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Brian Dodson

Brian Dodson

From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer.

— Science

Revamped Fermilab neutrino beam offers hope for new physics

Particle physicists have been eagerly awaiting the first trials of the new Main Injector neutrino beam at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the US. This new facility is the result of reconfiguration of the Fermilab particle accelerators in the wake of the shutdown of the Tevatron in 2011. The new beam source is now online, and is well on route to becoming the world's most intense focused neutrino source. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Partial gene knockout produces long-lived mice

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that suppressing the expression of a single gene in mice extends their average lifespan by about 20 percent – the equivalent of humans living an average of 95 years. While modification of the so-called mTOR gene may not lead to the fountain of youth, further study could open up a path to keeping us healthier and more alert in our old age. Read More
— Architecture Feature

ATLAS: At the crossroads of art and science

The largest single piece of experimental scientific apparatus is currently the Large Hadron Collider bridging the border of France and Switzerland. The control building of the ATLAS detector, one of two general purpose particle detectors built with the LHC, has found itself adorned with a magnificent mural. The story of how the mural came about provides a fascinating glimpse at the crossroads of art and science. Read More
— Science

Stainless magnesium breakthrough bodes well for manufacturing industries

Magnesium alloys are very attractive for a range of weight-sensitive applications. They have the largest strength-to-weight ratio of the common structural metals, are lighter than aluminum and are particularly favored for being easy to machine and for their ability to be die cast to net shape. Unfortunately, magnesium alloys tend to corrode too easily. A team at Monash University in Australia has now discovered a novel and potentially game-changing approach to the problem: poisoning the chemical reactions leading to corrosion of magnesium alloys by adding a dash of arsenic to the recipe. Read More
— Science

Adaptive optics system clobbers Hubble with the sharpest-ever telescopic images

Astronomers have developed a new visible-light adaptive optics (AO) system for the 6.5 meter diameter Magellan-Clay telescope in Chile's Atacama desert. The new AO system replaces the secondary mirror of the telescope with a thin adaptive mirror that can be deformed by its 585 mechanical actuators at a rate of more than 1000 times a second to correct for the image smearing effects of atmospheric turbulence. The result is the sharpest astronomical images ever produced – more than twice as sharp as can be achieved by the Hubble space telescope viewing objects through the vacuum of space. Read More
— Computers

Samsung moves into mass production of 3D flash memory

Samsung has announced production of the first solid state drives (SSD) based on its new 3D V-NAND flash memory. V-NAND flash memories read and write twice as fast as conventional NAND memories, and last 10 times longer while consuming 50 percent less power. At present, the 3D chips offer about the same physical bit density as do more conventional NAND flash memory chips, but while 2D geometries are reaching the end state of their scaling potential, the 3D chips offer as much as two orders of magnitude of additional elbow room for denser devices. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Mixing your drinks: How to reduce the dehydrating effect of consuming beer after sport

Beer is often quaffed in the aftermath of a day of sports in the fellowship of friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, while it may pick up the spirits and increase the celebratory feeling, the dehydration associated with alcohol consumption can lead to tiredness and cramping muscles. A new study by a group of Australian Public Health researchers shows that many of these ill effects can be lessened by adding a pinch of sodium to your beer. Read More
— Computers

Will Georgia Tech's $7K online M.S. in computer science program make the grade?

The Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Udacity and AT&T, is preparing to offer an accredited online master of science (M.S.) degree in Computer Science. The instruction will be via Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC), which will be open to anyone at no charge, but will also be available as for-credit courses leading to an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS). The total cost of instruction fees and tuition for those taking the M.S. route is expected to be less than US$7,000. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New drug mimics the beneficial effects of exercise

A drug known as SR9009, which is currently under development at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), increases the level of metabolic activity in skeletal muscles of mice. Treated mice become lean, develop larger muscles and can run much longer distances simply by taking SR9009, which mimics the effects of aerobic exercise. If similar effects can be obtained in people, the reversal of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and perhaps Type-II diabetes might be the very welcome result. Read More
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