Tech

Recently derived equations that describe development patterns in modern urban areas appear to work equally well to describe ancient cities settled thousands of years ago, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Ignition – the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel – has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement fusion science. A key step along the path to ignition is to have "fuel gains" greater than unity, where the energy generated through fusion reactions exceeds the amount of energy deposited into the fusion fuel.

It's not quite Star Trek communications—yet. But long-distance communications in space may be easier now that researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have designed a clever detector array that can extract more information than usual from single particles of light.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass-- The heroes and villains in animated films tend to be on opposite ends of the moral spectrum. But they're often similar in their hair, which is usually extremely rigid or — if it moves at all — is straight and swings to and fro. It's rare to see an animated character with bouncy, curly hair, since computer animators don't have a simple mathematical means for describing it.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.

The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels – diesel, for example – that can be blended with existing ultra-low-sulfur diesels and biodiesels. Other products, such as natural gas, naphtha (a solvent), gasoline, waxes and lubricating oils such as engine oil and hydraulic oil also can be obtained from shopping bags.

Male users of Pinterest pin more content about photography, art, design, and home decor than sports, technology and cars, says a new study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

The study revealed that while women and men differed in the types of content they collected and the degree to which they specialized, surprisingly men were not particularly interested in stereotypically male topics.

This news release is available in German.

The change by our ancestors from hunter-gathers to farmers is one of the most intensively researched aspects of archaeology. Now a large-scale investigation of British archaeological sites dating from around 4,600 BC to 1,400 AD has examined millions of fragments of bone and analysed over 1,000 cooking pots.

In today's search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech. The latest example of a low-tech alternative comes from an age-old industry: paper. A new study, appearing in ACS' journal Energy & Fuels, reveals a sustainable way to turn the huge amounts of waste from paper production into solid fuel with the added bonus of diverting the sludge from overflowing landfills.

New research from the University of Adelaide shows that the state of South Australia has a higher rate of deaths from extreme cold compared with the northern European nation of Sweden.

The study, by a team from the University's School of Medical Sciences, analyzed forensic cases of hypothermia deaths from 2006-2011 in both South Australia and Sweden.

Writing a program to control a single autonomous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard enough; write one for multiple robots that may or may not have to work in tandem, depending on the task, is even harder.

Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found.

The report, "Estimating the Performance and Economic Value of Multiple Concentrating Solar Power Technologies in a Production Cost Model," found that the value of delivered energy of dry-cooled tower and parabolic trough CSP plants, integrated with thermal energy storage, are quite similar.

Recent decades may have been the wettest in 3,500 years in North East Tibet – according to climate researchers at the University of East Anglia (UK) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Lanzhou, China).

Researchers looked at 3,500-year-long tree ring records from North East Tibet to estimate annual precipitation. They found that recent decades have likely been the wettest on record in this semi-arid region.

Boston, MA – Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Carnegie Mellon University have introduced a unique micro-robotic technique to assemble the components of complex materials, the foundation of tissue engineering and 3D printing.

In studying a material that prevents marine life from sticking to the bottom of ships, researchers led by chemist Joseph DeSimone at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a surprising replacement for the only inherently flammable component of today's lithium-ion batteries: the electrolyte.