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— Science

Magnetism generated in non-magnetic metals

By subtly altering certain quantum interactions in matter, scientists from the University of Leeds have shown for the very first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren’t normally magnetic. Synthetic magnets made using this technique may one day reduce our reliance on rare or toxic metals in such things as wind turbines, computer hard drives and magnetic field medical imaging devices.

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New software provides an animal-eye view of our colorful world

Have you ever looked at a flower and thought, "I wonder what these colors would look like to a bee"? Perhaps not, but in any case, you can now find out using your own camera and computer. That's because scientists from the University of Exeter have developed the Multispectral Image Calibration and Analysis Toolbox, a piece of free software that lets you see the colors in photos the way that various animals would see them.

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Researchers simulate what "bionic sight" may look like

It's easy to imagine bionic sight as crystal clear and even enhanced, like the augmented body parts in science fiction. But the reality could be very, very different for a typical bionic eye recipient. Researchers at the University of Washington developed visual simulations that indicate what the world might look like to people with retinal implants. The resulting images are, in a word, blurry.

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Underwater chemical garden powers a light bulb

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have grown underwater chimney-like structures capable of generating enough electricity to power a light bulb. The team linked several of these chimneys to get the required electricity. Their findings indicate that the seafloor equivalents of these chemical gardens might just have contributed the electricity needed for the Earth's first organisms to develop.

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World's first white laser demonstrated

Incandescent bulbs, LEDs, and CFLs may soon have to budge up because a new lighting technology is in town – white lasers. Using nanotechnology to create a bespoke semiconducting material, a team of scientists at Arizona State University has developed a laser that can produce white light that is brighter and more efficient than LEDs.

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Silver-laced bottles prolong shelf life of milk

Consumers may soon be able to go for longer between milk-buying trips. That's because Brazilian company Agrindus hopes to start marketing plastic milk bottles that use embedded silver nanoparticles to kill bacteria. Grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk packaged in those bottles can reportedly last for up to 15 days, as opposed to the usual seven.

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World's first "aqueous solar flow battery" outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries

The scientists that revealed the "world's first solar battery" last year are now, following some modifications, reporting its first significant performance milestone. The device essentially fits a battery and solar cell into the one package, and has now been tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, over which the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.

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