Following what it describes as an "exhaustive and rigorous scientific review," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of the first ever genetically-modified animal for human consumption. The engineered salmon in question has had its DNA altered in such a way that it grows to market-ready size in around half the time of regular salmon, and has now been declared safe for humans and safe for the environment.
For some time now, we've been hearing about the attempts by various groups to develop so-called nanosubmarines. Among other things, these microscopic "molecular machines" could conceivably be used for applications such as targeted drug delivery within the human body. Recently, scientists at Houston's Rice University created nanosubs that move at a "breakneck pace" when exposed to ultraviolet light.
In a world where lasers are sci-fi's weapon of choice for melting away an enemy spaceship (sometimes even translating to the real world), researchers at the University of Washington have swum against the current and produced the first laser capable of cooling liquids. The technology could be especially useful for slowing down single cells and allow scientists to study biological processes as they happen.
A new study from the University of Victoria has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.
Practical quantum computers are still years away, but lately the pace of research seems to have picked up. After building the basic blocks of a quantum computer in silicon and storing quantum information for up to 30 seconds, scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have now violated a principle of classical physics to demo for the first time a pair of entangled, high-fidelity quantum bits (qubits) in silicon. The advance could help unleash the power of a new kind of computation that would affect everything from data cryptography to drug design, overnight deliveries and subatomic particle experiments.
If some people get impatient waiting for a soft-boiled egg to cook, that's nothing compared to a group of theoretical physicists at the Imperial College London. They've come up with a new method that could allow lasers to heat certain materials to temperatures hotter than at the Sun's core in 20 quadrillionths of a second. The new technique would reportedly be 100 times faster than the world's most energetic laser system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, and may one day have applications in future fusion research.
As energy production moves towards solar and wind-powered alternatives, battery systems to store intermittently-produced electricity have never been more important. Unfortunately, many of the materials needed to make high-performance batteries for this purpose are rapidly diminishing and becoming increasingly expensive as a result. Now researchers have created a new type of storage battery that is made from a range of cheap and abundant materials and shows promise for high-efficiency performance.
A new type of nanoparticle has been created by that converts invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light with record-high efficiency. The multi-layered layered nanoparticle has potential for use in solar energy harvesting, bio-imaging, and light-based
The Italians have a colorful expression – to make a hole in water – to describe an effort with no hope of succeeding. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), however, have seemingly managed the impossible, creating a class of liquids that feature permanent holes at the molecular level. The properties of the new materials are still largely unknown, but what has been gleaned so far suggests they could be used for more convenient carbon capturing or as a molecular sieve to quickly separate different gases.
CRISPR genome editing is one of the most significant, world-changing technologies of our era, allowing scientists to make incredibly precise cut 'n' paste edits to the DNA of living organisms. Now, one synthetic biologist from NASA plans to make it as accessible as a home science kit, so you can bio-hack yeast and bacteria on your kitchen bench.