nick black

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Scientists Pinpoint The Real Differences Between Human and Ape Brains

It's more than just brain size.<p>Brain size is the most obvious advantage we have over our primate relatives, but it turns out that’s just where the …

Evolution

Our personalities are shaped by the climate we grew up in, new study says

Take two children with similar backgrounds. Both are boys. They’re raised in families with the same socioeconomic status. They live in similar-looking neighborhoods and have the same access to education and health care.<p>The only difference is that one of the boys grows up in San Diego, where it’s …

Psychology

MIT membrane produces fuel from CO2 emissions

Researchers at MIT have developed a new membrane-based system that can convert carbon dioxide emissions into useful alternate fuels. The process has …

Fossil Fuels

An erupting Indonesian volcano may alter global climate.

Over the weekend, Indonesia raised the alert on Mount Agung to level IV — its highest level — as a huge plume of ash and steam began to pour from the …

Geology

Affordable new device uses solar energy to produce hydrogen and electricity

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have advanced the field of hydrogen power by creating a hybrid device that uses solar …

Scientists Discover 'Miracle' Mineral That Could Make Internet 1,000-times Faster

A rare mineral discovered in Russia in the 1830′s could hold the key to boosting internet speeds 1,000 times faster than today. The mineral, perovskite, has a number of incredible properties, many of which scientists are now realizing.<p>Perovskite (CaTiO3) is a calcium titanium oxide mineral, but the …

Perovskite

We really need a good plan for when a supervolcano erupts

According to Nasa, no known asteroids will threaten Earth for at least a century. We’ve got our collective eye on more than 98 per cent of near-Earth …

The Making of the Siberian Traps Nearly Ended All of Life on Earth

If you haven't seen a trilobite lately, blame Siberia. Ken Jennings explains in this week's Maphead column.<p>The dead center of Russia, far away from any tectonic plate boundaries, is a massive flood plain of basalt rock the size of western Europe. How did ten <i>trillion</i> tons of lava come to form the …

Green building materials 101: The best products to use

California’s leading green building expert offers guidance for buying eco-friendly products<p>Ever wonder if that sheet of plywood or tile sealer that you’re using in your home renovation is bad for the environment or your family? We did the research to assemble a cheat sheet for purchasing more …

Home Improvement