Science News

Solar Device Shatters Records for Splitting Water

"Our work shows that it is indeed possible to produce fuels from sunlight safely and efficiently in an integrated system with inexpensive components," says Nate Lewis. Above: A stand-alone prototype of a new artificial leaf system. (Lance Hayashida/Caltech)
"Our work shows that it is indeed possible to produce fuels from sunlight safely and efficiently in an integrated system with inexpensive components," says Nate Lewis. Above: A stand-alone prototype of a new artificial leaf system. (Lance Hayashida/Caltech)

A new “artificial leaf” system that uses solar energy to split water can safely and efficiently create hydrogen fuel. “This new system shatters all of...

  • Constantly lost in thought? You may want to make the most of it. (a-wrangler/iStock)

    Overthinking Could Be Driving Creativity in People With Neurotic Disorders

    People who suffer from neuroticism – a condition characterised by anxiety, fear and negative thoughts – are extremely tuned in to looking for threats. For... Read more

  • (Rob Bulmahn/CC BY 2.0)

    With Silicon Pushed to Its Limits, What Will Power the Next Electronics Revolution?

    The semiconducting silicon chip launched the revolution of electronics and computerisation that has made life in the opening years of the 21st century scarcely recognisable... Read more

  • No glue, only friction. (Danny Nicholson/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

    Solved: The Mystery of Why It’s Impossible to Pull Apart Interleaved Phone Books

    People, trucks and even military tanks have tried and failed the task of pulling apart two phone books lying face up with their pages interleaved,... Read more

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, scientist Christopher Kistler checks on experiments in AMBR250 bio-reactors in a laboratory at the Merck company facilities in Kenilworth, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Study Can’t Confirm Results of Many Psychology Experiments

    NEW YORK—A large group of researchers set out to repeat 100 experiments published by leading psychology journals to see how often they would get the... Read more

  • The findings help explain why it only takes seconds to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, from a shock or sudden event. (Jason/CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Why a Shocking Noise Sticks in Our Mind

    Sudden, traumatizing sounds can form lasting memories in the brain’s “flight or fight” region. Researchers were able to heighten and improve hearing in rats by... Read more

  • The addition of just one extra atomic layer changed the magnetism of a manganite.  (michelangelus/iStock)

    Add 1 Atomic Layer to Get Magnetism

    Researchers have uncovered a new twist in magnetism at the nanoscale. The team at the National University of Singapore made the discovery while growing atomic... Read more

  • (andsem/IStock)

    Airshows Are Risky – That’s Why We Like Them – but They Also Have a Strong Safety Record

    Whether aircraft are used for travel or for aerobatic displays, it will never be possible to aviate entirely without risk. Airshows are manifestations of our... Read more

  • "You see a familiar face and say to yourself, 'I think I've seen that face.' But is this someone I met five years ago, maybe with thinner hair or different glasses—or is it someone else entirely?" asks James J. Knierim. "That's one of the biggest problems our memory system has to solve." (FadilahPH/CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Old Friend or Lookalike? How Your Brain Knows

    You see a guy at the grocery store—is he a college classmate or just a lookalike? One tiny spot in the brain holds the answer... Read more

  • Coming soon to a runway near you. Or not. (nicholashan/iStock)

    Electric Aircraft – the Future of Aviation or Just Wishful Thinking?

    Since the dawn of aviation, planes have primarily been powered by carbon-based fuels such as gasoline or kerosene. These contain a lot of energy for... Read more

  • Researchers discovered that the "dancing droplets" are real, and are more likely to propel themselves off of a strand if they merge from opposite sides—a finding that allowed the team to study the phenomenon in detail. (PRODylan Parker/CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Can Droplets That ‘Dance’ Purify Water?

    We’ve all seen dew droplets form on spider webs. But what if they flung themselves off the strands instead? As long as the strands are... Read more

  • Scott Hammond (R) principal scientist at Solar Window Technologies, Inc. with the team at NREL. (Courtesy of Solar Window Technologies, Inc.)

    Liquid Solar Technology Company CEO Announces Commercialization Plan

    Solar Window Technologies, Inc. CEO and president John Conklin made a forward looking statement August 20 in a webcast announcing the company’s plans to commercialize... Read more

  • The brain may operate in a different state during trauma, which keeps that memory hidden during a normal state.  (Maria Dubova/iStock)

    How Our Brain Hides (and Gets Back) Scary Memories

    Some stressful experiences—such as childhood abuse—are so overwhelming and traumatic that the memories hide in the brain. Those hidden memories may protect us from the... Read more

  • LIFESTYLE-US-ART-HEALTH-CHILDREN BY BRIGITTE DUSSEAU Bojana Coklyat with Omar Tzic, Star Almonte and Xiomara Torres at the Concordia Learning Center at St. Joseph?s School for the Blind in Jersey City, New Jersey April 23, 2012. The art class taught by artist Bojana Coklyat of Jersey City, who became a volunteer art teacher at Concordia after she started losing her eyesight from diabetes. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)

    Blind Children Rely on ‘Visual Brain’ to Learn Language

    By early childhood, the sight regions of a blind person’s brain respond to sound, especially spoken language, new research shows. The results, which appear this... Read more

  • (Kalawin/iStock)

    How Quantum Physics Is Opening New Frontiers for Data Safety

    Data security, which is aimed at ensuring secure Internet communications, must keep pace with the hacking capability of eavesdroppers. Data and communications will become more... Read more

  • (Angel Lopez Pelaz/iStock)

    Engineered Yeast Turns Sugar Into Painkiller

    Scientists have reprogrammed the genetic machinery of baker’s yeast so that the fast-growing cells can convert sugar into hydrocodone in just three to five days... Read more

  • Left: A young man participates in a Native ritual in the Amazon in Brazil. (Filipe Frazao/iStock) Right: An Aboriginal man performs on Australia Day in Sydney, Australia, on Jan. 26, 2014. (PhotographyByDonnaG/iStock)

    Genetic Studies Link Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon and Australasia (+Video)

    Native Americans living in the Amazon bear an unexpected genetic connection to indigenous people in Australasia, suggesting a previously unknown wave of migration to the... Read more

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