The periodic table of the elements may be welcoming a new member to its elite group soon. A team of scientists led by researchers at Lund University in Sweden has confirmed the existence of a new element. The super-heavy element has atomic number 115.
The team built on earlier work by Russian research groups. The experiment used to confirm the new element took place at a lab in Germany. It involved taking a thin film of americium, a radioactive element with atomic number 95, and bombarding it with calcium ions. This allowed the scientists to measure the element's photons and confirm its atomic number.… Read more
The telepathic cyborg lives, sort of. University of Washington scientists Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco claim that they are the first to demonstrate human brain-to-brain communication. Rao sent a signal into a Stocco's brain via the Internet that caused him to move his right hand. Brain-to-brain communication has previously been demonstrated between rats and from humans to rats.
"The experiment is a proof in concept. We have tech to reverse engineer the brain signal and transmit it from one brain to another via computer," said Chantel Prat, an assistant professor of psychology who worked on the project. … Read more
Its latest incarnation is as an extremely short-format science fair. GE's #6SecondScience Fair challenged people to explain science concepts as fast as they could count to six.
The Vine science fair participants covered an impressive variety of topics. There is a potato-powered lightbulb; the history of flight told with paper cutouts; a Play-Doh frog dissection; and quite a few creative explanations of how magnetism works.… Read more
If you plan to fund the creation of a genetic hybrid on Kickstarter, you can no longer offer it to backers as a reward. The Web site has added a new term to its guidelines stating that "projects cannot offer genetically modified organisms as a reward."
The new rule came into effect after the successful funding of Glowing Plants, a project to modify Arabidopsis and rose plants with firefly and luminescent bacteria DNA so they would glow in the dark, providing a natural light source. The project, created by trained biologists, offered the seeds of the plant, if … Read more
Those pondering suicide may not tell anyone for reasons including isolation, shame, or fear of stigma or hospitalization. But researchers from the University of Indiana say a blood test could one day reveal such thoughts.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, scientists from the university's School of Medicine cite a series of RNA molecules, or biomarkers, that they observed at higher levels in a group of bipolar disorder patients with suicidal thoughts, as well as in people of the same age who had actually committed suicide and whose blood was tested shortly after they died. … Read more
If you happen to be wandering around a certain martian-like landscape next week and see the Curiosity Rover drive by, don't worry about your air supply.
Though you might be in a mindset to think you're on Mars, you're really at Burning Man, the annual countercultural arts festival held each summer in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. But your eyes aren't deceiving you: That is the Curiosity Rover. Well, at least an art car built by a group including members of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory meant to pay homage to the rover that landed on … Read more
Science has provided us with many wondrous things, but what about dinner? Well, actually, it has gone there too, but generally, molecular gastronomy tends to consider itself a little above the humble cheese on toast.
Luckily, we have the British Cheese Board and the Royal Society of Chemists. Together, they have performed rigorous testing on grilling conditions and conceived a scientific formula for creating the absolute perfect grilled cheese. … Read more
If you've been waiting for a rarity to come along, keep your gaze skyward. Tuesday's moon is not only full, it's a blue moon.
That is, if you disregard a commonly accepted definition of a blue moon as being a second full moon in a calendar month. A real blue moon, according to purists, is the third full moon in a season of four full moons, which is one more than the standard.
No batteries, no switches, no power cords... The Dino Pet night light is a toy that's actually alive. It's not going to walk or talk, of course, but it's filled with living bioluminescent algae, or dinoflagellates, that allow it to glow in the dark.
The idea is that the Dino Pet, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, is actually a dino pet -- a dinosaur-shaped toy filled with dinoflagellates that needs to be "fed" with sunlight to allow it to glow brilliantly at night. It could be used as a biology teaching tool, as well as a friendly presence to keep the nighttime monsters at bay. … Read more