New graphene treatment may help the wonder material turn mainstream

Graphene, a 2-D array of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagon shape, is one of the most researched material today. We’ve written extensively before about its properties and uses, and indeed the future seems to belong to graphene where it’s sure to dominate the electronics industry. Before this can happen, however, graphene production and manipulation needs to become cheap and

Coral Reefs can be saved – immediate action is necessary

Although some scientists suggest that coral reefs are headed for certain doom, a new study by University of Florida and Caribbean has shown that even damaged reefs can recover, but immediate and consistent action is required. Saving Coral Reefs Corals are very sensitive to environmental conditions. Even slight warming and increased ocean acidification (two processes of which Earth has plenty

Chimps are rational, not conformist – study shows

The fact that chimpanzees are extremely intelligent should no longer surprise anyone. Most people also know that they have their own social cues and are very sensitive to them, but even so, they usually refuse to conform to what the majority of group members are doing, preferring to stick with their personal preferences. However, now, a new study has shown

‘Zero-dimensional’ carbon nanotubes spell superfast electronics and synthetic cells – among others

Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical nanostructures with a myriad of potential applications. They are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus, they can withstand immense pressures and also have very interesting electrical properties. Now, thanks to work from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, they can also be used

Meditation Could Slow the Progress of Alzheimer’s

Meditation has been shown to have an impact on brain activity, decreasing beta waves and impacting each part differently. Activity in the frontal and parietal lobe slows down, while the flow of information to the thalamus is reduced. This can lead to positive side effects such as improved focus, better memory, and a reduction in anxiety. According to a new

Geologist leaves message in a bottle near glacier in 1959, gives indication about global warming

In 1959, an American geologist built a rock cairn 1.2 meters away from this glacier; he left a note, asking whoever finds it to measure the distance to the glacier. Today, that distance has grown up to 101.5 meters. Researchers who found the incredibly creative and unusual note say it’s highly unexpected for a scientist in the 1950s to predict

Astronomers find 200 km high water plums spurting from Europa

Europa, Jupiter’s satellite, has emerged as one of the top locations in the Solar System in terms of its potential of hosting extraterrestrial life. Despite the fact that it lies so far from the Sun, scientists believe that a liquid ocean lies under its icy surface – and that ocean could very well host life. Now, Europa just got a

Man-made greenhouse gas is 7,100 times worse than CO2

Chemists at University of Toronto report a new greenhouse gas has been added to the roster – perfluorotributylamine, or PFTBA. Like other compounds in its class, PFTBA is a frighting good heat absorbent but nobody was expecting, however, for it to be 7,100 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of the effects one molecule has on global warming. Luckily,

Cat domestication traced to Chinese farmers – 5.300 years ago

This is the cat That killed the rat That ate the malt They say it’s easy to train a cat only to do whatever it wants – but cats have come a long way since their wilderness days. Thousands of years before they were immortalized in this lovely English lullaby, cats were doing just fine alongside Chinese farmers, a forthcoming

East Antarctica is sliding sideways

A song of ice and fire Antarctica is split in two different areas: East Antarctica and West Antarctica – and East Antarctica wears the pants in this relationship: it’s pushing West Antarctica around – literally. Since the Western part is losing weight due to melting and ice loss (billions of tons of ice per year), its softer mantle rock is

This pen 3-D prints bone directly on site of injury

Medicine and 3-d printing fit together like a glove. Imagine how many transplants and surgical procedures are so difficult to make or downright impossible because you can’t find a matching tissue or body part for the patient at hand. With 3-D printers, you can even make new bones – identical to those modeled from a patient that would require them.

A stable boss is better than an inspirational leader for most businesses

Every business out-there, be it a corporate giant or a small shop, has it in its mind that it needs to employ highly original and market disruptive leaders in order to grow and prosper. A study that studied Chinese workplaces found that leaders don’t need to be transformational to lead a highly productive group. Instead, managers who are stable, reliable and

Cheap and easy to make catalyst could replace platinum in fuel cells

Fuel cells are absolute wonders of technology – electrochemical systems that directly convert the chemical energy of a fuel (hydrogen and oxygen) into electricity and heat. There’s no combustion, and consequently fuel cells aren’t limited by the same thermodynamic cycles as a typical heat engine. A theoretical efficiency of 70% is thus reached – which is staggering compared to burning

Predicting pandemic outbreaks by looking at air traffic

The world is getting smaller by the day, as fixed geographical distances become easier and more accessible for the common folk to travel. What this means is that a lot of things change as well, including the day diseases are carrier and spread throughout the world. Only a century ago, the number one mean of predicting and estimating the origin

Scientists devise artificial hand that can feel

Prosthetics have come a long way in recent years alone, mainly due to advancements in brain-machine interfaces. Incredibly articulated artificial limbs can now allow a disabled individual to move an artificial hand (with up to seven degrees of freedom!) and individual fingers just by thinking about the movement the person wants  the limb to perform). While an artificial hand today may seem like a

A Fridge That Will Do Your Groceries For You?

Modern technology and the internet is now becoming a part of everyday kitchen appliances. And this is just the beginning. Read on to see how your future kitchen will look like. In the coming years it is a given that your home appliances will become smarter. This is a strange concept to grasp, but with the growth of the Internet

For the hive: bacteria grow altruistically for the greater good of the colony

Researchers at MIT found that individual cells in a bacterial colony will grow in a manner that is beneficial to the whole culture, even if this comes at a personal expense for the cell. With this in mind, it appears seemingly complex colony structures can be explained by an essentially simple behaviour. The findings could aid researchers understand how bad

Harvesting wasted electricity: the triboelectric generators

With just one footstep, you can illuminate a thousand LED bulbs – with no batteries or power cord; the energy comes from rubbing two different materials together to create static electricity. A researcher called Zhong Lin Wang has finally learned how to harvest this power and put it to work. Triboelectricity? What’s that ?! A professor at the Georgia Institute

Single protein plays key role in almost all lung diseases

From the common cold to pneumonia and potentially life threatening lung diseases: a single protein was found to play a key role. Now, an international team of researchers has finally zeroed in it. The key protein is called MUC5B – it is one of the two proteins found in the mucus that normally and helpfully coats airway surfaces in the

First Rock Dating Experiment Performed on Mars

Dating rocks is not really something new – it’s been conducted on Earth for decades now; researchers have also determined the age of rocks from outer space, but the experiments always took place on Earth. Now, for the first time, this procedure took place on Mars. The work, led by geochemist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)