Long-awaited software promising to seamlessly link Internet and PC arrives
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.27.2008 at 12:53 pm 0 Comments
This past Monday, Adobe launched its AIR software, which aims to merge the sometimes-disparate worlds of the Internet and a user's PC. You might think of AIR as a much more sophisticated and versatile PointCast, the mid-90s screensaver that used push technology to deliver news and stock quotes to a user's desktop. It's not a perfect comparison—AIR is platform and not an application—but it's a good starting point for understanding the concept.
Korean scientists solve one of the universe's most pressing problems: how to safely package pickled cabbage for galactic travel
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.27.2008 at 12:14 pm 0 Comments
Fulll of freeze-dried goodness.
the Korea Food Research Institute
If you have ever eaten in a Korean restaurant, you are undoubtedly familiar with the Korean pre-meal equivalent of bread sticks: kimchi. It's pickled cabbage and radish, it's delicious, and it's everywhere in Korean cuisine. So it would stand to reason that when the very first Korean astronaut blasts off to the International Space Station on a Russian-made rocket this April, his country's scientists would send him off with space-ready kimchi.
The flooding aims to help restore the Colorado River ecosystem to its pre-dam conditions, but many remain skeptical of the plan
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.27.2008 at 12:09 pm 0 Comments
The AP is reporting that next month the U.S. Geological Survey will stage a controlled flood of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon via the Glen Canyon Dam in order to learn whether they can approximate the natural conditions of the river.
The complex eye of a moth may be the key to cheaper, more efficient solar panels
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.27.2008 at 11:38 am 0 Comments
One of the problems plaguing solar cells is their inability to absorb all of the light they receive. Currently, the bluish anti-reflective coating you see on most cells is 60 or 65 percent efficient, meaning nearly a third of the light is bounced back into the sky. That's because the coating is only able to absorb a narrow range of wavelengths from the sun's rays. Now, however, researchers at the University of Florida and Portland State University think they may have found a better way and their inspiration comes from an unlikely source: moth eyes.
An upcoming documentary raises controversy in the blogosphere over its anti-evolution stance
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.27.2008 at 11:24 am 40 Comments
Everybody's favorite dead-pan teacher and game show host, Ben Stein, is the face of a new documentary to be released this April called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". It's ostensibly a movie about attacks on freedom of speech in today's hostile climate among scientists in academia, but on closer inspection it really seems to be a thinly veiled screed for Intelligent Design.
A new method of culturing microbes might be the key to eradicating the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.26.2008 at 5:43 pm 1 Comment
In a typical lab culture, a microbial organism is first isolated and grown in a sterile environment. Generally, the starting point is just a single cell or organism. The resulting growth is then called a clonal culture because every cell produced is genetically identical. This technique gives researchers the ability to study exactly what they want from the cell, without any environmental interference.
Roger Hanlon's cephalopod research hits the mainstream in a popular YouTube video
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.26.2008 at 1:21 pm 0 Comments
You likely don't know Roger Hanlon by name, but you may very well have been forwarded the video clip above in the past year--which means you know his research. Dr. Hanlon studies cephalopod camouflage. In addition to controlled experiments in his lab, he has been on thousands of dives following cuttlefish, squid and octopuses through their natural habitats. Using underwater digital video cameras, he and his team are able to capture the intricate physical patterns these animals display across their bodies when they want to go unseen.