Spencer Pomeranz

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New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat

A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar …

The Co-Robots In 'Interstellar' Are Gorgeous--And Silly

A morphable black monolith certainly looks cool, but it's not going to be very helpful.<p>When humans finally set foot on an alien world, they’ll be joined by robots. That’s not a bold prediction. It’s a statement of the obvious. Machines have already beat us to Mars and proven their worth as tireless …

Chemists Find A New Chemical Bond

Forming it requires replacing atoms' electrons with more exotic sub-atomic particles.<p>Fresh evidence suggests there exists a type of chemical bond that nobody has ever seen before, <i>Chemistry World</i> reports.<p>Not that they haven't looked. In the early 1980s, chemists searched for--but couldn't …

Nurse describes Ebola quarantine ordeal: 'I was in shock. Now I'm angry'

Kaci Hickox, a nurse placed under mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, went on CNN on Sunday and criticized the "knee-jerk reaction by politicians" to Ebola, saying "to quarantine someone without a better plan in place, without more forethought, is just preposterous."<p>Hickox, an epidemiologist who …

Scientists Pinpoint When Humans Had Sex With Neanderthals

Scientists have long-known that our human ancestors got down and dirty with Neanderthals. But when exactly did this interbreeding first occur?<p>A study from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany offers a new answer.<p>For the study, researchers sequenced the genome …

'Near-Space Dive' Sets New Skydive Record, 25 Miles Above Earth

Only two years after it was broken, the world record for the highest skydive has been rewritten. Google executive Alan Eustace set a new mark Friday when he fell from an altitude of more than 135,000 feet, plummeting in a free-fall for about 5 minutes before deploying his parachute. The jump broke …

SpaceX Dragon capsule splashes down in Pacific Ocean

(Reuters) - A Space Exploration Technologies Dragon cargo ship ended a monthlong stay at the International Space Station on Saturday and splashed down on schedule in the Pacific Ocean near Mexico.<p>Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore, astronauts with U.S. space agency NASA, used the station’s robotic …

This Paper Ticket Holds A Tiny Biological Machine

You can store the paper at room temperature, and all of its genetic and protein components will still work a year later.<p>The paper ticket you see pictured above is actually a little biology machine. It's a gene circuit stored on a slip of paper. To turn the gene circuit on, you simply wet the paper …

Neuroscientists Are Fed Up With the Brain Training Industry

Becoming smarter doesn't take some expensive thing purchased from the internet.<p>For those in the general demographic of "people that might donate to NPR," advertisements for brain training schemes are nearly ubiquitous. People who fancy themselves as smart—that is, it's part of their …

Google search finally adds information about video games

Google has expanded its search engine with the capability to recognize video games. If your query references a game, a new Knowledge Graph panel on the right-hand side of Google’s search results page will offer more information, including the series it belongs to, initial release date, supported …

Earth 2.0: Where Are The Habitable Worlds Of 'Interstellar'?

Don’t pack your bags yet<p>In the upcoming film, <i>Interstellar</i>, a group of heroes blasts off from a dying Earth to search for a new home for humanity. For reasons that aren’t explained in the trailer, the solar system (including Mars) apparently cannot help. Instead, the extraplanetary explorers must …

World's Longest Snake Has Virgin Birth—First Recorded in Species

An 11-year-old reticulated python produced six babies without mating in 2012.<p>Virgin birth has been documented in the world's longest snake for the first time, a recent study says.<p>An 11-year-old reticulated python named Thelma produced six female offspring in June 2012 at the Louisville Zoo in …