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  • News

    Here’s how graphene could make future electronics superfast

    Graphene just added another badge to its supermaterial sash.

    New experiments show that this single layer of carbon atoms can transform electronic signals at gigahertz frequencies into higher-frequency terahertz signals — which can shuttle up to 1,000 times as much information per second.

    Electromagnetic waves in the terahertz range are notoriously difficult to create, and...

    09/11/2018 - 12:00 Materials, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Sound waves can make bubbles in levitated drops of liquid

    Save your breath: A new way to make bubbles requires only sound waves.

    Scientists made the bubbles in levitated drops of liquid, held aloft with sound waves. Tweaking the sound waves caused the hovering drop to balloon into a bubble.

    The team formed the bubbles using a variety of liquids, including water. Increasing the intensity of the sound made the liquid first buckle into a...

    09/11/2018 - 11:00 Physics
  • Growth Curve

    Marijuana use among pregnant women is rising, and so are concerns

    I’m relatively new to Oregon, but one of the ways I know I’m starting to settle in is my ability to recognize marijuana shops. Some are easy. But others, with names like The Agrestic and Mr. Nice Guy, are a little trickier to identify for someone who hasn’t spent much time in a state that has legalized marijuana.

    A growing number of states have legalized both medical and recreational...

    09/11/2018 - 07:00 Pregnancy, Child Development, Health
  • News in Brief

    How obesity may harm memory and learning

    Obesity can affect brainpower, and a study in mice may help explain how.

    In the brains of obese mice, rogue immune cells chomp nerve cell connections that are important for learning and memory, scientists report September 10 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Drugs that stop this synapse destruction may ultimately prove useful for protecting the brain against the immune cell assault.

    ...

    09/10/2018 - 13:06 Neuroscience
  • News

    A new hydrogen-rich compound may be a record-breaking superconductor

    Superconductors are heating up, and a world record-holder may have just been dethroned.

    Two studies report evidence of superconductivity — the transmission of electricity without resistance — at temperatures higher than seen before. The effect appears in compounds of lanthanum and hydrogen squeezed to extremely high pressures.

    All known superconductors must be chilled to function,...

    09/10/2018 - 07:00 Condensed Matter, Materials, Physics
  • News

    Wildfires make their own weather, and that matters for fire management

    Wildfires are not known for their restraint. They’ll jump rivers, spew whirling dervishes of flames and double in size overnight.

    Take the Carr Fire — one of California’s most destructive — sparked in mid-July when the rim of a flat tire met pavement. As the blaze grew, it jumped across the Sacramento River and sparked a flaming whirlwind that trapped and killed a firefighter near...

    09/09/2018 - 06:00 Climate
  • News

    Before it burned, Brazil’s National Museum gave much to science

    A natural history museum isn’t just a place to take visiting relatives or for entertaining kids on the weekends. These museums’ collections also play a vital, but under-celebrated, role in scientific research.

    That’s why, when Brazil's National Museum in Rio de Janeiro caught fire on September 2, more than just a catalog of natural and human history was lost. The museum was full of...

    09/07/2018 - 17:53 Science & Society, Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    A massive net is being deployed to pick up plastic in the Pacific

    The days of the great Pacific garbage patch may be numbered.

    A highly anticipated project to scoop up plastic from the massive pool of ocean debris is poised to launch its first phase from Alameda, Calif., on September 8. The creators of the project, called the Ocean Cleanup, say their system can remove 90 percent of the plastic in the patch by 2040.

    First proposed in a 2012 TED...

    09/07/2018 - 17:36 Oceans, Pollution
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    09/07/2018 - 17:02
  • It's Alive

    These songbirds violently fling and then impale their prey

    Bite a mouse in the back of the neck and don’t let go. Now shake your head at a frenzied 11 turns per second, as if saying “No, no, no, no, no!”

    You have just imitated a hunting loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), already considered one of North America’s more ghoulish songbirds for the way it impales its prey carcasses on thorns and barbed wire.  

    Once the shrike hoists its...

    09/07/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Evolution