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Mar 30, 2023

Colloids get creative to pave the way for next generation photonics

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

Scientists have devised a way of fabricating a complex structure, previously found only in nature, to open up new ways for manipulating and controlling light.

The structure, which naturally occurs in the wing scales of some species of butterfly, can function as a photonic crystal, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Birmingham. It can be used to control light in the visible range of the spectrum, for applications for lasers, sensors, and also devices for harvesting solar energy.

Their computational study, published in Advanced Materials, demonstrates that the complex gyroid structure can be self-assembled from designer in the range of hundreds of nanometers.

Mar 30, 2023

A glimpse at the inner structure of the proton

Posted by in category: futurism

Mass radius of the proton measured.

Mar 30, 2023

Origin of Life: The Scientific Response

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics

The first possible scenarios for life’s origin is that life may simply have been a miracle. It may have been a divine act of intervention. If so, then the origin of life is not a scientific question. There is no experiment one can propose or an observation one can make.

Yet, it’s equally possible that the origin of life was an event that’s fully consistent with the known laws of physics and chemistry, but an extremely improbable, perhaps unique event; perhaps an event that only took place on Earth. Once again, it’s really not amenable to scientific study, because we can’t go into the laboratory and study a unique event.

And then there is a third possibility, and that’s that life is an inevitable consequence of chemistry. That, given an appropriate environment—an appropriate planet with water, for example—and sufficient time, that life always arises.

Mar 30, 2023

Fossils: Life Cast in Ancient Stone

Posted by in category: habitats

To be honest, the chances of anything becoming a fossil are slim. The fact that we have fossils at all speaks to the sheer numbers of individuals and species that have existed through time. With their countless billions, it would only take a tiny fraction of them to fossilize and to leave us with a substantial record in the rocks.

But let’s consider those that do make it. What factors do they have in their favor? How do you maximize your chance of becoming a fossil? As a real estate agent would say: location, location, location. Just as being in the right place might maximize your chances of making a killing on the housing market, so being in the right place increases your chance of becoming a fossil.

To form a fossil, you need to get your body buried as quickly as possible, out of the way of the scavengers and preferably sealed from oxygen, or in at least reduced oxygen conditions. This just isn’t going to happen on an open plain, but if the subject in question happened to live close to a body of water—a river or a lake—you now have a chance to being in an environment where you might be able to bury your corpse with sediment.

Mar 30, 2023

Evolution and Survival of the Fittest

Posted by in category: evolution

Humans have a different kind of intelligence that has evolved only once throughout the whole history of life. Thus, we wrongly believe that humans are the most evolved species, and other creatures are at lower levels of evolution. The reality is that under any conditions, only the fittest survive. The definition of ‘fittest’ differs in each environment and condition, and so do the means for the survival of the fittest.

Learn more about what banged, and was it big?

Mar 30, 2023

Scientific Literacy and Its Importance

Posted by in category: energy

Scientific literacy is based on the understanding that science is an ongoing human endeavor. It is a powerful instrument to understand the natural world and provides tools to augment scientific knowledge. It is the means by which a person can inquire, involve, discover, and draw meaningful inferences. A scientifically literate citizen is capable of evaluating different points of view based on appropriate evidence.

Learn more about the scientific method.

Every day, there are newspaper stories related to pharmaceuticals, energy needs, and the environment.

Mar 30, 2023

Can Science Explain Near Death Experiences?

Posted by in category: science

An estimated 9 million people in the U.S. alone have had a transformative near-death experience. Scientists are grappling with what’s happening inside their heads.

Mar 30, 2023

New Deadly Superfungus Can Now Be Found in Half of US States

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health


A fungal superbug called Candida auris is spreading rapidly through hospitals and nursing homes in the US. The first case was identified in 2016. Since then, it has spread to half the country’s 50 states. And, according to a new report, infections tripled between 2019 and 2021.

This is hugely concerning because Candida auris is resistant to many drugs, making this fungal infection one of the hardest to treat.

Continue reading “New Deadly Superfungus Can Now Be Found in Half of US States” »

Mar 30, 2023

15 cars derail in north Butler County in train incident

Posted by in category: transportation

Over a dozen railcars on a Canadian National Railway train had derailed in Northern Butler County.

A spokesperson for CN says crews are responding to the incident near Slippery Rock, PA.

They say 15 railcars, all containing iron ore derailed.

Continue reading “15 cars derail in north Butler County in train incident” »

Mar 30, 2023

Minnesota train carrying ethanol derailed, caught fire; evacuations ordered

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

BNSF said about 22 rail cars carrying mixed freight, including ethanol and corn syrup, derailed at 1:02 a.m. local time Thursday. Four rail cars caught fire, the BNSF said. There are no other hazardous materials on the train and no injuries were reported, the company said.

“BNSF personnel are responding to assess the derailment site and will be working closely with local first responders,” company spokesperson Lena Kent said in a statement.

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