Australia might set the stage for failed climate change talks in Paris next year

Australia’s Abbott government has been accused of intentionally taking measures that might lead to an international greenhouse gas emission target in Paris, next year. Australian leaders are keen on insisting there should be a binding legal agreement between the countries that agree to the action, arguing that in lack of such a internationally enforceable framework the agreement would lack credibility.

Ecuador indigenous leader killed just days before environmental Peru Protest

An indigenous leader of the Shuar people who was openly opposing a major mining project in Ecuador has been found bound and buried, just days before an environmental protest he was organizing in Peru’s capital, Lima. We here don’t really like to tackle politics – unless it directly involves science or the environment… and this is exactly the case. José Isidro Tendetza

IBM develops device which could power slums with used laptop batteries

An IBM team analyzed a sample of discarded batteries and found that they can still be used and can still provide benefits. They developed a device which uses re-usable Lithium Ion cells from discarded laptop battery packs to power low energy DC devices. They found that 70% of used batteries could still store enough power to keep an LED light on more than

X-Ray laser reveals how proteins act at an atomic level

A team of researchers from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has revealed how the atomic structure of proteins changes during photosynthesis using an X-Ray laser which captures snapshops with unprecedented temporal resolution. As if conventional lasers weren’t awesome enough, scientists invented X-Ray lasers – which use stimulated emission to generate or amplify electromagnetic radiation in the near X-ray area of the spectrum,

New Horizon probe back online after 9 year journey to Pluto

Nine years and three billion miles later, NASA’s New Horizon probe awoke once it neared a strip close to Pluto. The probe was kept in hibernation for more than two thirds of its trek and will is soon expected to finally explore the dwarf planet and, most importantly, the world that surrounds it – the Kuiper belt. It’s the farthest any spacecraft

Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with record 40% efficiency using commercial solar cells

Australian solar researchers have converted over 40 percent of solar light’s energy into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported by any team for this kind of system. The key for the design is a custom filter which captures sunlight that is normally wasted by commercial solar cells on tower. “This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity,”

Drug candidate destroys Malaria in 48 hours

Malaria is one of the most common and dangerous diseases in the world, with the World Health Organization estimating over 200 million cases every year. There are several ways to try to treat malaria, but the results are debatable and often times not as effective as desired. Now, a team has demonstrated a new compound which effectively destroys malaria in

Everything you need to know about England’s ‘hidden medieval city’, Old Sarum

It’s one of England’s better kept secrets – Old Sarum is a hidden gem among gems, one of the most spectacular ancient sites in Europe and in the world. Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury in England. The site contains evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC, but only now have archaeologists uncovered the

A Week of Camping can Reset your Body Clock and Help you Sleep

Just one week of camping in the wild (or in any area without man-made light) can reset your body clock and return your natural sleep patterns, a new study has found. If you’re a night owl, if you’re having problems sleeping and just can’t set up a good sleep pattern – science has your problems figured out; all you need

Superconductivity achieved at room temperature for a fraction of a second

Using a pulse of infrared light, physicists at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter have turned an insulating material into a superconductor even at room temperature, a property that was retained  for only a few millionths of a microsecond. Superconductivity is a state where a material can conduct electricity with absolute zero resistance, with no

Massive oil spill floods nature reserve in Israel – possibly the country’s worst environment disaster

More than 80 people were hospitalized after inhaling noxious fumes after a pipeline failure caused some 600,000 gallons of oil to spill into a nature reserve in the desert near Eilat, a southern Israel city. The city with a population of about 50,000 people was not directly affected, however local fauna and flora was severely damaged, according to Guy Samet, the director of

Driverless Cars set to hit the UK in 2015 in Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes

We already wrote about driverless cars hitting the streets several times (California, University of Michigan) but until now, the talk was all America. Now, cars without drivers will also hit the street in the UK, in 4 selected cities: Greenwich (south-east London), Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. There will be a total of three projects, as Milton Keynes and Coventry

Electric Mind Control: How the Electric Eel Dominates its Prey

The Electric Eel, a scaleless fish from the Amazon possesses an electroshock system very similar to a Taser. Not only can it stun its prey with the shock, but it can also make it twitch involuntarily, revealing its position. The electric eel is able to generate powerful electric shocks of up to 650 volts, which it uses not only for attack and

Pulsars with black holes could hold the ‘holy grail’ of gravity

Pulsars and black holes, two of the most enigmatic celestial bodies in the Universe may actually hold the key to understanding how Einstein’s theory of relativity and gravity interact. A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. Pulsars are from when a star that turns becomes a supernova and then collapses into a neutron star;

California drought is the most severe in at least 1,200 years

According to a new study published by researchers working with the American Geophysical Union, the drought that California is experiencing now is the worst one in over 1,200 years. They show that the current California drought is driven by reduced though not unprecedented precipitation and also record high temperatures. With the effects of global warming being more and more visible, it

New camera for ultrafast photography shoots one hundred billion frames per second

High speed photography is no longer a new thing… but then again, it depends what you mean by high speed photography; you likely don’t mean one hundred billion frames per second (100,000,000,000 fps) – but that’s exactly what Liang Gao, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University means. He and his team have developed the world’s  fastest receive-only 2-D camera. Using the

Oldest ever engraving discovered on 500,000-year-old shell

Archaeologists have identified the oldest engraving known to mankind – a 500,000 shell scratched by a human ancestor. In 2007, Stephen Munro was a graduate student in archaeology; while he was studying some shells from Java, Indonesia, he had the shock of his life: he found that one shell had a pattern of zig-zag lines inscribed into it. Using microscopy, Francesco d’Errico,

Prism-like bar code pattern might help make computers that use light instead of wires

A breakthrough in optical communications has been reported by Stanford engineers who used a complex algorithm to design a prism-like device that splits light into different colours (frequencies) and at right angles. This is the absolute first step towards building a circuit, and ultimately a computer, that uses light instead of wires to relay signals. This way, much more compact and

Test launch for Manned Mission to Mars postponed; history will have to wait [UPDATE]

A series of setbacks, including a strayed boat, gusts of wind and other technical issues, have ruined NASA’s plans of launching its much anticipated Orion capsule into space today. Just before the launch window closed, officials announced that the launch would be scrubbed until a later time. The next attempt might be on Friday, 7:05am ET. A first step to putting

MULTI – The world’s first rope-free Elevator

The elevator was invented over 150 years ago, and now, we’re entering a new era in vertical transportation: the first ropeless elevator has been developed. The Germany company ThyssenKrupp developed this technology, and it looks straight out taken from a Willy Wonka movie! But this technology is not about being cool, it’s about being effective. MULTI elevator technology increases transport capacities and