First graphene, now this: Carbon is just the hottest element on the block these days. The 2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has just been awarded to three chemists who have come up with a technique that allows them to build carbon-based molecules as complex as those found in nature.
Mutant silkworms can produce miles of super-strong silk, in a new breakthrough that could lead to mass production of tough, flexible spider-silk material. Thanks to the efforts of these genetically modified spider-worms, along with spidergoats and spider-alfalfa, spider clothes may soon be upon us.
The U.S. may be years behind some European nations and China when it comes to taking advantage of solar power tech, but even global superpowers have to start somewhere. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the first large-scale solar energy projects to be built on public lands, a first step in unlocking the acres upon acres of federal and state managed real estate for clean energy production.
This animal, which lives more than a mile and a half below the ocean’s surface, is one of three potentially novel species of acorn worms discovered on a deep-sea expedition in June. Expedition participant Monty Priede and his team from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland are currently analyzing the creature’s DNA while another member of the expedition,
Nicholas Holland, a marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, compares specimens with two species of acorn worm already described.
The Empire State Building, arguably the world's most famous office tower, is 1,472 vertical feet of historic American real estate. It also contains 2.8 million square feet of office space, constructed to the energy efficiency standards of the early 1930s. So when Anthony Malkin took over management of the building several years ago, he also inherited an $11 million annual energy bill and a problem: How could he turn the iconic but aging building into a 21st-century office tower?
Now, a sweeping $13.4 million energy retrofit is slashing the Empire State Building's energy consumption by nearly 40 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years while trimming $4.4 million from annual energy costs. We took a firsthand look at what such a massive and meaningful project looks like, starting in a nondescript corner of the fifth floor where the Empire State Building is turning two-decade-old glass into future dollars.
The first-ever Census of Marine Life was announced today, the result of ten years, more than 540 expeditions, 2,700 researchers, and 120,000 species documented (of which around 6,000 are new discoveries). And yes, before you ask: There is indeed a jellyfish that looks like Darth Vader's helmet.
That first early-morning look in the mirror may soon tell you a lot more about your state of being beyond the simple fact that you look like you could use another hour of sleep. A grad student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program has figured out how to use low-cost, low-resolution off-the-shelf camera technology to measure a person's heart rate through imaging alone. The technology, which could soon also be measuring respiration rates and blood-oxygen levels as well as blood pressure, could make basic medical monitoring a continuous process throughout the day.
In particle physics, as in so many other parts of life, there are few things more useful than a trusty roll of tape.
Just before Labor Day, physicists working with Fermilab's Tevatron wrapped up a planned four-week accelerator shutdown and were looking forward to getting back to work. But pressure started building in the Tevatron's vacuum system, and experiments were halted while engineers isolated the problem. They found a faulty O-ring, which seals the vacuum between two superconducting magnets, according to an account on Fermilab Today.
Age-related memory loss—the kind where you remember friends from decades ago but can't remember your grandchildren—is largely a mystery, but a class of com-pounds used to treat cancer has given neuroscientists clues to its molecular underpinnings. Scientists also suspect that the compounds responsible for this insight, called histone deacetylase inhibitors, could significantly slow memory loss—perhaps for years.