03.03.11

Five Contests That Recognize The Science Achievements of the Everyman

There's a long tradition of offering big cash prizes to entice talented and creative individuals to solve problems that have stymied industry and governments for decades. For example, in 1810, French cook Nicolas Appert won a 12,000-franc government prize for a food preservation
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At The iGEM Competition, College Students Engineer New Biological Systems

Pack up that baking soda volcano - this science fair is hardcore College and high school students from the world over begin convening in Boston today for the International
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Using Home Astronomy Software, Citizen Scientists Discover New Pulsar

Through the [email protected] program, about 250,000 private citizens from 192 countries donate time on their home and office computers to help comb through astronomical data. Now, for the first time, three of those citizen scientists -- Chris and Helen Colvin of Iowa and
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Japanese and American duo nearly doubles pi record, using home-built computer

Shigeru Kondo spent some $18,000 to build a desktop Windows computer that, over the course of three months, shattered the world record for calculating pi. Running in the 54-year-old system engineer's home, where he lives with his wife and mother, the machine calculated pi to 5 trillion
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Strained graphene creates pseudo-magnetic fields stronger than any before seen

Putting the right kind of strain on a patch of graphene can make super-strong pseudo-magnetic fields, a new study says. The finding sheds new light on the properties of electromagnetism, not to mention the odd properties of graphene, according to researchers at
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IBM researchers create the most detailed brain map yet

Researchers at IBM have created the most complex neurological map ever seen, detailing the comprehensive long-distance network that makes up the macaque monkey brain in
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By manipulating condensation conditions, researchers create room-temperature ice

In a breakthrough so hot it's cool, Spanish researchers have figured out how to make water freeze at room temperature. By artificially manipulating the mechanisms by which
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Antibacterial graphene 'paper' could lead to better bandages

A new antibacterial paper could lead to food wrappers that keep food fresh longer, shoes that never stink, and bandages with a built-in ability to deter infection. It turns out a paper-like material made of graphene -- thin sheets of carbon just a single atom thick -- have
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German scientists measure how fast an electron jumps, the shortest time interval ever measured

During an average day of knocking electrons loose from their host atoms with high-energy lasers, a team of European physicists uncovered the shortest time interval ever measured in nature. At about 20 attoseconds, the
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Higgs Discovery Is 'Just Rumors,' Tweets Fermilab

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory responds via Twitter to rumors that circulated earlier this week claiming
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The Shocking Truth: How To Make High-Voltage Sparks

I've always thought it would be funny to build scale-size exploding grain silos for a model train
Read more...


Five Contests That Recognize The Science Achievements of the Everyman

There's a long tradition of offering big cash prizes to entice talented and creative individuals to solve problems that have stymied industry and governments for decades. For example, in 1810, French cook Nicolas Appert won a 12,000-franc government prize for a food preservation
Read more...


Build it: an LED lamp that visualises data from the web

The vast amount of information at our fingertips these days can be as distracting as it is useful. Tracking something like the movement of an index on the stock market by feverishly checking a ticker all day is often more than you want to deal with. So this cube lets you display data it receives
Read more...


At The iGEM Competition, College Students Engineer New Biological Systems

Pack up that baking soda volcano - this science fair is hardcore College and high school students from the world over begin convening in Boston today for the International
Read more...


Using Home Astronomy Software, Citizen Scientists Discover New Pulsar

Through the [email protected] program, about 250,000 private citizens from 192 countries donate time on their home and office computers to help comb through astronomical data. Now, for the first time, three of those citizen scientists -- Chris and Helen Colvin of Iowa and
Read more...


Antibacterial graphene 'paper' could lead to better bandages

A new antibacterial paper could lead to food wrappers that keep food fresh longer, shoes that never stink, and bandages with a built-in ability to deter infection. It turns out a paper-like material made of graphene -- thin sheets of carbon just a single atom thick -- have
Read more...


Memristors to Be Used by US Military to Create Simulated Brains

DARPA's ardent desire to realise every sci-fi concept ever dreamed of continues with a biologically-inspired computer project which aims for feline brain functionality. But this time it's pinning its hopes on memristor devices which can simulate the behaviour of biological synapses in the brain. Memristors
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Video: MIT Students' DIY "Minority Report" Glove Mouse

Many augmented reality projects like to cite Minority Report as an inspiration, but MIT's Glove Mouse project takes a very direct cue from the touch-free display manipulations of Tom Cruise's character in the film. In a new video, the glove mouse shows off its wireless stuff. MIT
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Russia Plans Cupertino 2, a Scientific City Modelled on Silicon Valley

Russia's oil reserves have given the nation considerable political muscle, but Russian leaders also want to resurrect some scientific grandeur. Now they hope to build its first scientific city since the Berlin Wall came down, and they're looking to California's Silicon Valley for inspiration,
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Physicist Creates Most Magnetic Material on Earth, Might Overturn Laws of Physics

A more powerful magnetic material may have emerged to topple previous record-holder iron cobalt, until now the most magnetic material on Earth. The new iron and nitrogen compound might also force physicists to revise their understanding of magnetism, according to the Minnesota
Read more...


The Shocking Truth: How To Make High-Voltage Sparks

I've always thought it would be funny to build scale-size exploding grain silos for a model train
Read more...


Mozzie-Zapping Laser Entrepreneur Turns Sights on Space Power

A laser-obsessed entrepreneur whose mosquito-zapping project demoed at the TED 2010 conference has bigger plans for energy beams. Tom Nugent envisions using lasers to deliver energy over long distances -- whether that means juicing up an aerial drone's batteries or beaming solar space power
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Physicist Creates Most Magnetic Material on Earth, Might Overturn Laws of Physics

A more powerful magnetic material may have emerged to topple previous record-holder iron cobalt, until now the most magnetic material on Earth. The new iron and nitrogen compound might also force physicists to revise their understanding of magnetism, according to the Minnesota
Read more...


Memristors to Be Used by US Military to Create Simulated Brains

DARPA's ardent desire to realise every sci-fi concept ever dreamed of continues with a biologically-inspired computer project which aims for feline brain functionality. But this time it's pinning its hopes on memristor devices which can simulate the behaviour of biological synapses in the brain. Memristors
Read more...


Google Invests in Startup that Predicts the Future

You might think Google knows all there is to know, but apparently Google doesn't think so. The company is now seeking to know the unknowable, having just sunk an undisclosed amount
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The USA Pavilion Is a Disgrace

Many of the pavilions at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai are phenomenal, both inside and out. The USA pavilion, however, is neither. But far worse than being visually unimpressive (which it is), the essence of our representation at the largest World's Fair carries an even sadder message.
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By manipulating condensation conditions, researchers create room-temperature ice

In a breakthrough so hot it's cool, Spanish researchers have figured out how to make water freeze at room temperature. By artificially manipulating the mechanisms by which
Read more...


Smell-Visualizing Colorimeter Can Fingerprint Coffee Aromas and Toxic Gases

A cheap meter can now translate the most esoteric coffee aromas into pretty colored
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Born Again Rocketeer's DIY Crayon Rockets

Who says rockets should just be black and white? Commercial spaceflight may
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World's First Junctionless Transistor Could Revolutionize Chip Industry

Transistor junction, what's your function now? Irish researchers at the Tyndall National Institute have fabricated the world's first junctionless
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