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New Spray-On Battery Could Convert Any Object into an Electricity Storage Device

New Spray-On Battery Could Convert Any Object into an Electricity Storage Device | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A team of researchers has just announced a new paint-on battery design. The paint-on battery, like all lithium ion batteries, consists of five layers: a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector. For each layer, the challenge was to find a way to mix the electrically conductive material with various polymers to create a paint that could be sprayed onto surfaces.

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Fungi may have ended the coal era 300 million years ago

Fungi may have ended the coal era 300 million years ago | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The humble fungus may have been responsible for bringing to an end Earth's period of accumulating coal reserves, say researchers.  During the 60 million-year-long Carboniferous period on Earth vast carbon beds were laid down from the burial of ancient forests in marshy swamps. The trees did not decay but were instead converted into peat and under extreme pressure to coal. But 300 million years ago, something changed to stop this deposition of coal.

 

Scientists now suggest it may have been the rise of fungi capable of digesting the polymer lignin, which among other things keeps plant cell walls rigid. This hypothesis comes from the study of 31 genomes of mainly wood decay fungi - a group called Agaricomycetes. This group includes white rot fungi, which can digest all components of plant biomass - cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

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NASA: Underground Ocean on Titan

NASA: Underground Ocean on Titan | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed Saturn's moon Titan likely harbors a layer of liquid water under its ice shell. The evidence is tidal.  Saturn's powerful gravity stretches and deforms Titan as the moon moves around the gas giant planet. If Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn should cause bulges, or solid "tides," on the moon only 3 feet (1 meter) in height. Instead, the data show Saturn creates solid tides approximately 30 feet (10 meters) in height. This suggests Titan is not made entirely of solid rocky material.

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Alien Exoplanet's Atmosphere Revealed by New Method

Alien Exoplanet's Atmosphere Revealed by New Method | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
The technique could let astronomers search for signs of life on distant worlds.

The atmospheres of alien planets can now be probed even if they are not illuminated by stars directly behind them, astronomers say. A new method used to scan the atmosphere of a distant "hot Jupiter" world could eventually reveal insights about many distant alien planets — including, perhaps, whether or not they support life, the researchers added.

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Google Workshop on Quantum Biology: Natural Quantum Computation

Description and philosophy of the D-Wave superconducting processor and quantum annealing algorithms.

About the speaker: Geordie Rose is a founder and CTO of D-Wave. He is known as a leading advocate for quantum computing and physics-based processor design, and has been invited to speak on these topics in venues ranging from the 2003 TED Conference to Supercomputing 2008.

His innovative and ambitious approach to building quantum computing technology has received coverage in MIT Technology Review magazine, The Economist, New Scientist, Scientific American and Science magazines, and one of his business strategies was profiled in a Harvard Business School case study. He has received several awards and accolades for his work with D-Wave, including being short-listed for a 2005 World Technology Award.

Dr. Rose holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of British Columbia, specializing in quantum effects in materials. While at McMaster University, he graduated first in his class with a BEng in Engineering Physics, specializing in semiconductor engineering.

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Stanford researchers develop much faster chargable Edison battery

Stanford researchers develop much faster chargable Edison battery | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A century-old battery originally developed by Thomas Edison to power cars may find new life today with new electrodes developed at Stanford University that allow the battery to be charged and discharged much more rapidly than older versions of the device. The Edison battery, which uses nickel and iron electrodes immersed in an alkaline medium, uses cheap metals that are readily available. Unlike modern lithium-ion batteries, moreover, the Edison battery is unlikely to explode in a crash. But because it takes so long to be charged and releases its power relatively slowly, it has been displaced by lead-acid batteries in conventional automobiles and by lithium-ion batteries in electric cars and most other applications that require regular re-charging.

 

A team headed by chemist Hongjie Dai of Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy noted that carbon has been used frequently to enhance electrical conductivity in electrodes and decided to try it in an Edison battery. He and his colleagues grew nanocrystals of iron oxide on sheets of graphene (sheets of carbon only one atom thick) for one electrode and nanocrystals of nickel hydroxide  on multi-walled carbon nanotubes, each consisting of about 10 concentric graphene sheets rolled together.

