Bowerbirds grow garden just for the sake of beauty

A team of international scientists claim that they’ve found evidence of the first non-human species that cultivates planets for non-food purposes. The extremely fine feathered bowerbirds, native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, display an unique courtship behaviour, where males build a home-like structure, called bower, and decorate it with sticks, little stones, and brightly coloured objects in an attempt to

Atomic-precision heat flow manipulation achieved by scientists

Scientists have described and proven how many of the world’s phenomenae function, from the very fundamental laws of Newtonian mechanics, to the discrete behaviors of quantum physics, eventually peering through some of the Universe’s most well kept secrets. It’s remarkable then, how little we know about how heat is conducted through and between materials. A better understanding of heat transfer, starting

The chicken came before the egg – hen lays ‘eggless’ chick in Sri Lanka farm

The age-old question of who came first – the chicken or the egg – has been pondered countless times, and put great thinkers throughout history in a predicament. An oddity of nature which recently occurred on a Sri Lankan farm may offer clues towards answering the riddle. There a hen gave birth to a chick without an egg, which is normally

New polymer coating technique leads to first-ever completely plastic solar cell and makes way for even thinner electronics

One of the cutting edge technologies currently used today in manufacturing allows for printing materials directly onto a surface to create electrically functioning devices which are very thin and flexible. The best example of such an application are organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), widely used as displays for most new generation smartphones commercially available now. The process however is very tedious,

The Lyrid Meteor Shower – not to be missed this weekend

A moonless night might offer the best setting for the best view of the upcoming Lyrid meteor shower in years this very weekend. The best time to catch it on display will be on Saturday night, although the skyline fireball display is set to rage on well into the following morning. The Lyrids are somewhat modest in display compared to

Scientists manage to derive semiconductor from graphene – huge implications for electronics industry

Graphene has been countless times hailed as the material at the forefront of the coming technological leaps ahead in the future, thanks to its extraordinary properties and countless applications. Electronics is where graphene shines the most, though, and now scientists at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have managed to synthesize a semiconductor variant of graphene which might lead to a whole new generation

Stars capture and swap with one another nomad planets

Some time ago we told you about one of the most fascinating facts this blog has ever published, namely how there are “nomad” or “rogue” planets outside our solar system, which travel aimlessly through interstellar space without having to circle a certain star. It’s estimated that there are actually more such nomad planets haunting through space in the Milky Way

ISS time-lapse: the best view in the solar system

It seems we’ve been privileged with yet another time-lapse video showing our marvelous blue marble planet in all its splendor as seen daily by astronauts stationed at the International Space Station. This time, the whole video was shut from the ISS cupola, a dome-shaped structure fitted with seven specially developed windows, which astronauts use for observations, amplifying the sense of being right there, hovering in sub-orbit.

Physicist avoids traffic ticket by publishing a paper, proving his innocence

Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at University of California in San Diego, was recently fined by a police officer for allegedly driving through a stop sign. Confident that he did nothing of the sorts, Krioukov sought justice like most of us would, in court that is, however during the hearing he presented a somewhat atypical piece of evidence – a mathematical paper,

Real-life, working Tricorder developed by Trekkie-scientist and made open source available

Sometime at the beginning of the year I mentioned in post that once stepping into the age of Terahertz electromagnetic waves (T-rays), which can penetrate any molecule and and then interpret it for identification, we will come to know a slew of new, grand applications, from surveillance , to medical, but possibly the most interesting prospect would be the passing

A novel technique cools electronic devices faster and cheaper

Researchers at  North Carolina State University have developed a new technique of cooling electronic devices which they claim and prove through their findings that it can lead to an increase of performance by improving the rate of heat exchange, while also lowering the cost of manufacturing. The scientists’ findings might lead to a new generation of more efficient heat sinks,

Study aims to lay ground for the first ‘green highway’

IBM has teamed up with Zapadoslovenska energetika (ZSE), the biggest electric company in Slovakia, for a feasibility study which aims to prepare Bratislava, the nation’s capitol, for plug-in electric vehicles. With this in mind, the companies will look at the best way to develop a  “green highway” between Bratislava and the neighboring Austrian city of Vienna, which is about 49 miles away. Electric vehicles

T. Rex relative had an extensive plumage – biggest feathered dinosaur ever found

A remarkable paleontological discovery surfaced from China recently, after scientists reported they’ve found fossils belonging to the Yutyrannus huali,a very close relative of the Tyrannosaurs Rex, which prove that its entire enormous bus-sized body was covered in feathers. This officially makes it the biggest animal covered in feathers ever found, and also forces paleontologists to rethink some of the leading feather-related

Survey reveals how dark energy expanded and shaped the Universe

Encompassing years worth of work, the  Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) has now precisely measured the distance between over a quarter of a million galaxies. As part of the project, called the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, or BOSS, scientists built a massive map of all the studied galaxies so far, some more than six billion years ago – a period that marks

The most sensitive scale in the world can measure to the yoctogram (proton’s mass)

While on the macro-scale conventional scales make us of gravity to measure mass, on the microscale there are a myriad of factors that interfere with measurements. Scientists at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have successfully created a scale made out of a single carbon nanotube which can accurately measure the smallest unit of mass, a yoctogram (one septillionth of a gram – 10-24 grams)

‘Smart sand’ could morph into any object automatically

The Sandman would have certainly approve of the latest experimental tech to come off MIT. Researchers from the university have demonstrated how tiny computer pellets, just a few millimeters in size, were automatically bound together to form a simple 2-D shape. The same algorithm might be used in a future refined version which could allow this kind of “smart sand”, as its

IBM to develop world’s most powerful computing system tasked with finding origins of Universe

Backed by an international consortium, ten years from now the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world will be built – the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). The project will consist in thousands of antennas displaced across thousands of miles, with a collecting area equivalent to one square kilometer (hence the name), that will hopefully help astronomers take

Boston Dynamics’ Sand Flea robot can jump over 10-meters-high obstacles

Boston Dynamics is at the forefront of robotic research and development at the moment, fact very easily attested just by checking out a few of their amazing robots developed during the past year alone, like the cheetah-bot which broke the robot land speed record, the gecko-like bot which can climb walls effortlessly or the terrifyingly realistic Petman. The company’s latest creation,

How many Earth-like planets are there in the Milky Way? Billions, according to astronomers

One of the most outstanding dreams astronomers and other scientists hope to accomplish is to someday encounter proof that extraterestrial life exists. Intelligent life might be extremely far off, however microbiological life should without a doubt be present elsewhere other than our planet or solar system. For life to blossom, however, the right conditions have to be met, and one

Surgeons perform most extensive full face transplant, including jaws, teeth, tongue and facial muscles

Plastic surgeons at University of Maryland performed the most complex facial reconstruction surgery to date, which included the replacements of both jaws, teeth, facial soft tissue from the scalp to the neck and sensory muscles indispensable to facial expression. The procedure was part of a 72 hour transplant marathon, aftern an anonymous donor generously donated his face and organs in