Science & Technology
University of Exeter
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 14:19 CST
The flood believed to be behind the Noah's Ark myth kick-started European agriculture, according to new research by the Universities of Exeter and Wollongong, Australia. Published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, the research paper assesses the impact of the collapse of the North American (Laurentide) Ice Sheet, 8000 years ago. The results indicate a catastrophic rise in global sea level led to the flooding of the Black Sea and drove dramatic social change across Europe. The research team argues that, in the face of rising sea levels driven by contemporary climate change, we can learn important lessons from the past.
University of Texas at Austin
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 13:50 CST
Research announced this week by a team of U.S. and Japanese geoscientists may help explain why part of the seafloor near the southwest coast of Japan is particularly good at generating devastating tsunamis, such as the 1944 Tonankai event, which killed at least 1,200 people. The findings will help scientists assess the risk of giant tsunamis in other regions of the world.
Geoscientists from The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues used a commercial ship to collect three-dimensional seismic data that reveals the structure of Earth's crust below a region of the Pacific seafloor known as the Nankai Trough. The resulting images are akin to ultrasounds of the human body.
The results, published this week in the journal Science, address a long standing mystery as to why earthquakes below some parts of the seafloor trigger large tsunamis while earthquakes in other regions do not.
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 00:00 CST
Astronomers are searching for gravitational waves in space, a feat that would literally change what we know about the cosmos. Using new tools to look at the universe, says Patrick Brady, often has led to discoveries that change the course of science. History is full of examples.
|Aerial view of the The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in Hanford, WA, USA.
Sun, 18 Nov 2007 23:37 CST
Geoscientists are beginning to unravel the complex web of interactions among climate change and geological processes that alters coastlines on which a sizeable percentage of Earth's inhabitants live. As debates over sustainable coastal development heat up, a new publication from the Geological Society of America focuses on development of integrated predictive computer models of coastal change.
Coastline Changes: Interrelation of Climate and Geological Processes reflects the many forces at work in coastal change. They include sea-level rise due to melting glaciers, depletion of groundwater reservoirs, and thermal expansion of gradually warming ocean water. Some of the underlying contributing factors include greenhouse gas additions to the atmosphere, vertical tectonic motions, sedimentary processes, and changes in atmospheric pressure systems and ocean currents, waves, and tides.
Sun, 18 Nov 2007 23:12 CST
With ESA's Mars Express, scientists continue to gain new insight into the mysterious Martian environment. Some of the most exciting results are being sent back by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) experiment. MARSIS transmits low frequency radio waves towards the planet's surface and records the echoes of the different layers.
Although Mars is sometimes described as the most Earth-like of all the planets, there are many differences between the two worlds which scientists are trying to understand. One of the less familiar aspects of both planets is that they possess an ionosphere - a layer of ionised (electrically charged) particles - in their upper atmospheres.
|After some two years of operation, an international team of scientists has been able to analyse more than 750 000 echoes from MARSIS in order to make the first direct measurement of the global distribution of electrons in the Martian ionosphere - or the total electron content (TEC).
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 15:14 CST
A chunk of rock some 50 metres across has been found circling the Sun in an orbit close to Earth's. The object, which was discovered on 10 February by an automated asteroid-hunting telescope in New Mexico called Linear, is probably a chip off the Moon, say astronomers.
After six nights of observations, Gareth Williams of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, calculated that it circles the Sun every 1.09 years. Its nearly circular orbit is just nine million kilometres farther from the Sun than the Earth's.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Sun, 18 Nov 2007 14:50 CST
Honeybees somehow manage to efficiently collect a lot of nectar with limited resources and no central command - after all, the queen bee is too busy laying eggs to oversee something as mundane as where the best nectar can be found on any given morning. According to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the swarm intelligence of these amazingly organized bees can also be used to improve the efficiency of Internet servers faced with similar challenges.
|©Georgia Institute of Technology
|Honeybees maximize efficiency with dance communication. Click on image for larger version.
Sun, 18 Nov 2007 14:46 CST
Batteries that can be printed onto a surface with "nanotube ink" have been demonstrated by US researchers, who say the technique will fit well within the growing field of printed electronics, which still use conventional power sources.
The batteries were created by George Gruner and colleagues at the University of California in Los Angeles, US, and use the same zinc-carbon chemistry as ordinary non-rechargeable batteries.
Being able to print flexible batteries onto different surfaces should prove handy for powering disposable devices, such as long-range RFID tags or small displays, the researchers say.
Sun, 18 Nov 2007 00:04 CST
This Behind the Scenes
article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
The strong nuclear force is the strongest of the four fundamental forces of nature, binding protons and neutrons in the cores of atoms. Yet the same force prevents those fundamental particles from combining in certain combinations.
When I first learned that, my entire view of the physical world was shaken. It was like learning that only certain mixes of peanut butter and jelly could be put into a sandwich.
As a journalist at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University, one of the nation's top nuclear science laboratories, the strangeness of this truth was my first glimpse into the peculiar nature of matter at the subatomic level.
|Matt Johnson, NSCL staff engineer, inspects a 45-degree dipole magnet. The magnet, used to turn and separate nuclei, was installed in 2007, enabling researchers to continue pursuing exotic nuclei at the edge of existence.
Sat, 17 Nov 2007 23:27 CST
LONDON - An ancient flood some say could be the origin of the story of Noah's Ark may have helped the spread of agriculture in Europe 8,300 years ago by scattering the continent's earliest farmers, researchers said on Sunday.
Using radiocarbon dating and archaeological evidence, a British team showed the collapse of the North American ice sheet, which raised global sea levels by as much as 1.4 meters, displaced tens of thousands of people in southeastern Europe who carried farming skills to their new homes.