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Map of Europe: 1000 AD to Present Day - all in a short VIDEO clip

Map of Europe: 1000 AD to Present Day - all in a short VIDEO clip | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Map of Europe: 1000 AD to present day....watch the march of history in just a few minutes.


Via Daniel House
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How to reinforce learning while you sleep

How to reinforce learning while you sleep | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Memories can be reactivated during sleep and strengthened in the process,  Northwestern University research suggests.

 

In the Northwestern study, research participants learned how to play two artificially generated musical tunes with well-timed key presses. Then while the participants took a 90-minute nap, the researchers presented one of the tunes that had been practiced, but not the other. By using EEG methods to record the brain’s electrical activity, the researchers ensured that the soft musical cues were presented during slow-wave sleep (deep sleep, not REM sleep, or dreaming), a stage of sleep previously linked to cementing memories. Participants made fewer errors when pressing the keys to produce a melody that had been presented while they slept, compared to the melody not presented.

 

SONGBIRDS LEARN MELODIES DURING SLEEP

 

When zebra finches learn their songs from their father early in life, their brain is active during sleep. The researchers, Sharon Gobes, Thijs Zandbergen and Johan Bolhuis, have demonstrated that the way in which zebra finches learn their songs is very similar to the way in which children learn to speak. In both cases learning takes place during early youth and involves considerable practise. Also, in children and songbirds alike, different brain regions are involved in learning and in speaking or singing. The new research shows that, just as in human infants, the brain of the young zebra finch is also active during sleep. This makes songbirds a good animal model to study the role of sleep in human speech acquisition.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616090223.htm

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Harvard Bioscience's "InBreath" Bioreactor Used in World's First Successful Laryngotracheal Transplant

Harvard Bioscience's "InBreath" Bioreactor Used in World's First Successful Laryngotracheal Transplant | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Surgeons in Russia have successfully transplanted a completely synthetic chunk of the larynx. The operation, which has been performed in two patients, is the first step towards creating an entire synthetic voicebox. The transplanted synthetic part, about 5 centimetres long, consists of a section of the windpipe, or trachea, at the top of which is a version of the cricoid arch and plate – a hollow, collar-like segment that forms the base of the larynx.

 

The transplants, which required more than a half-year of preparation, were performed on the first two patients enrolled in an ongoing clinical trial at Krasnodar Regional Hospital. The Russian Ministry of Health has approved a clinical protocol for an unlimited number of patients in this trial, all of which will involve trachea procedures.

 

Each bioreactor was specifically adapted by Harvard Bioscience to the clinical requirements for each patient. Each bioreactor was loaded with a synthetic scaffold in the shape of the patient's original organ. The scaffolds were then seeded with the patient's own stem cells. Over the course of about two days, the bioreactor promoted proper cell seeding and development. Because the patients' own stem cells were used, their bodies have accepted the transplants without the use of immunosuppressive drugs.

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Lights Over Lapland the Aurora Borealis Experience

Lights Over Lapland the Aurora Borealis Experience is a project that I have been working on for the last three years. The video was created using DSLR cameras and a time-lapse technique that required thousands of hours to produce. The opportunity to spend so much time in such an incredible environment capturing this phenomenon has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

 

If you would like to experience the magic of the aurora borealis in person please visit lightsoverlapland.com and book your place on one of our aurora expeditions while we still have spaces available.

 

I would like to thank our editor Tom Malkowicz (vimeo.com/channels/thomas) for his contribution and creative assistance. Without his help this film would not have been possible. I would also like to thank my wife Linnea. Her patience, and willingness to allow me to follow my dreams have been the driving force behind this film.

 

All of the images in the film were captured in Abisko National Park, Sweden.


Via Daniel House
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1,1,2,3,5,8...The Golden Ratio

1,1,2,3,5,8...The Golden Ratio | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The Golden Ratio can be illustrated within special dimensions of Sprials, Triangles and Rectangles  where the ratio of the length of the short side to the long side is .618, was noted by ancient Greek architects as the most visually pleasing rectangle and its dimensions were used to construct buildings such as the Parthenon.

