Climate, News

Massive aquifers beneath the world’s deserts might store more carbon than all living plants

The Tarim basin

Chinese researchers sampled water from an underground aquifer in the Tarim Basin and found these store vast quantities of carbon dioxide as a result of human activities. If the same holds true for all the desert aquifers around the world, the trapped carbon would amount to about a quarter more than the amount stored in living plants on land. Previously, the carbon trapped in aquifers was thought to be negligible. Clearly, this isn’t the case and these should not be disturbed so that the carbon doesn’t wash up into the atmosphere.

News, Psychology

Study suggests bullies have high self-esteem, status and low rates of depression


Are bullies hard wired (genetically) to be abusive to their peers or are most bullies the product of their environment (abusive parents, emotional problems etc.)? This is already turning out to be an age old question among psychologists. A new study seems to lend credence to the idea that bullies behave the way they do because they really want it, and of course because of the rewards. The study published by Canadian researchers found that high school bullies had the highest self-esteem, status and lowest rates of depression.

Nanotechnology, News, Physics

This is the first white light laser. It might change video display and lighting dramatically

Growth procedure of multi-segment heterostructure nanosheets. a, Schematic of the CVD set-up with a temperature gradient of 66 °C cm–1 in the region used for positioning the substrate (see Supplementary Section 5 for more details). b, Illustration of the growth procedure. Samples are grown starting at position R3, then at positions R1, R2 and finally back to R3, with corresponding temperatures labelled T1, T2 and T3. The associated product samples after these steps are labelled P3, P31, P312 and P3123, respectively, where the numbers following ‘P’ represent the growth sequence at various locations. For example, P312 represents a product grown first at R3, followed by growths at R1 and then at R2. c, Photoluminescence images of individual structures after the corresponding growth sequences. Note that the images were taken after the structures were transferred onto a glass substrate from their as-grown ones using a contact printing method. Inset in rightmost panel a multi-segment nanowire structure resulting from the P123 growth sequence. Scale bars, 15 μm. d, Optical images of the samples under ambient lighting. Scale bar, 1 cm. e, Photoluminescence spectra of the samples shown in c,d. Image: Nature

In what can only be heralded as a major breakthrough, a group at Arizona State University reports the demonstration of the first ever white laser – a laser that emits light over the full spectrum of visible colors. Up until now, lasers were designed to emit a distinct spectrum, either red, green, blue and so on. Combining multiple colors has always proved challenging and previous attempts had been slumped with shortcoming. This latest version seems to work wonderfully. If this technology can and will be scaled commercially, it could radically transform the industry. Its contrast and lighting capabilities, watt per watt, are well over LEDs and, moreover, it could help devise a new generation of Wi-Fi, called Li-Fi, which works on laser light and is 10 times faster.

Green Living, News

The fastest accelerating electric vehicle in the world hits the 100km(62miles)/h mark in under 1.8 seconds

The E0711-6 electric car puts its monstrous 1200 Nm of torque.
Image via gizmag

A team of students from the University of Stuttgart just designed, built and raced what could be the fastest accelerating electric vehicle in the world. During carefully monitored tests, the student-designed E0711-6 electric car successfully managed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in a mind-blowing 1.779 seconds. The team is anxiously awaiting confirmation of a new record from the Guinness Book of

News, Offbeat

New App Shows How Dogs See the World

dog2 - DogVision

It’s common knowledge that dogs don’t see the world the same way we do, but there are a lot of misconceptions about dog vision – now, a new app simply called Dog Vision shows us just how dogs see.   Many people believe dogs see in black in white, which is simply not true; their vision is more similar to

Materials, News

Scientists find highest melting point ever

Pictured above, hafnium was a key element in the mixture. Picture credits: Images of Elements.

Using computer simulations, Brown University researchers identified the material with the highest known melting point. The material, made with just the right amount of hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have a melting point of more than 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s almost as high as the temperature at the surface of the Sun, and more than the highest temperature ever achieved by humans.

Astronomy, News

First blue moon since 2012 will be visible on Friday

Blue moon of August 31, 2012, viewed from Slobozia, Romania. Image via Wikipedia.

If you do something “once in a blue moon”, that’s really rare – once every 2 or 3 years, to be more exact. There’s no exact pattern for blue moons, sometimes they grace us with their presence sooner, and sometimes it takes more time. It’s been about three years since we had the last one, and it will be another three before we have the next one: the blue moon comes on Friday.

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Amateur archaeologists find 560,000 year old human tooth

Volunteer archaeologists Camille and Valentin pose for the cameras in the Arago cave. Camille, 16, found the adult tooth, which dates back 565,000 years

A half a million year old human tooth was discovered in France in a place called Tautavel, one of Europe’s most important prehistoric caves. Anthropologists hailed the discovery as an extremely important one, with chief researcher Tony Chevalier calling it a “major discovery”.

Biology, News

Remarkable cooperation: how groups of ants carry big things and stay on track

Image credits: Asaf Gal and Ofer Feinerman.

You may have observed how ants can carry things many times their size, both individually and in groups. Researchers have now figured out how ants manage to carry large objects in groups – it takes individual ideas, a lot of teamwork, and the ant equivalent of an air traffic controller.

Feature Post, Science

The Skypunch – not a fancy anime combat move, but just as awesome

Image via reddit

“Skypunch” is the colloquial name of a phenomenon known as a Fallstreak hole – a large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds.