First neutrinos from outer space

First neutrinos from outer space
Neutrinos are almost invisible, but a 1-kilometer cube of ice has found 28 from beyond the solar system. Some are from other galaxies. Neutrinos seldom interact with anything, so they are pristine messengers from deepest space. Next job: Reading that message. More »

3-D printing: Wave of the future

3-D printing: Wave of the future

Layer by layer, 3-D printers fuse tiny particles of plastic or metal, building complex parts from computer instructions — forget hold the prototype or template! How good are these parts? What are they used for? Are 3-D printers the wave of the manufacturing future? More »

Comet explores sun!

Comet explores sun!

In 2011, a suicidal comet brushed the sun — showing a swirling magnetic field, the source of dangerous “space weather.” What did we learn from the sacrifice of comet Lovejoy? More »

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Vast deposits of a strong greenhouse gas are frozen under the ocean. As the ocean warms, this methane is releasing. How much more methane is on the way, and how will it affect climate? More »

Galactic rays

Galactic rays

Scientists have tracked a light beam that’s half-a-million light years long to a monster black hole and found that the hole and its disk of orbiting junk are spinning in parallel. Their new, supersize radio telescope promises more details on black holes at the center of most galaxies, including ours. More »

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, but here’s a new view of the historic eruption of a Mediterranean monster. About 3,500 years ago, Santorini’s eruption left a giant caldera and 60-meter layers of pumice. A new study of tiny crystals tracks movement of molten magma before the cataclysm. More »

Chasing neutrinos at the South Pole

Chasing neutrinos at the South Pole

Neutrinos are odd: Extremely difficult to see, they travel through mass with scarcely a trace. A 1-billion ton detector in South Pole ice is now counting neutrinos, intent on understanding their origin and role in the universe, and even spotting echoes of the Big Bang. More »

Spider silk: Material of the future?

Spider silk: Material of the future?
Strong, tough, sticky, elastic and biodegradable, silk may be used for a mesh to support injured tissues, or as a temporary container for drugs, stem cells and growth factors. As scientists divine the secret of how spiders and silkworms make silk, they are finding ways to engineer silk into medical devices. More »

Nanotech

Nanotech

Adding nanotubes makes a stronger plastic, but adding several nano-structures greatly increases the benefit, according to a new study from India. Read about the frontier of material science. More »

Running short of copper, phosphorus, rare elements

Elements rule! Without phosphorus fertilizer, millions starve. Copper = electricity shortage. And U.S. imports more than 95% of “rare-earth” elements needed for LCDs, cell phones, green energy. Risky? More »

Laser: The invention that just won’t quit!

Lasers read and write CDs and DVDs, form the heart of fiber-optics, and are being used in climate prediction, chemical identification, high-tech manufacturing, even the battle against influenza. More »

Big ideas from the smallest world

New snowflake generator reveals nature’s design principles; anti-reflective coating is nearly perfect, and so is mother-of-pearl inside an abalone. Dive into the nitty gritty of the itty bitty! More »

Gamma Ray Bursts

Chandra links gamma-ray bursts to supernovas. What really causes these gigantic explosions? More »