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Science

Galaxy cluster MACS J0416.1–2403 with dark matter map (Image: NASA/ESA)

The majority of the universe is made up of mysterious, practically invisible dark matter. But new research is beginning to help us understand it, and seems to indicate that it could be even "darker" than previously thought.  Read More

A metallic nanocoating derived from a virus of the tobacco plant could lead to more effici...

Researchers at at Drexel University have developed a metallic nanocoating derived from a virus of the tobacco plant that could lead to more efficient steam production, improving the performance of steam turbines, air conditioning and electronics cooling systems.  Read More

A new tandem silicon-perovskite monolithic solar cell could achieve high performance while...

By combining silicon solar cells with their cheap and efficient perovskite-based counterparts, researchers at Stanford and MIT are creating a new type of "tandem cell" that could reach efficiencies up to 35 percent.  Read More

Geophysicists have stumbled across what is believed to be the largest asteroid impact zone...

Geophysicists conducting drilling as part of geothermal research claim to have stumbled across the largest asteroid impact zone ever found on Earth. Covering a 400 km (249 mi) wide area in Central Australia, the two ancient craters are believed to be the result of a single meteorite that split in two moments before crashing into the Earth.  Read More

The new material utilizes the same protein that squids use to change color (Photo: Shutter...

We've already heard about two different studies in which scientists are developing camouflage systems inspired by squids' color-changing skin. If they're successful, the result could be military clothing that can change its coloration to match the environment. It's an intriguing idea, although it presumably still wouldn't allow soldiers to avoid detection by infrared cameras at night. Now, however, researchers from the University of California at Irvine are developed a stick-on covering that could let them do so.  Read More

A slight change to the production process could result in chocolate that is both healthier...

Good news if you're hooked on chocolate. Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Ghana have developed a new technique for making chocolate that results in it being both healthier and more flavorful. The technique differs from conventional chocolate production in that cacao beans are roasted at a lower temperature and bean pods are left unopened for five days rather than split open right away. It is expected to be particularly useful in countries where cacao beans have less natural flavor and antioxidant activity.  Read More

While gecko feet utilize hair-like fibers, the new material uses similar manmade microscop...

In various types of manufacturing, parts are robotically picked and placed using graspers or suction cups. The former can damage fragile items, however, while the latter won't work in vacuums or on rough surfaces. That's why scientists from Germany's Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) have developed – well, a new material. It utilizes the same principle as sticky gecko feet, but its gripping quality can be switched on and off as needed.  Read More

The team manually identified buildings, using them as examples to train the software to wo...

A team of MIT scientists has developed software capable of analyzing existing satellite imagery to identify separate structures, significantly speeding up the process of deciding where to apportion aid in rural areas in the developing world. The system will be tested against existing methods on a project in India.  Read More

Team member Filomena Simone with the prototype hand (Photo: Oliver Dietze)

Whether they're on robots or amputees, artificial hands tend to be rather complex mechanisms, incorporating numerous motor-driven cables. Engineers from Germany's Saarland University, however, have taken a different approach with their hand. It moves its fingers via shape-memory nickel-titanium alloy wires, bundled together to perform intricate tasks by working like natural muscle fibers.  Read More

Arrays of gold, pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas have been used to record audio inform...

The use of optical sound-on-film recording on early movie films revolutionized the motion picture industry and remained the standard method of audio recording in that medium for more than 80 years. Now researchers from the University of Illinois have emulated that feat in miniature by claiming to have recorded the world's first optically encoded audio onto a plasmonic film substrate. The size of human hair, this substrate has a capacity over five-and-a-half thousand times greater than conventional analog magnetic recording media.  Read More

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