Alvarez, and Apocalypse…

Topics: Dinosaurs, Nobel Prize, Research In the run-up to the announcement of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physics on 5 October, we’re running a series of blog posts looking at previous recipients and what they did after their Nobel-prize-winning work. In this first instalment Laura Hiscott explores the wide-ranging research of Luis Walter Alvarez, who won theContinue reading “Alvarez, and Apocalypse…”

Foxes, Minks, Racoon Dogs…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Education, Research During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “lab leak” theory gained little traction. Sure, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested SARS-CoV-2 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China—and called it “the China virus”—but he never presented evidence, and few in the scientific community took him seriously. In fact, early in theContinue reading “Foxes, Minks, Racoon Dogs…”

Cold Atmospheric Plasmas…

Topics: Applied Physics, Chemistry, Physics, Plasma, Research ABSTRACT Cold atmospheric plasmas have great application potential due to their production of diverse types of reactive species, so understanding the production mechanism and then improving the production efficiency of the key reactive species are very important. However, plasma chemistry typically comprises a complex network of chemical speciesContinue reading “Cold Atmospheric Plasmas…”

ARPA-E, and Emission-Free Metal…

Topics: Climate Change, Green Tech, Materials Science, Research When it comes to making steel greener, “only the laws of physics limit our imagination,” says Christina Chang of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–E). Chang, an ARPA–E fellow, is seeking public input on a potential new agency program titled Steel Made via Emissions-Less Technologies. During herContinue reading “ARPA-E, and Emission-Free Metal…”

The Anatomy of Delta…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, DNA, Existentialism, Research The coronavirus sports a luxurious sugar coat. “It’s striking,” thought Rommie Amaro, staring at her computer simulation of one of the trademark spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, which stick out from the virus’s surface. It was swathed in sugar molecules, known as glycans. “When you see it with allContinue reading “The Anatomy of Delta…”

COVID, and Fieldwork…

Topics: Climate Change, COVID-19, Research, STEM Just before dawn in the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve, a patch of Ecuador’s lush coastal forest, Abhimanyu Lele unfurls a tall net between two poles, then retreats out of sight. A half-hour later, he and a local assistant reappear and smile: Their catch—10 birds that collided with the net andContinue reading “COVID, and Fieldwork…”

Collider Neutrinos…

Topics: CERN, High Energy Physics, Particle Physics, Research Think “neutrino detector” and images of giant installations come to mind, necessary to compensate for the vanishingly small interaction probability of neutrinos with matter. The extreme luminosity of proton-proton collisions at the LHC, however, produces a large neutrino flux in the forward direction, with energies leading toContinue reading “Collider Neutrinos…”

Every Tank Has Its Limits…

Topics: Biology, Planetary Science, Research, Tardigrades They can survive temperatures close to absolute zero. They can withstand heat beyond the boiling point of water. They can shrug off the vacuum of space and doses of radiation that would be lethal to humans. Now, researchers have subjected tardigrades, microscopic creatures affectionately known as water bears, toContinue reading “Every Tank Has Its Limits…”

Elephants, Mice, and Clocks…

Topics: Biology, DNA, Evolution, Research In her laboratory in Barcelona, Spain, Miki Ebisuya has built a clock without cogs, springs, or numbers. This clock doesn’t tick. It is made of genes and proteins, and it keeps time in a layer of cells that Ebisuya’s team has grown in its lab. This biological clock is tiny,Continue reading “Elephants, Mice, and Clocks…”