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Helium-4 superfluid is a fascinating substance. With properties that seemingly defy normal physics, it leaks straight through glass, bubbles up out of containers, flows around objects and even climbs up walls. As if superfluid helium-4 was not strange enough, in 1941 it was also predicted that it should contain an exotic, particle-like excitation – a quasiparticle – called a roton. After many years of trying to verify this prediction, researchers at the University of California now claim to have successfully created a roton structure in an atomic superfluid of cesium-133. Read More
Creating swarms of soft, robotic hands that can safely dissolve within a living body once they've performed surgical procedures or delivered drugs just got a step closer thanks to work done by John Hopkins University scientists. They've created minute biodegradable microgrippers by adding stiff polymers containing magnetic nanoparticles to soft hydrogels, allowing them be magnetically guided to any location in the body. Read More
We've been hearing a lot about the antibacterial qualities of silver, with silver nanoparticles finding use in everything from water filters to food packaging. Unfortunately, there are also concerns about the toxicity of those particles, particularly when they enter our bodies. Now, however, Polish scientists have developed what they claim is a safer alternative – an antibacterial coating that kills microbes using gold. Read More
Sometimes, a posted video is the only clue to the whereabouts of a missing person, or a terrorist group. Unfortunately, unless that video has already been geo-tagged, it can often be very difficult to tell where it was shot. Now, however, scientists have created algorithms that can determine a video's location by comparing its background imagery and audio to that of thousands of other videos. Read More
Spider's silk has long been the strongest natural material known to man, prompting researchers to attempt to uncover its secrets so they can replicate its remarkable properties in man-made materials. But scientists now have a new source of inspiration in the form of limpet teeth, which are made of a material researchers say is potentially stronger than spider silk, is comparable in strength to the strongest commercial carbon fibers, and could one day be copied for use in cars, boats and planes. Read More
Microsoft's recent HoloLens announcement has reignited interest in holographic displays, but the current state of affairs suggests that this technology may still be too expensive and limited to become truly widespread. Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) and MIT are bridging the gap with a new important step toward the next generation of high-bandwidth, color-accurate holographic video displays that could span the size of an entire room at one tenth the cost of state of the art devices. Read More
A team from the UK's Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has used neutron diffraction techniques to study the composition of a 200 year old Indian shamsheer sword. The non-destructive study, which revealed details of how the weapon was constructed, would not have previously been possible due to the rarity of the object. Read More
By altering metal alloy at a nanoscale level, researchers at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea have created a new material that has the strength of steel and the lightness of titanium alloy. Made from an amalgam of steel, aluminum, carbon, manganese, and nickel, the new alloy promises to be low-cost and readily available due to its mix of common minerals. Read More
According to a study conducted by international non-profit group Oceana, approximately 30 percent of seafood sold in the US is fraudulently mislabeled. That's why scientists at the University of South Florida have created a handheld sensor that can determine if what's being offered is in fact the real thing. Read More
You may have been taught in school that the Earth is composed of layers, broadly separated into a rocky crust and mantle, outside of a liquid outer core and a small, solid iron inner core. It turns out, according to new research, that the inner core may itself have a distinct internal structure – an inner-inner core about half the diameter of the whole inner core. And this could reveal insights about our planet and its history. Read More
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