One small step for historical lunar research

The extreme collision that created one of the moon’s largest craters, 3.8 billion years ago, has been reconstructed by scientists from MIT and elsewhere. Retracing the moon’s dramatic response in the first hours following the massive impact, the team identified the processes by which large, multi-ring basins can form in the aftermath of such events. The findings which could shed light on how giant impacts shaped the evolution of the…

Prescribed medications are no more effective than a sugar pill when used to prevent migraines in children and teens.

Placebo more effective for pediatric migraines

No significant difference among amitriptyline, topiramate and placebo in reducing headache days or related disability has been proved in a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. “The study was intended to demonstrate which of the commonly used preventive medications in migraine was the most effective. What we found is that we could prevent these headaches with either a medication or a placebo,” says Andrew Hershey, MD, PhD,…


New gamma ray camera shows ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

A new type of gamma ray camera has been invented by the researchers at General Atomics (GA) that can image beams of energetic electrons inside ultra-hot fusion plasma. The device is used in ongoing global research that is developing fusion into a new clean energy source. Turning fusion fuel into extractable energy requires it to be hotter than the center of the sun, hence in the plasma state. If the…


‘Thinking soil’ could save buildings from collapsing

When buildings collapse and the land underneath subsides the results can be extremely catastrophic, and quite costly. But genetically engineered microbes may one day keep that from happening if researchers in the United Kingdom are successful. A research team in the UK are working and trying to develop a ‘thinking soil’ so effectively the soil thinks for itself. A concrete-repairing bacterium- BacillaFilla created by undergraduates for a synthetic biology competition,…

The most extreme "pumpkin star" found by Kepler and Swift compared with the sun.

Pumpkins of the sky harvested by NASA Missions

A batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun, have been discovered by astronomers using observations from NASA’s Kepler and Swift missions. These stars are thought to be the result of close binary systems where two sun-like stars merge, as the stars spin so fast they have been squashed into pumpkin-like shapes. “These 18 stars rotate in…


Measurements recorded of Ions bombarding fusion device walls

The researchers at West Virginia University (WVU) have managed to directly measure the complicated 3D patterns of flowing plasma as it strikes the walls of fusion and space propulsion devices, for the first time. Critical to the development of the next generation of energy and space exploration technologies, is understanding how this process occurs, and how scientists and engineers can prevent it. The measurements performed at WVU in‘helicon’ plasma are…

Individual neuron glowing with bioluminescent light produced by a new genetically engineered sensor.

Brain cells glow in the dark with bioluminescent sensor

A team of Vanderbilt scientists have developed a probe, which is a genetically modified form of luciferase, the enzyme that a number of other species including fireflies use to produce light. The technique was created by the scientists as a new and improved method for tracking the interactions within large neural networks in the brain, and it is described in a paper published in the Nature Communications journal, October 27th…


Computers forced to explain themselves in new training technique

Recently, in artificial-intelligence research, the best-performing systems have come courtesy of neural networks, which look for patterns in training data that yield useful predictions or classifications. For instance, a neural net might be trained to recognize certain objects in digital images, or just to infer the topics of texts. However, neural nets are black boxes. After training, a network may be very good at classifying data, but even its creators…


3D printing of your own baby universe

A 3D printed cosmic microwave background has been created by researchers, which is a map of the oldest light in the universe. The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), a glow that the universe has in the microwave range, that maps the oldest light in the universe, was formed when the universe was only 380,000 years old. It was imprinted when the universe first became transparent, instead of an opaque fog of…


Scrubbing the atmosphere until it’s squeaky clean

An economically viable model to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to thwart runaway, point-of-no-return global warming has been suggested from new Cornell research. The work appeared in the October 21st edition of Nature Communications. It proposes that using a ‘bioenergy-biochar system’ which will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an environmental pinch, is the way forward until other removal methods become economically feasible and in regions where other…