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— Science

Brighter, whiter clouds could fight global warming

By - February 22, 2010 1 Picture
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
— Electronics

New sensors protect priceless paintings in transit

By - December 27, 2009 1 Picture
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
— Environment

Scientists grow meat in a lab for the first time

By - November 30, 2009 1 Picture
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
— Science

Scientists catch lucky break with 'upward lightning' photo

By - August 24, 2009 3 Pictures
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
— Science

Harnessing blowflies to teach robots how to see

By - August 11, 2009 2 Pictures
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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