Tony Sheen

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From dust-free bottles to easy-peeling bananas: your science questions answered

Q Why don't the bottles of detergents and shampoos in my bathroom get dusty, even if I leavethem out? asks mathsdude<p>A This interesting property of plastic bottles is not down to mere chance – the material from which they are made has been carefully tuned to avoid collecting dust. Plastics, being …

This Scent Can Help Heal Wounds, Study Says

Get a whiff of this: Skin cells have olfactory receptors, and when those receptors are exposed to sandalwood, a popular ingredient in perfumes and …

Neuroscience

Intersex fish found in Pennsylvania rivers spur search for chemicals

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has begun an extensive sampling of chemical contaminants in response to the discovery of intersex fish in three of the state's rivers, a department spokeswoman said.<p>Male fish carrying eggs were found in the Susquehanna, Delaware and Ohio river …

Triple black hole system found in distant galaxy

Researchers hope this may be a good place to look for space-time ripples called gravitational waves<p>Inside most galaxies a supermassive black hole lurks. But one galaxy about 4 billion light-years from us was recently discovered to have not one, not even two, but three gigantic black holes at its …

Plants muster defenses when they 'hear' an attack

Plants vs. Caterpillars? Nope, it's not a video game mashup. It's a very real battle, and the plants are using a unique method to win.<p>In the popular Plants vs. Zombies game, there are many ingenious ways that the plants defend your home from the brain-eaters. But they kind of have an unfair …

Insects

Newly Discovered Wasp Literally Has Skeletons in Its Closet

A newly discovered wasp has been keeping a gruesome secret: It stuffs ant corpses into the walls of its home.<p>As far as scientists know, the behavior is unique in the animal kingdom. The new creature has been named <i>Deuteragenia ossarium</i>, or the "bone-house wasp," after the historical ossuaries piled …

Zoology

New superconductor sets world record, packing three tons of force into the size of a golf ball

Scientists at the University of Cambridge broke a decade-old superconducting record<p>Scientists at the University of Cambridge packed a 17.6 Tesla magnetic field into a crystal about the size of a golf ball, breaking a decade-old world record. That magnetic field strength -- 17.6 Tesla -- is around …

Donated Livers Last Three Times Longer When Supercooled

At least rat livers do.<p>To keep a handful of rat livers super-fresh, researchers kept them supercool—that is, stored at temperatures below the freezing point of water.<p>The procedure was part of an experimental new method for treating donated organs. The method is still in its early stages of …

Biotechnology

Newly discovered planet is the most Earth-like yet, scientists say

Astronomers from the University of New South Wales in Australia have discovered a new planet that could be the most similar to the Earth ever observed.<p>The planet, dubbed Gliese 832c, is about 16 lightyears away and about five times the size of Earth. Astronomers said the planet orbits a red giant …