Earth

Self-assembling structures open door to new class of materials

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have demonstrated bio-inspired structures that self-assemble from simple building blocks: spheres.

Extent of corruption in countries around the world tied to earthquake fatalities

A new assessment of global earthquake fatalities over the past three decades indicates that 83 percent of all deaths caused by the collapse of buildings during earthquakes occurred in countries considered to be unusually corrupt.

New results from a Baylor University study show that different behaviors and strategies lead some families to cope better and emerge stronger after a weather-related event.

In the late 1950s, Richard Feynman famously imagined a science where researchers and engineers could achieve remarkable feats by manipulating matter and creating structures all the way down to the level of individual atoms.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers have found a genetic mutation that allows a plant to better endure drought without losing biomass, a discovery that could reduce the amount of water required for growing plants and help plants survive and thrive in adverse conditions.

 Scientists obtain close-up look at Old Man Winter

In this winter of heavy snows--with more on the way this week--nature's bull's-eye might be Oswego, N.Y., and the nearby Tug Hill Plateau.

There the proximity of the Great Lakes whips wind and snow into high gear. Old Man Winter then blows across New York state, burying cities and towns in snowdrifts several feet high. This season, however, something is standing in his way.

Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2011) -- High energy costs are one drawback of making clean water from waste effluents. According to an article in the journal Biomicrofluidics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, a new system that combines two different technologies proposes to break down contaminants using the cheapest possible energy source, sunlight. Microfluidics – transporting water through tiny channels -- and photocatalysis -- using light to break down impurities – come together in the science of optofluidics.

Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2011) -- Whether the object of attention is a novel aspect of the universe or an enigmatic and distant colleague, listening is key to nearly any effort to seek understanding. And not just with your ears. Spectroscopy, the study of how atoms absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation, is like listening, too. The technique is central to a range of physics experiments and can be thought of as an attempt to filter out useful information from what various sensors and detectors often first "hear" as undifferentiated electromagnetic noise.

Oxygen-free early oceans likely delayed rise of life on planet

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Geologists at the University of California, Riverside have found chemical evidence in 2.6-billion-year-old rocks that indicates that Earth's ancient oceans were oxygen-free and, surprisingly, contained abundant hydrogen sulfide in some areas.

Washington, D.C. — Sophisticated tools allow scientists to subject the basic elements of matter to conditions drastic enough to modify their behavior. By doing this, they can expand our understanding of matter. A research team including three Carnegie scientists was able to demonstrate surprising properties of the element lithium under intense pressure and low temperatures. Their results were published Jan. 9 on the Nature Physics website.

New research published today, shows how light can be used to control the electrical properties of graphene, paving the way for graphene-based optoelectronic devices and highly sensitive sensors.

Melt off from small mountain glaciers and ice caps will contribute about 12 centimetres to world sea-level increases by 2100, according to UBC research published this week in Nature Geoscience.

New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres.