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Liquid metal brings soft robotics a step closer
Scientists have invented a way to morph liquid metal into physical shapes. Researchers at the University of Sussex and Swansea University have applied electrical charges to manipulate liquid metal into 2D shapes such as letters and a heart. The team says the findings represent an extremely promising new class of materials that can be programmed to seamlessly change shape. This open up new possibilities in 'soft robotics' and shape-changing displays, the researcher say.
'Big, bad wolf' image flawed
New research casts doubt on the idea that dogs are naturally more tolerant and friendly than wolves. Scientists say the findings challenge assumptions about how dogs were tamed from wolves and came to live alongside humans. Previous evidence has suggested that the domestication process may have given dogs a more tolerant temperament. The experiment took place at the Wolf Science Center in Vienna, Austria, where wolves and dogs are raised from puppies in the same environment.
Proposed New Mexico science standards omit global warming
A proposed overhaul of New Mexico's state science standards for public schools came under intense criticism Monday at a packed public hearing in the state capital for omitting or deleting references to global warming, evolution and the age of the Earth. Comments at the hearing overwhelmingly sided against state revisions to a set of standards developed by a consortium of states and the National Academy of Sciences.
NASA sees Tropical Depression Khanun sissipating in Gulf of Tonkin
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Khanun after it had passed over southern China and began dissipating in the Gulf of Tonkin. The final warning on Tropical Depression Khanun was issued on Oct 16 at 0300 UTC by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Khanun was located near 20.3 degrees north latitude and 109.3 degrees east longitude, in the Gulf of Tonkin.
NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible picture of newly formed Tropical Storm Lan in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Storm Lan developed on Oct 15 and has been moving to the west-northwest over open ocean. On Oct 16 at 12 a.m. EDT the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of the storm. At 11 a.m. EDT Tropical storm Lan was centered near 10.8 degrees north latitude and 133.1 degrees east longitude, about 214 nautical miles north-northwest of Koror, Palau.
Some faiths more likely to turn to religion for answers to science
When it comes to seeking answers to questions about science, evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons are more likely than the general population to turn to religion, according to a new study by researchers from Rice University's Religion and Public Life Program, the University of Nevada-Reno and West Virginia University. Our findings suggest that religion does not necessarily push individuals away from science sources, but religion might lead people to turn to religious sources in addition to scientific sources, Ecklund said.
Break the attachment before selling your stuff, study says
Their study, appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, finds that people who are asking too much for something are experiencing both physical attachment and loss aversion to that object. For her study, Masters manipulated subjects so that many of them developed an actual physical attachment to an object-in this case, a mug. Those participants, of which there were more than 400, were then shown the same mug and asked to name a selling price.
Chemical treatment improves quantum dot lasers
One of the secrets to making tiny laser devices such as opthalmic surgery scalpels work even more efficiently is the use of tiny semiconductor particles, called quantum dots. Importantly, they require considerably less power to initiate the lasing action, said Victor Klimov, leader of the Nanotech team. A standard lasing material, when stimulated by a pump, absorbs light for a time before it starts to lase.
NASA sees Hurricane Ophelia lashing Ireland
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a thermal view of the clouds in hurricane Ophelia as it lashed Ireland. GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments collected data showing the locations of extremely heavy rainfall with the hurricane. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a 3-D animation revealed the height of precipitation within hurricane Ophelia. On Sunday, Oct 14 at 11 p.m. EDT/AST, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida issued the final advisory on Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia.
An epigenetic key to unlock behavior change
The paper, published today in PNAS, reveals how epigenetics - changes in gene expression that do not change DNA - interact with genes to shape different feeding behaviours in fruit flies. She adds that these findings could help researchers understand how individuals' behaviour differ, whether fruit flies, mice or even humans. The researchers began by isolating gene products and identifying which ones were key to shaping the different feeding behaviours of rovers and sitters.
