Anjelica Lacher

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Sharpest Views of the Cosmos Ever

<b>Astronomers have built a new astro-camera that, when fitted onto the largest observatories on Earth, can snap photos of the universe twice as sharp as the famed Hubble Space Telescope.</b><p>With the newly developed technology, giant telescopes can reach their theoretical limits of resolution in visible …

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Source - Exploring Space

Living Gears Help This Bug Jump

Courtesy of Greg Sutton, University of Bristol<p>Greg Sutton was closely inspecting the back legs of a planthopper nymph — a small green, flightless insect — when he noticed something odd.<p>There was a tiny row of bumps on the inside of each leg where it met the insect's body. The bumps looked just like …

Earwax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.<p>The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue …

The 20 big questions in science

1 What is the universe made of?<p>Astronomers face an embarrassing conundrum: they don’t know what 95% of the universe is made of. Atoms, which form everything we see around us, only account for a measly 5%. Over the past 80 years it has become clear that the substantial remainder is comprised of two …

Scientists discover life after brain death

The brain may live on after what's long been considered brain death. New research from the University of Montreal finds that there's a deeper state of coma beyond what doctors have been considering to be the final line. Traditionally, when an EEG recording — a measurement of electrical activity …

Alien frontier: see the haunting, beautiful weirdness of Mars

Mounted to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as it floats high above the red planet is the HiRISE telescope, an imaging device capable of taking incredibly high-resolution photos of the martian landscape. It's sent back nearly 30,000 photos during its time above the planet, which have been used by …

Space Oddities: 8 of the Strangest Exoplanets

Twenty years after scientists confirmed the first planets beyond our solar system, there are more than 900 confirmed exoplanets and thousands of additional candidates. Some of the worlds out there are just plain out-there.<p>Twenty years after scientists confirmed the first planets beyond our solar …

Astronomy

This Is How Your Brain Responds To Beer vs Coffee

We all know the drinking a coffee first thing in the morning, will increase your energy levels with its caffeine boost. But how exactly does it work? …

Build an atom, complete with protons, neutrons and all requisite orbitals and electron spins. A pretty little look at the idealized, not-to-scale world of the elements. Great for a chemistry or physics reference anyway. That’s helium, carbon, iron and livermorium for those of you keeping track at home. Interested in a diagram of an atom that’s more to scale? Get yourself an 11-mile wide computer monitor and head over to this site. EDIT: An earlier version of this post said hydrogen instead of helium, because I’m a dummy and I was in a hurry.

<b>Build an atom</b>, complete with protons, neutrons and all requisite orbitals and electron spins. A pretty little look at the idealized, not-to-scale …

X doesn't mark the spot: real shape of chromosomes revealed

Time to revise the high school biology textbooks: contrary to their typical portrayal as being precisely X-shaped, chromosomes are in fact much more complex — and much messier looking. That's the finding of a new project that relied on DNA sequencing to produce accurate 3D images of chromosomes.<p>A …

Best Space Photos of the Week: Cat's Paw, Solar Horns, Martian Ripples

See views of Mars, the Earth, and the Sun, as well as a star-factory nebula, in this week's space photos.

Blooming tiny: nano flowers, ferns and gold stars – in pictures

This month's collection of images from the world of nanotechnology includes the tiniest of flowers, minuscule gold stars, and crystal layers that could replace silicon as the building blocks of the information age<p><i>If you have any nanotech images you'd like to share, please email them to</i> …

FYI: What Would Happen If You Got Zapped By The Large Hadron Collider?

It would burn a hole through you—and then some.<p>The scientists at the LHC would like to make two things very clear. First, it's just a horrible idea to put any part of your body in front of the collider's two proton beams. Each beam comprises 320 trillion particles, so the total energy delivered is …

Time lapse of epithelial cells undergoing mitosis

Time lapse of epithelial cells undergoing mitosis.

100 years of x-ray crystallography – video animation

X-ray crystallography is one of the greatest innovations of the 20th century. This animated journey through its 100 year history begins with the pioneering work of William and Lawrence Bragg in 1913 and ends on the surface of Mars. To date 28 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to projects related to …

Cheaper Micro-sized Particle Accelerators Are Now Possible

Researchers ditch radio-frequency technology and use a different method to make tabletop accelerators feasible.<p>The Large Hadron Collider, the 17-mile ring that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, is a massive and impressive piece of technology. Yet the enormity and cost of these colliders …

Physics

If You Can Smell This, You May Not Have Alzheimer's

A new diagnostic test involves a dollop of peanut butter.<p>You may not have heard of "the peanut butter test," but it could become a fantastically low-cost and non-invasive way to test for Alzheimer's. After all, what's less invasive than asking someone to smell some delicious peanut butter?<p>"The …

Um, Where Did This Little Orphan Planet Come From?

"I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do."<p>How do planets—ours, and the others that stud the universe—actually form?<p>Our current, best knowledge posits that planets emerge from the formation of stars. Through a process like this:<p>A star and its planets form out of …

This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Get A Concussion

For years the NFL claimed that concussions and the resulting neurological conditions of its players were rare. But an investigation into the dark history of concussions in the NFL published by PBS Frontline and new scientific studies show multiple blows to the head cause serious permanent brain …

Why Scientists Held Back Details On A Unique Botulinum Toxin

Scientists have discovered the first new form of botulinum toxin in over 40 years, but they're taking the unusual step of keeping key details about it secret.<p>That's because botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known. It causes botulism, and the newly identified form of it can't …

Zooids: Faces of tiny warriors - in pictures

Fine art macro photographer Aaron Ansarov has been capturing the beauty of hundreds of portuguese man o' war to seek to change our perception of a creature that is normally seen as a threat and a nuisance.

Heat capacity

<b>Heat capacity</b> or <b>thermal capacity</b> is a measurable physical quantity equal to the ratio of the heat added to (or removed from) an object to the …

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.<p>During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a …

Loops of plasma on the Sun, four times wider than Earth

Loops of plasma on the Sun, four times wider than Earth.

First child 'functionally cured' of HIV remains in remission, scientists announce

In March, a team of medical researchers revealed that a two-year-old patient had been "functionally cured" of HIV after undergoing unusually early treatment with antiretroviral drugs. The instance marked the second documented case of HIV remission, and was the first such case involving a …

Why all we knew about planets is wrong

We thought we knew how planets form, but the discovery of hundreds outside our Solar System changed all that, even what type of world can house life like ours.<p>Up to only a couple of decades ago the perception of our Solar System was so simple. Every planet is unique: Saturn has its spectacular …