P. Pfeiffer. (2014) Back-reaction of the Hawking radiation flux on a gravitationally collapsing star II: Fireworks instead of firewalls . Physics Letters B. info:/arXiv:1409.1837

  • September 26, 2014
  • 10:30 AM
  • 1,100 views

Walking Really Is Just Falling and Catching Yourself

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

The flailing of a gymnast who’s missed a step on the balance beam might not be far off from what the rest of us experience every day. Each step we take is really a tiny fall, a mathematical model suggests. The random-looking variation in our footfalls is actually a series of corrections. Our strides are […]The post Walking Really Is Just Falling and Catching Yourself appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

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