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?
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.
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 the movement of molten magma before the cataclysm.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
The Spallation Neutron Source, a mammoth science project involving the collaboration of six national laboratories, is scheduled to be completed 2006.
Austrian researchers show quantum entanglement across the Danube River, providing new promise in cryptography and computing. At the smallest scale, you can throw out the usual rules of engagement. What’s up with spooky action at a distance?
New technology in ground-based telescopes will give better picture of the universe and detect deadly asteroids.
Chandra links gamma-ray bursts to supernovas. What really causes these gigantic explosions?
Existing nukes may not exhaust the possible nukes. What other weapons could appear on the nuclear shelf?
Nanobelts join nanotubes in the world of nanotechnology.