New 3D printed microscope lets kids 'play' microbiology
By Ben Gruber PALO ALTO (Reuters) - Playing classic video games like Pac-Man with living single-celled microbes thinner than a human hair is now possible thanks to an interactive microscope developed by bioengineers at Stanford University. “It’s a microscope that you can 3D print and build yourself,” Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, told Reuters. After it is assembled, tiny, light-responsive organisms called Euglena swim on a microscope slide surrounded by four LED lights.
Huge Magma Chamber Created Enormous Dome in Central Andes
A massive magma chamber in South America that pumps melted rock into the Earth's crust created an enormous dome in the central Andes, within the second-highest continental plateau in the world, according to a new study. Researchers studying the seismology and topography of the Altiplano-Puna plateau have connected the existence of a huge, underlying magma body to the plateau's great heights. The Altiplano-Puna plateau, which has an altitude of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), includes parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, and encompasses vast plains punctuated by volcanoes.
Encoded Bling: Diamonds Could Store Huge Amounts of Data
"We are the first group to demonstrate the possibility of using diamond as a platform for the superdense memory storage," said study lead author Siddharth Dhomkar, a physicist at the City College of New York. The scientists detailed their findings online today (Oct. 26) in the journal Science Advances.
Original Emoji Will Go on Display at Museum of Modern Art
Before the "hearts-for-eyes" face, the praying hands and the notorious eggplant, there was the very first set of emoji — an assortment of small and now-primitive pictographs that include a green coffee mug, a blue airplane and a purple face with two carets for eyes and a tiny rectangle for a mouth. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City announced yesterday (Oct. 26) that it has acquired the original 176 emoji for its permanent collection, reported The New York Times. MoMA will feature the emoji in the museum's lobby starting in December, as part of an exhibit that includes other graphics and animations.
Mysterious 'Dark Energy' May Not Exist, Study Claims
The universe may not be expanding at an accelerating rate after all, meaning that mysterious "dark energy" might not actually exist, according to a new study. In 2011, three cosmologists from two research teams won the Nobel Prize in physics for independently showing that distant Type Ia supernovas, which are a kind of exploding star, are moving away from Earth faster than nearby ones are. This hypothetical dispersive force came to be known as dark energy, because astronomers didn't really know what it was (and still don't, as a matter of fact).
What's Up with 'Niku'? Object's Weird Orbit Puzzles Scientists
A mysterious object in the outer reaches of the solar system is revolving around the sun in an abnormal way, and scientists currently cannot explain why. The object has been nicknamed Niku, a Chinese adjective that means "rebellious," by the group of researchers who announced its discovery in August. This name was chosen because the object's orbit is retrograde, meaning it moves in the opposite direction of nearly everything else in the solar system.
'Spiders' on Mars: Citizen Scientists Investigate Strange Martian Terrain
These prominent surface features are found near Mars' south pole, and are believed to be linked to seasonal changes. "The trapped carbon dioxide gas that carves the spiders in the ground also breaks through the thawing ice sheet.
U.S. scientist dies in snowmobile plunge in Antarctica
(Reuters) - A U.S.-based scientist was killed in Antarctica when the snowmobile he was driving plunged into a crevasse on Saturday, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) said in a statement on Monday. Gordon Hamilton, 50, a University of Maine professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a researcher with the Climate Change Institute, fell 100 feet (30.48 metres) into the crevasse, the NSF statement said. Hamilton was part of a team camped in a heavily crevassed area known as the Shear Zone, around 25 miles (40.23 km) south of McMurdo Station, the largest of the three U.S. research stations in Antarctica.
Alan Alda asks scientists to explain energy to children
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Alan Alda wants scientists to answer a question for 11-year-old children: What is energy?
Scientists Untangle Chemistry of Frankincense to Develop 'Perfume'
"They are contained in extremely low amounts" — less than 100 parts per million in the essential oil for the most potent molecule, study leader Nicolas Baldovini, a chemist at the Institute de Chimie de Nice in France, wrote in an email to Live Science. The scent comes from the resin of gum trees of the genus Boswellia, and it was burned as incense in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. The oldest archaeological evidence for frankincense use dates back to the late fourth millennium B.C. Frankincense is also mentioned repeatedly in the Bible: The Queen of Sheba brings it to King Solomon, and the three Magi gift some of it to baby Jesus.