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Dr Philip Rasch is Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's first Chief Scientist for Clima...

Scientists in the US have been cloud-spotting over shipping lanes and have noticed something more interesting than teddy-bear shapes and faces. They have detected that rising steam from passing ships has caused brightening in the clouds which they theorize alters the reflectivity of the cloud and prevents the energy from reaching the Earth. They propose that if this could be achieved artificially via geoengineering it could be an effective defense against global warming.  Read More

The glass dosimeter detects the buildup of pollutant gases in picture cases (Photo: K. Dob...

Valuable paintings that are shipped or loaned to museums or other destinations around the world will soon have unusual traveling companions for their long journeys – sensors that can detect the buildup of pollutants within their specially-designed shipping crates. Occasionally, adhesives and other chemicals within the crates can breakdown and the fumes can damage the works of art. But the new sensors, developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, Germany, will detect these dangerous substances and help avoid the treasures being damaged.  Read More

The ability to grow artificial meat in a lab could be essential to a stable future

Four years ago, a paper from the Tissue Engineering journal outlined techniques that would allow large-scale meat production in a lab. Scientists now confirm that they have managed to grow a form of meat in a laboratory for the first time. Described as “a soggy form of pork”, the initial result doesn't sound all that appetizing, but it's a development that could have significant impact on the future of global food production.  Read More

An artist's impression of the exoplanet COROT-7b. Theoretical models suggest it may have l...

Raining rocks? The concept may not be as preposterous as it sounds according to scientists at Washington University in St Louis who have theorized that a recently-discovered exoplanet, COROT-7b, may have an atmosphere that does exactly that.  Read More

The gigantic jet photographed by Duke University (Photo: Steven Cummer)

Scientists have scored a lucky break by capturing a one-second image and the electrical fingerprint of a rarely-seen ‘gigantic jet’ - a huge lightning that flowed 40 miles upward from the top of a storm. Images of highly charged meteorological events like this have only been recorded on five occasions since 2001. The team from Duke University team captured a one-second view and magnetic field measurements that scientists hope will give them a much clearer understanding about these occurrences.  Read More

Artist’s conception of Stardust flying through gas and dust from comet Wild 2 (Image: NASA...

Fresh evidence has been revealed to support the theory that life on Earth began in space. NASA’s Stardust probe, a specially-designed comet ‘chaser’, successfully collected particles shed from Comet Wild 2 in 2004, and NASA scientists have since confirmed for the first time that amino acids can indeed be found on these extraterrestrial bodies.  Read More

Scientists are using a fly 'flight simulator' to understand how a blowfly can process visu...

One of the biggest challenges facing robotics is teaching machines to perceive surroundings and make sense of what they see. Attempting to duplicate the complexity of human perception is next to impossible, so researchers at Cognition for Technical Systems (CoTeSys) in Munich are, instead, studying how blowflies process images using a 'flight simulator'. Despite having a brain the size of a pinhead, a fly can process and interpret 100 discrete images per second – four times better than humans.  Read More

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