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Sailors aboard the Mary Rose were suffering from rickets according to new analysis using l...

Lasers have been used to analyze the bones of sailors who drowned when the Royal Navy warship the Mary Rose sank in 1545. The new non-destructive technique carried out by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, shows that the men suffered from rickets, shedding new light on nutrition in Tudor England.  Read More

Termitat is an educational sealed termite habitat

Do you have termites in your home? If not, would you like to? Not ones that are living in the wooden structure of the building itself, of course – that'd be no fun. Instead, the Termitat securely houses a colony of Pacific Dampwood Termites within a clear acrylic housing, where you can watch them going about their business on a daily basis. It's like an ant farm, except instead of dirt it has a disc of Douglas Fir wood, and instead of ants it has ... well, termites.  Read More

Deep neural networks have studied millions of images and some can now recognize the object...

Computers aren't best suited to visual object recognition. Our brains are hardwired to quickly see and match patterns in everything, with great leaps of intuition, while the processing center of a computer is more akin to a very powerful calculator. But that hasn't stopped neuroscientists and computer scientists from trying over the past 40 years to design computer networks that mimic our visual skills. Recent advances in computing power and deep learning algorithms have accelerated that process to the point where a group of MIT neuroscientists has found a network design that compares favorably to the brain of our primate cousins.  Read More

Mouse kidneys, liver, and pancreas imaged after treatment with a variety of protocols: a s...

Japanese researchers have found a way to turn tissue transparent in mice, allowing them to see cellular networks and gain a better understanding of biological systems. Researchers say this may ultimately lead to deeper comprehension of autoimmune and psychiatric diseases given it can assist in 3D modelling of organs including the brain.  Read More

The minute particles seen in this microscope image actually make up 38 percent of the volu...

When a mineral is the most abundant on the planet, (making up an estimated 38 percent of the Earth's entire volume, in fact), you would think that someone would have given it a name by now. But things are never as simple as they seem. Despite being so prevalent, the substance in question has only ever existed in synthetic form until recently, and the first naturally-occurring example of it didn't even come from beneath the ground; it arrived from outer space.  Read More

The surface tension that allows liquid droplets to hold their shape can also be used to ad...

Liquids are softer than solids, so incorporating droplets of a liquid into a solid will always make it weaker ... right? Actually, no. Scientists at Yale University have discovered that if the drops are just the right size, they can actually make the solid stiffer. Their findings could pave the way for composite materials that use liquids for added optical or electrical functionality, yet that don't compromise strength.  Read More

Engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego blocks to determine a fundamental ato...

Lego is a popular Christmas gift, and young and old alike can derive hours of pleasure building with those little plastic blocks. But, like a lot of playthings, the novelty wears off soon enough and you find yourself drifting back to watch Christmas TV re-runs. But what if you could use that Lego to construct real scientific equipment; would that maintain your enthusiasm? Well hang on to your plastic blocks, because engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego and a few other bits and pieces that allows any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass.  Read More

Amsterdam Station will become Rainbow Station for a brief period after sunset every night ...

Every night, for just a short time after sunset, Amsterdam Central Station becomes Rainbow Station. A four-kilowatt spotlight projects a stunning rainbow through a custom-designed liquid crystal spectral filter onto one of the station's 45 by 25 meter (148 by 82 feet) roof arches, just above platform 2b. This liquid crystal optics technology is being developed for research on exoplanets, but it will light up Amsterdam Central – and the lives of thousands of travellers – every night for a year.  Read More

Scientists have identified a protein that regulates fat levels in worms and could do the s...

Research around how the body's fat levels are regulated and ways in which they might be manipulated has uncovered numerous potential fat switches. The latest is a particular protein that has long been known to regulate protein synthesis and has now been demonstrated to also control fat levels in worms. This has lead researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) to believe that the version found in the human body could provide a new target for fat-fighting pharmaceuticals.  Read More

A new stretchable electronic skin (blue patch) can detect directional pressure (Image: Ame...

We've already seen artificial skin capable of sensing touch and prosthetics that sense texture, but now a group of Korean scientists has come up with a stretchable electronic skin that "feels" in three dimensions. The artificial skin is made from arrays of microscopic domes that interlock and deform when pressed. It can detect the intensity, location, and direction of pressure, whether from an object or a mere gust of wind.  Read More

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