The Firefly Squid is a bioluminescent squid growing to a length of only three inches. The squid is equipped with special light-producing organs called photophores that emit a deep blue light. Large photophores can be found on the tips of the tentacles as well as around the eyes. Thousands of tiny photophores can be found throughout the squid's body, giving it the ability to emit light along its entire form. In the Toyama Bay, in the central Japan Sea, the squid are found in fantastic abundance. Normally living at 1200 feet underwater, waves in the Toyama bay pushes the squid to the surface in massive numbers where they are fished by tons from March to June.
The spawning season of the firefly squid also runs during the same period. Millions of squid come together to fertilize and to drop their eggs in the Toyama Bay. The big reunion of these squids is one big light show that you can admire and it attracts thousands of tourists. This event is very important for other sea creatures and sea birds who enjoy eating the dead bodies of the firefly squid. Firefly squids is also considered a delicacy in Japan.
NASA is willing to pay US$250,000 to the first person or team to turn lunar soil into breathable oxygen, a technology intended to revive the country's long-dormant lunar exploration program. The contest is the latest in NASA's Centennial Challenges program, designed to lure private industry and research groups into helping NASA find alternative and lower-cost technologies for Moon and Mars exploration.
The competition is based on the successful Ansari X Prize, which last year awarded US$10 million to the developers of SpaceShipOne for building and flying the world's first private spaceship. The contest requires contenders to use a simulated lunar regolith, the loose soil found on the Moon's surface, to extract at least 5 kilograms of oxygen in eight hours. Although several methods to extract oxygen from lunar soil already have been developed, none has produced enough oxygen to win the prize.
Canada’s brand new made-in-Ottawa lunar rover was previewed for American eyes only this week, as the Canadian Space Agency and NASA showed off Artemis Jr. to U.S. media.
The rover is designed to look for and dig up soil rich in hydrogen near the moon’s north or south pole. Lunar soil is also rich in oxygen, so if future astronauts can extract both hydrogen and oxygen they can make their own water. The rover could also be adapted for a mission to Mars.
An oasis of liquid methane has unexpectedly been discovered amid the tropical dunes of Saturn's moon Titan, researchers say. This lake in the otherwise dry tropics of Titan hints that subterranean channels of liquid methane might feed it from below, scientists added.
Titan has clouds, rain and lakes, like Earth, but these are composed of methane rather than water. However, methane lakes were seen only at Titan's poles until now — its tropics around the equator were apparently home to dune fields instead.
Quantum cryptography has had a bad couple of years. For a decade or so, we were promised the capability to send messages with absolute secrecy guaranteed by the laws of physics. At least in theory. In practice, however, things turned out a little differently. In 2010, a team at the University of Toronto in Canada announced that they had successfully hacked a commercial quantum cryptography system. The problem was not the theory but the practical limitations of the equipment used to carry out this kind of communication and the loopholes this introduces.
Then, earlier this year, a UK-based team showed that these kinds of practical limitations can never be overcome entirely since there is no way to prove beyond doubt that any machine is not compromised (unless it is used only once and then thrown away). So rather than being perfect, quantum cryptography turns out to be just 'pretty good', a standard that is perfectly acceptable for most people and one that very much looked as if it was the best we ever can hope for.
A 10-year-old girl has had a major blood vessel in her body replaced with one grown with her own stem cells, Swedish doctors report. She had poor blood flow between her intestines and liver. Surgeons said there was a "striking" improvement in her quality of life.
This is the latest is a series of body parts grown, or engineered, to match the tissue of the patient. Last year, scientists created a synthetic windpipe and then coated it with a patient's stem cells.
Highly purified silicon represents up to 40 percent of the overall costs of conventional solar-cell arrays — so researchers have long sought to maximize power output while minimizing silicon usage. Now, a team at MIT has found a new approach that could reduce the thickness of the silicon used by more than 90 percent while still maintaining high efficiency.
The secret lies in a pattern of tiny inverted pyramids etched into the surface of the silicon. These tiny indentations, each less than a millionth of a meter across, can trap rays of light as effectively as conventional solid silicon surfaces that are 30 times thicker.
