research

Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Researchers have created the world's smallest diode and they did it using a single molecule of DNA. The creation was devised by researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The creation has shown for the first time that nanoscale electronic components can be made using a single DNA molecule. The breakthrough is seen as an advance that could aid in the search for replacement in silicon chips.

Continue Reading

Reverse photosynthesis breaks down plants for clean biofuels

Reverse photosynthesis breaks down plants for clean biofuels

Researchers have discovered what is being called a major milestone in the world of biofuels: reverse photosynthesis, a process that uses the sun’s rays to break down plants rather than build them up. Such a discovery has two major benefits over current methods used to break down plant biomass — the process itself is faster, and because the sun is being used, the process produces far less pollution, potentially providing a solution to one of the petrochemical industry’s biggest problems.

Continue Reading

Blue Origin reusable rocket completes third launch and landing

Blue Origin reusable rocket completes third launch and landing

Jeff Bezos and his private spaceflight agency Blue Origin are now three-for-three in successfully launching and landing their reusable rocket into space. Their New Shepard rocket — the same one that was launched and landed in November and again in January — repeated the feat once again on Saturday morning, lifting off at 11:18 AM Eastern. Bezos tweeted updates as the event took place, noting that the landing was "perfect."

Continue Reading

NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

A team of researchers from NASA and the University of Southern California will be the first in the world send fungi into space with the goal of developing medical drugs. The fungi, which are known to produce molecules called secondary metabolites, will hitch a ride to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX rocket scheduled to launch on April 8th. Secondary metabolites can be used to create beneficial medicine for humans, such as the antibiotic penicillin.

Continue Reading

Blue Origin to launch its reusable rocket a third time

Blue Origin to launch its reusable rocket a third time

Blue Origin, the private space agency owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has revealed that for a third time it will be launching its reusable rocket later today, followed of course by another successful landing attempt. "Working to fly again tomorrow. Same vehicle. Third time. #LaunchLandRepeat," Bezos tweeted on Friday, indicating that they will be using the same New Shepard rocket that has already been launched and made a soft landing on two separate occasions.

Continue Reading

Possible North America Viking settlement spotted from space

Possible North America Viking settlement spotted from space

A second Viking settlement may have been found in North America, and it’ll be detailed in an upcoming NOVA documentary called “Vikings Unearthed.” The discovery was made from space, in that archaeologists spotted evidence of the settlement in photos taken by a satellite. The discovery was made some time last summer, and though the precise location of the settlement hasn’t been revealed to the public, it is somewhere in the southern region of Newfoundland.

Continue Reading

Sun-like star has a planet developing around it right now

Sun-like star has a planet developing around it right now

Scientists the world over are always out for new insights to exactly how planets form around stars early in their existence. Recently scientists snapped images of a very young planet that is currently forming around its parent star. That parent star is called TW Hydrae and it has a planet forming disc orbiting around it. One curious planet is forming around the star at roughly the same distance that Earth is from the sun.

Continue Reading

Image shows what scientists describe as almost a spider

Image shows what scientists describe as almost a spider

The image you see here is a computer tomography picture of an arachnid that is 305 million years old. It might look like a spider, but it isn't quite a spider according to scientists. The ancient arachnid has scientists aflutter because it is believed to show the stepwise evolution of arachnids into spiders. The only thing this fossil lacks that sets it apart from a spider is the spinnerets spiders use to turn silk into webs.

Continue Reading

MIT researchers turn a phone into a cheap laser scanner

MIT researchers turn a phone into a cheap laser scanner

These days, almost every smart device has one or more sensors in addition to being connected to the Internet or to smartphones. Those sensors range from humble proximity sensors to more sophisticated, and more expensive, radars and "lidars". Mobile robots and self-driving contraptions are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of such sensors, but those sensors do come cheaply. Well, they could, depending on how much you are willing to compromise. Researchers at MIT developed a laser distance sensor that, while crude, is quite decent for its price, which is only $49 plus a smartphone sacrificed to the cause.

Continue Reading

Dual Antenna for Broadcast TV is surprisingly small

Dual Antenna for Broadcast TV is surprisingly small

Researchers from the University of Morelos in Mexico have created a new and very small broadcast TV antenna that promises good TV reception in a very small package. The device is called the Reception Box and it is only 11cm L x 6.5cm W x 6mm thick and weighs in at 12 grams. Once the antenna is coated it is only 80g. The designers say that in parts of the US like California, the antenna could pick up the signal of 70 local channels.

Continue Reading

Microsoft Seeing AI is a swiss army knife app for the blind

Microsoft Seeing AI is a swiss army knife app for the blind

We might all marvel at the advancements in computer vision and artificial intelligence, but most of the applications we applaud involve us seeing their results or even their targets. A group of researchers inside Microsoft are working on an implementation of these technologies not just to let computers see but to also let humans see, specifically those that have lost their normal vision. Called Seeing AI, the research project is an attempt to combine years, even decades, of computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence research into an all-in-one app for the visually impaired.

Continue Reading

BEAM inflatable room launches for ISS next week

BEAM inflatable room launches for ISS next week

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, also known as BEAM, will be making its way to the International Space Station per next week’s launch. BEAM is an inflatable habitat (a room) designed by Bigelow Aerospace, and it will be attached to the ISS for testing. During its time, astronauts will occupy the habitat for a handful of hours at a time, doing so a few times each year for the next two years. Bigelow’s researchers will gather data from the habitat and learn how it holds up in space.

Continue Reading