 

The Golden Ratio has also been used extensively in classical paintings where it was believed to produce the most visually pleasing figures. The ratio also appears all over nature, such as the number of petals on some flowers, biological forms like the nautilus shell, mollusks, animal antlers, leaves, human proportions, galaxy spirals, and the relations between harmonious tones in music.

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World's helium supply running low

World's helium supply running low | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Helium, an element commonly used in party balloons, has become so scarce that scientists are worried it will be gone within the next 30 years. Researchers are blaming party patrons for squandering the element which cannot be made artificially. Helium, a substance that most party-goers seem to be familiar with, is dwindling in supply at an alarming rate according to scientists and medical professionals. The world's second-lightest element, which is crucial to the usage of equipment such as MRI scanners and neutron beams, is disappearing so fast that experts are warning it could be gone as soon as 2025. Due to a law passed in 1996, helium has become "too cheap to recycle" and the sharply declining stock of the gas could ultimately spell doom for the medical industry says The Independent.
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Highest Temperature Ever Created On Earth: 4 Trillion Degrees Celsius

Highest Temperature Ever Created On Earth: 4 Trillion Degrees Celsius | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Guinness World Records has recognized Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider as the device which has set a new standard for achieving the "Highest Man-Made Temperature": a mind boggingly extreme 4 trillion degrees Celsius -– which is 250,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun.

 

The heavy ion collider achieved this remarkable feat by smashing gold ions together at nearly the speed of light. The collider, which is 2.4 miles long, produced the collision — which resulted in impact energy so intense that the neutrons and protons inside the gold nuclei "melted," releasing fundamental quarks and gluons that then formed a nearly friction-free primordial plasma.

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US FDA approves new weight-loss pill - first time in 13 years

US FDA approves new weight-loss pill - first time in 13 years | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

US health regulators have approved a weight-loss pill for the first time in 13 years.

Belviq, made by Arena Pharmaceutical, can be used by obese or overweight adults with at least one condition. The drug achieved only modest results in clinical studies, helping people lose on average about 5% of their body weight. The medication is expected to launch in 2013.

 

Belviq was rejected in 2010 because of concerns over tumours that developed in animals tested with the drug. After San Diego-based Arena resubmitted its application with more data, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found little risk of tumours in humans using the drug.

 

Belviq is designed to block appetite signals in the brain, making patients feel fuller with smaller amounts of food. Belviq is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. It has been approved for use in obese adults with a body mass index of 30 or greater.

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Alien Martian life on Phobos?

Alien Martian life on Phobos? | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

a mission to Martian moon Phobos could return with alien life, experts at Purdue University have suggested. “A sample from Phobos, which is much easier to reach than the Red Planet itself, would almost surely contain Martian material blasted off from large asteroid impacts,” said Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and physics and aerospace engineering at Purdue.

 

“If life on Mars exists or existed within the last 10 million years, a mission to Phobos could yield our first evidence of life beyond Earth.” Melosh led a team chosen by NASA’s Planetary Protection Office to evaluate if a sample from Phobos could contain enough recent material from Mars to include viable Martian organisms. The study was commissioned to prepare for the failed 2011 Russian Phobos-Grunt mission, but there is continued international interest in a Phobos mission, he said. It will likely be a recurring topic as NASA reformulates its Mars Exploration Program.

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Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space

Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Amazing views from 1947 to 2012, including several firsts.
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Dinosaurs' cold blood in doubt

Dinosaurs' cold blood in doubt | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

One of the strongest lines of evidence that dinosaurs were cold-blooded, like modern reptiles, has been knocked down. Prior studies of dinosaur bones uncovered what are known as "lines of arrested growth". The creatures were presumed to be cold-blooded because modern cold-blooded animals show these same lines. But scientists have studied the bones of 41 modern mammal species from around the world, finding every one had these lines as well. The idea that dinosaurs are cold-blooded, or ectothermic, goes back to the 19th Century. But a number of discoveries 1960s have been challenging that notion.

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Google Gets Transparent With Glass, Its Augmented Reality Project

Google Gets Transparent With Glass, Its Augmented Reality Project | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Larry Page and Sergey Brin have long had the dream of a hands-free, mobile Google, where search was a seamless process as you moved around the world. As the years progressed the vision did, too, expanding beyond search to persistent connections with the people in your lives.