MIT engineers have developed a fuel cell that runs on the same sugar that powers human cells: glucose. This glucose fuel cell could be used to drive highly efficient brain implants of the future, which could help paralyzed patients move their arms and legs again.
With the help of human instructors, a robot has learned to talk like a human infant, learning the names of simple shapes and colors. Named DeeChee, the robot is an iCub, a three-foot-tall open source humanoid machine designed to resemble a baby. The similarity isn’t merely aesthetic, but has functional purpose: Many researchers think certain cognitive processes are shaped by the bodies in which they occur. A brain in a vat would think and learn very differently than a brain in a body.
This field of study is called embodied cognition and in DeeChee’s case applies to learning the building blocks of language, a process that in humans is shaped by an exquisite sensitivity to the frequency of sounds. The outlines of this might seem self-evident — babies learn by listening — but nuances of the necessary interactions couldn’t be replicated by a human talking to a glowing screen.
Recently the Leap Motion device has sent shudders of delight through gadget lovers and computer designers alike by promising a new kind of ultra-accurate, and very cheap, optical 3D tracking for your desktop or laptop computer. Forget Microsoft Kinect, Leap Motion is cheaper ($70) and much more precise (down to 0.01 mm), and much smaller (think “pack of gum” proportions). The incredible demo for the Leap Motion device shows how it can quickly detect hand motions so that a user needs merely to wiggle the fingers in front of the computer to intuitively control what happens on the screen. Soon there will be a new market of third party apps designed to take full advantage of the device. If things go their way, then Leap Motion will become the “third input device” for computers, joining the keyboard and mouse in a new triumvirate of digital control.
An electron has been observed to decay into two separate parts, each carrying a particular property of the electron: a spinon carrying its spin -- the property making the electron behave as a tiny compass needle -- and an orbiton carrying its orbital moment -- which arises from the electron's motion around the nucleus. These newly created particles, however, cannot leave the material in which they have been produced.
Some stem cells can lay dormant for more than two weeks in a dead person and then be revived to divide into new, functioning cells. Remarkably, skeletal muscle stem cells can survive for 17 days in humans and 16 days in mice, post mortem well beyond the 1-2 days currently thought.
At noon Eastern time on Wednesday, NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) blasted towards low-Earth orbit from a Pegasus XL rocket, after it was dropped from the belly of a carrier jet circling near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
The X-ray mission, a low-cost NASA mission in its small Explorer line of competitive missions, is expected to discover hundreds of new supermassive black holes that lie in the hearts of distant galaxies.
A lot is riding on NuSTAR — it is one of few missions in sight for X-ray astronomers. Just last week, GEMS, a similar-looking mission that would have gathered polarized X-ray light, was canceled because of budget overruns. While NuSTAR is no replacement for general purpose X-ray observatories like Chandra and XMM-Newton, it will have unprecedented sensitivity in the “hard”, or high-energy, X-ray part of the spectrum.
After five years of toil, a consortium of several hundred U.S. researchers has released a detailed census of the myriad bacteria, yeasts, viruses and amoebas that live, eat, excrete, reproduce and die in or on us. It gives scientists a reference point of what the microbial community looks like in healthy people, and they plan to use it to study how changes in a person's microbiome can lead to illness.
Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean - the mantis shrimp.
The bright orange fist-like club of the mantis shrimp, or stomatopod, a 4-inch long crustacean found in tropical waters, accelerates underwater faster than a 22-caliber bullet. Repeated blows can destroy mollusk shells and crab exoskeletons, both of which have been studied for decades for their impact-resistant qualities.
The power of the mantis shrimp is exciting, but David Kisailus, an assistant professor at the Bourns College of Engineering, and his collaborators, were interested in what enabled the club to withstand 50,000 high-velocity strikes on prey during its lifespan. Essentially, how does something withstand 50,000 bullet impacts?
A team of researchers from Harvard University have invented a way to keep any metal surface free of ice and frost. The treated surfaces quickly shed even tiny, incipient condensation droplets or frost simply through gravity. The technology prevents ice sheets from developing on surfaces—and any ice that does form, slides off effortlessly.