The ESA CryoSat mission has detected significant ice loss in a usually
stable Antarctic region. The data recorded by the satellite revealed how
multiple glaciers along the Southern Antarctic Peninsula started
shedding ice in the 2009, with no prior warning.
Texting is so much a part of modern life that some people can't even pause for a meal of fried chicken without sending a message. As part of an advertising campaign and in an effort to avoid an epidemic of greasy smartphone screens, KFC restaurants in Germany have been giving away paper tray liners with built-in Bluetooth keyboards, so patrons can text away while munching on their extra crispy.
Expanding on previous research into electronic devices that dissolve in water once they have reached the end of their useful life, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new type of "transient" electronic device that self-destructs in response to heat exposure. The work is aimed at making it easy for materials from devices that usually end up in landfill to be recycled or dissolved completely.
Magnets are at the heart of much of our technology, and their properties
are exploited in a myriad ways across a vast range of devices, from
simple relays to enormously complex particle accelerators. A new class
of magnets discovered by scientists at the University of
Maryland (UMD) and Temple University may lead to other types of magnets
that expand in different ways, with multiple, cellular magnetic fields,
and possibly give rise to a host of new devices. The team also believes
that these new magnets could replace expensive, rare-earth magnets with
ones made of abundant metal alloys.
While just about everyone knows that bats locate prey in the dark using echolocation, one thing that many people may not
realize is the fact that horseshoe bats are particularly good at it.
With this in mind, engineers at Virginia Tech are now developing a sonar
system that emulates the system used by those bats. Once perfected, it
could be a much more compact and efficient alternative to traditional
manmade sonar arrays.
A team of MIT and University of Michigan researchers has a new method for manufacturing graphene that it believes could take the material out of the laboratory and into commercial products. The method involves forming the strong, conductive material in a chamber consisting of two concentric tubes.
An international team
of astronomers from Europe, Israel and the United States has
succeeded in shedding light on the origin of Type la supernovae –
powerful nuclear explosions in deep space that allow us to chart the
vast distances between galaxies. It is known that a white dwarf star
is responsible for creating the distinctive, intensely bright
explosion, but the cause of the supernovae are still a topic of hot
ESA's Mars Express orbiter has captured images that may indicate the presence of supervolcanoes on the surface of Mars. If the findings are later confirmed, the existence of these leviathan volcanoes may greatly inform current theories on climate formation, as eruptions from the supervolcanoes could have dramatically altered the Martian global environment.
Less than four months after lift-off, testing on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is complete, and science operations have begun. The data recorded by the mission, which will give rise to more accurate weather forecasting, will now be subject to a year of validation against existing measurements.
A team of MIT scientists has combined graphene with a second, similarly structured material, producing a hybrid that can wield significant control over light waves. The findings could have an impact in a number of fields, including efforts to utilize light in computing chips.