 

In other words, Google’s view of the world now has the social side fully baked into it. Google is now revealing that it is taking concrete steps towards that vision with ProjectGlass, an augmented reality system that will give users the full range of activities performed with a smart phone — without the smart phone. Instead, you wear some sort of geeky prosthetic (one of those pictured is reminiscent of the visor that Geordi La Forge wore on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” but Google has also been experimenting with a version that piggybacks on regular spectacles.)

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Understanding the phenomenon of Synesthesia

Understanding the phenomenon of Synesthesia | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

http://health.visualinformation.info/understanding-the-phenomenon-of-synesthesia-infographic/

 

Scroll up and down on the right side of the infographics.

 

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[Video] A Quadrotor Swarm Puts on a Seriously Psychedelic Light Show at Cannes

A troupe of 16 quadrotors (flying robots) dance to and manipulate sound and light at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2012.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Pasta-shaped radio waves beamed across Venice

Pasta-shaped radio waves beamed across Venice | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A group of Italian and Swedish researchers may have solved the problem of radio congestion by cleverly twisting radio waves into the shape of fusilli pasta, allowing a potentially infinite number of channels to be broadcast and received.

 

They demonstrated this in real-life conditions by beaming two twisted radio waves across the waters of Venice. As the world continues to adapt in the digital age, the introduction of new mobile smartphones, wireless internet and digital TVs means the number of radio frequency bands available to broadcast information gets smaller and smaller.

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Baby's birth captured in MRI movie for the first time

Baby's birth captured in MRI movie for the first time | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

It's unlikely to be a comfortable place to deliver a baby, but now a video documents the first birth in an MRI machine. Christian Bamberg and a team from Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany, announced the world first in December 2010, but the movie has only recently been released.

 

The video captures the active second stage of labour as the mother expels the fetus. The technique, called cinematic MRI, takes repeated images of the same slice of the body before joining them up to create an ultra-detailed video. It was recently turned on unborn twins for the first time to study a common complication where one fetus receives more of the blood supply and becomes much larger than the other.

 

By using MRI, the team was able to examine the relationship between the movement of the fetus and its position as it travels through the birth canal, which should help doctors better manage labour and delivery. In the future, the team also hopes to visualise the first stage of labour using the same technique, possibly using the videos to create virtual-reality computer training.

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Magnetic field targets transplanted iron-loaded stem cells to key areas of damaged heart

Magnetic field targets transplanted iron-loaded stem cells to key areas of damaged heart | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Optimal stem cell therapy delivery to damaged areas of the heart after myocardial infarction has been hampered by inefficient homing of cells to the damaged site. However, using rat models, researchers in France have used a magnet to guide cells loaded with iron oxide nanoparticles to key sites, enhancing the myocardial retention of intravascularly delivered endothelial progenitor cells.

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How Accurate Were Minority Report’s Technology Predictions?

How Accurate Were Minority Report’s Technology Predictions? | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Released 10 years ago today, Minority Report served up a captivating and thoroughly convincing look at what the future might hold. But how well has the film's bold vision aged?

 

WIRED magazine took at look at 10 key technologies from the film — which built on concepts dreamed up during an "idea summit" of tech thinkers convened by director Steven Spielberg — to compare the decade-old science fiction to today's reality.

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Protein evolution could generate new semiconducting structures

Protein evolution could generate new semiconducting structures | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The best semiconductors are grown, not made. At least, this might one day be the case. Proteins that can build silica nanostructures on our behalf have been "evolved" in the lab. The structures could find a use in the semiconductor industry. Luke Bawazer, now at the University of Leeds, UK, and his colleagues wondered whether proteins that evolved to help build animal skeletons could be used to grow new electronics components.

 

The team chose silicateins – proteins that build the silica skeletons of marine sponges – as the basis for their work. Using DNA amplification techniques, they grew millions of strands of DNA that code for silicateins. Mutations arise naturally during the process, so the final pool of DNA contained enough variation to ensure that some of the silicateins would build different kinds of mineral structures.

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