Blog Archives

Chimps show food link to walking

A study of chimpanzees gives tantalizing evidence that humans may have evolved upright walking in order to carry more food. A team of scientists from Oxford University, Cambridge, and Kyoto University tested the theory that two-legged (bipedal) walking should occur more of the time when animals are carrying prized but rare resources. The researchers put […] … learn more→

Despite progress, FDA scientists feel political and industry pressure

UCS released a survey of 997 FDA scientists this week which found that while FDA leaders are working hard to boost scientific integrity at the agency, persistent interference by special interests continues to hinder scientists’ work. The FDA responded quickly and reasonably, stressing its successes while acknowledging that improvements can and should be made. National […] … learn more→

NASA finds thickest parts of Arctic Ice cap melting faster

A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean’s floating ice cap. The thicker ice, known as multi-year ice, survives through the cyclical summer melt season, when young ice that has formed […] … learn more→

Swimming through the blood stream

Someday, your doctor may turn to you and say, \”Take two surgeons and call me in the morning.\” If that day arrives, you may have electrical engineer Ada Poon to thank. This week, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, before an audience of her peers, Poon demonstrated a tiny, wirelessly powered, self-propelled medical device capable […] … learn more→

Bachelor’s paradise: how will sea turtles cope with climate change?

Many species have dubious futures in the face of climate change. But sea turtles have a particularly pressing problem: their gender is determined by temperature. Australia has ecologically and culturally significant populations of sea turtles, that also have value to the tourism industry. Some of them live out their lives in Australia, while others just […] … learn more→

Cooling the urban heat island with more reflective roofs

Can a whiter roof make your home cooler? What about your whole city? The existing literature and theory suggests that increasing the albedo – or reflectiveness – of a building will reflect incoming sun light and associated heat, reducing the building’s cooling requirements and also reducing the “Urban Heat Island” effect. The City of Melbourne […] … learn more→

Unlocking the universe from the Atacama desert

Timing is everything. I’m in the daily 3 pm planning meeting at the Observation Support Facility (OSF), and the talk is all about missing nanoseconds. One thousand millionth of a second. Even light can travel only 30 cm in a nanosecond. On the wall, a large screen shows live images of 20 white radio antennas, […] … learn more→

Building the smart grid of the future: UCLA teams with Korea\’s energy research institute

Imagine a home in which every appliance — computer, television, washing machine, refrigerator, air conditioner — can carry on a minute-by-minute \”conversation\” with the local power grid, allowing the devices to power down when the price of electricity is at a premium and to consume energy when it is cheapest. Such smart-grid technologies can lead […] … learn more→