During crisis, exposure to conflicting information and stress linked, studies find
During a crisis situation, like a school shooting or lockdown, people often seek information to stay informed about what's happening. The research paper describing the findings is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When danger is imminent and official information is disseminated inconsistently, public anxiety is elevated. Today social media channels are frequently the source of updates, and users are exposed to a greater number of conflicting speculations and unverified reports.
New study finds nature is vital to beating climate change
The way we manage the lands in the future could deliver 37% of the solution to climate change. That is huge potential, so if we are serious about climate change, then we are going to have to get serious about investing in nature, as well as in clean energy and clean transport. Natural climate solutions are vital to ensuring we achieve our ultimate objective of full decarbonisation and can simultaneously boost jobs and protect communities in developed and developing countries.
Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies
Like a tuning fork struck with a mallet, tiny gold nanodisks can be made to vibrate at resonant frequencies when struck by light. In new research, Rice University researchers showed they can selectively alter those vibrational frequencies by gathering different-sized nanodisks into groups. At the nanoscale, we do not hear a tonal shift; we instead see a tiny change in color. We've shown that by grouping nanodisks, we can shift their acoustic resonance in an orderly and predictable way, which could be useful in optomechanics.
Scientists log newfound understanding of water's responses to changing temperatures
A team of chemists has uncovered new ways in which frozen water responds to changes in temperature to produce novel formations. Its findings have implications for climate research as well as other processes that involve ice formation-from food preservation to agriculture. These processes are surprisingly complex, however, and are not well understood because of the number of variables involved. It's long been known that different isotopes confer different properties on these distinct kinds of water-most notably different melting points.
Women in science ask fewer questions than men, according to new research
Stereotypes suggest that women love to talk, with some studies even finding that women say three times as much as men. The team observed 31 sessions across the four day conference, counting how many questions were asked and whether men or women were asking them. Accounting for the number of men and women in the audience, the findings show that male attendees asked 80% more questions than female attendees.
Risk of Caesarean section is heritable-Natural selection cannot reduce the rates of obstructed labour
During the last decades, rates of Caesarean section have multiplied; by now it is one of the most frequently performed surgical treatments worldwide. Even if many of these C-sections are not strictly medically indicated, human childbirth is complicated and risky compared to that in other primates. Using a mathematical model, the so-called cliff edge model, they showed that natural selection cannot reduce the rates of obstructed labor.
Yahoo can provide dead man's emails to family, court says
Massachusetts' highest court says federal law does not prohibit Yahoo from providing a deceased man's family members access to his email account. The Supreme Judicial Court said Monday that a lower court was wrong to conclude that the Stored Communications Act prohibited Yahoo from giving Robert and Marianne Ajemian access to their brother John's email messages. Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo argued that federal law prohibits them from handing over the man's emails.
Deep learning reconstructs holograms
Deep learning has been experiencing a true renaissance especially over the last decade, and it uses multi-layered artificial neural networks for automated analysis of data. Especially in image analysis, deep learning shows significant promise for automated search and labeling of features of interest, such as abnormal regions in a medical image. Now, UCLA researchers have demonstrated a new use for deep learning - this time to reconstruct a hologram and form a microscopic image of an object.
Nanoantenna arrays power a new generation of fluorescence-based sensors
Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Bedfordshire, in collaboration with multinational company ABB, have designed and tested a series of plasmonic nanoantenna arrays that could lead to the development of a new generation of ultrasensitive and low-cost fluorescence sensors that could be used to monitor water quality. The arrays, designed and tested by Dr Neciah Dorh during his PhD at the University of Bristol, are made from aluminium nanorods fabricated using electron beam lithography by commercial partner Kelvin Nanotechnologies.
Side-by-side deposition of atomically flat semiconductor sheets enhances solar cell conversion efficiency
Under simulated sunlight, the cells achieved greater power conversion efficiency than their vertically stacked equivalents. Also, the researchers detected no discernable height difference between semiconductor regions, consistent with an atomically thin interface. Furthermore, the lateral heterojunctions mostly retained their efficiency despite changes to the orientation of the incident light. Being able to take light coming from any direction means expensive solar tracking systems will become redundant.

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