Science

Mt. Paeku, the DPRK’s mysterious volcano, studied for first time

Mt. Paeku, the DPRK’s mysterious volcano, studied for first time

In North Korea, it is called Mount Paektu. In China, it’s known as Changbai. Measuring about 9,000ft in height, the volcano has laid dormant for many, many years after having once exploded so violently it sent debris as far away as Japan. To gain a better understanding of the volcano and when another eruption could occur, an international team of researchers have been granted access into North Korea to study it, possibly learning more about its history and what humans can expect from its future.

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Solar Impulse plane ready to continue solar-powered flight around the world

Solar Impulse plane ready to continue solar-powered flight around the world

The last news you may remember hearing about the Solar Impulse 2 project, which aims to fly a small solar-powered aircraft around the world, was last summer when the plane arrived in Hawaii with "irreversible damage" to the batteries. The aircraft and its pilot had just spent over 4 days and 21 hours flying across the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii, setting a world record for the longest solo flight in the process, only to be grounded due to severe overheating damage.

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This ultra-thin electronic skin puts a digital display on your body

This ultra-thin electronic skin puts a digital display on your body

Smartwatches and fitness device may be the wearables of today, but in the not-too-distant future we be using super-thin skin-like membranes that can put a digital display right on the surface of our bodies. University of Tokyo researchers are bringing us closer to such a future, as they've been developing a new type of electronic skin, or e-skin, that is nearly as flexible and stretchy as the real stuff, but has the benefit of putting polymer light emitting diodes (PLEDs) on your hand or anywhere it's applied.

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Dwarf galaxy’s sudden arrival near Milky Way surprises researchers

Dwarf galaxy’s sudden arrival near Milky Way surprises researchers

An entire dwarf galaxy has caught astronomers by surprise, appearing in orbit around the Milky Way when, last they looked, it hadn’t been there. Called the Crater 2 dwarf galaxy, this ‘new’ Milky Way neighbor was recently detailed by researchers in a new study, and is said to be the fourth largest dwarf galaxy in the Milky Way. How did it avoid detection for so long? Among other things, its stars are spread far apart, making it dim and 'ghostly' in nature.

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Study suggests consciousness happens in small, fast intervals

Study suggests consciousness happens in small, fast intervals

A new study suggests that consciousness is not a constant state, but rather a series of intervals — frame rates, essentially — that play in series. The moments between each interval are spent in an unconscious state, though we obviously don’t perceive it that way. The work was done by researchers with the University of Zurich, Ulm University, and the EPFL; they came to their conclusion by studying both behavioral and psychological studies.

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Flexible sheet cameras may one day allow any surface to capture images

Flexible sheet cameras may one day allow any surface to capture images

Researchers at Columbia University are working on a very different approach to imaging that could one day usher in a new era for capturing visual information. The researchers are working on flexible sheet cameras with elastic optics that can be bent and twisted. Ideally this sort of camera system would be made like a roll of plastic sheeting and could be used to image in ways that conventional cameras are unable to do.

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Ancient humans likely gave Neanderthals herpes, tapeworms and more

Ancient humans likely gave Neanderthals herpes, tapeworms and more

According to a new study, Neanderthals may have been wiped out largely in part due to the diseases the ancestors of modern humans brought them. Herpes, tapeworms, tuberculosis, and stomach ulcers were among the issues humans brought Neanderthals; they weren’t prepared for these “tropical diseases,” and the end result was likely severe, affecting small groups of Neanderthals as they came into contact with migrating ancient humans.

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Inky the Octopus escapes from aquarium, slips down pipe to freedom

Inky the Octopus escapes from aquarium, slips down pipe to freedom

In a move that's straight of out the cephalopodic version of Shawshank Redemption comes the story of Inky, an octopus living held captive in a New Zealand aquarium. Three months ago, it has been revealed, Inky took advantage of a rare moment, slipping out of its enclosure when a maintenance worker failed to close the lid completely. It was a quick and dirty trip to the ocean from there, suction cup marks being the only sign of Inky's escape.

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Breakthrough Starshot wants to send a nanocraft to Alpha Centauri

Breakthrough Starshot wants to send a nanocraft to Alpha Centauri

Space certainly lives up to its name with vast distances that we need to travel to reach anything inside or outside our solar system. It's over 230,000 miles from the Earth to the moon and takes days for a spacecraft to reach it. A group called Breakthrough Initiatives wants to devise a tiny spacecraft called the nanocraft and send it to Alpha Centauri, the closest star outside our solar system, and they think they have a plan to get the tiny nanocraft to the star about 20 years after it launches.

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CDC says zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought as US prepares for outbreak

CDC says zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought as US prepares for outbreak

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailed the state of zika virus preparations in the nation, saying the virus is “scarier” than the agency first thought. The outbreak first started in Brazil about a year ago, and has since worked its way north, affecting Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Hawaii, among other places. The CDC has found that zika-carrying mosquitos could make their way into more U.S. states than previously assessed.

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LSD unifies brain networks in an infant-like state, study finds

LSD unifies brain networks in an infant-like state, study finds

LSD can return the brain to an infant-like state, according to a newly published study. According to researchers with Imperial College London, LSD breaks down the individuality between brain networks, resulting in a more cohesive overall network that works in a more unified manner. This is compared to a sober adult’s brain, which has its various networks, such as hearing and vision, working independently.

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Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

We are always in the search alternative sources of energy, mostly from renewable resources. In practice, that usually translates to solar and wind power, mostly the former. But while the sun is almost always available, at least during the day, it can sometimes be hidden for hours under a torrent of rain. To get past at least that situation, a group of researchers from the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University are developing a new time of solar cell that can generate electricity even without the sun. At least as long as there is rain.

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