Clouds reveal the surface of Venus — Venus’s unusually thick atmosphere is typically regarded as a barrier that prevents us from gazing upon its tortured surface. But by studying subtle shifts in weather patterns, scientists have learned that these clouds also offer important clues as to what lies beneath.
~ I’m way ahead of them, because I had already worked out what lies beneath: the planet Venus. OK, I’m being facetious – naturally – but actually the surface is pretty weird, like very hot at 450°C for a start.
Dark Matter remains maddeningly elusive — The hunt for the elusive dark matter received yet another blow at an international conference in Sheffield, England. Scientists with the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment announced that they found no hints of dark matter particles in their latest analysis, despite increasing the sensitivity of the experiment fourfold for its final run.
~ Does Dark Matter matter if it’s not really there?
Record Arctic ice melt — By late September, Arctic sea ice may reach its lowest extent since satellite record-keeping began.
And that has scientists in a tiz, because if there’s one thing geologic history has taught us, it’s that sudden drops in Arctic ice cover are often the tip of the proverbial iceberg for a whole slew of planetary feedbacks.
~ And we all dread that slew. Except those with their heads still in the sand.
Dutch atomic hard drive — Researchers in the Netherlands have created a microscopic storage system that encodes every bit with a single atom, allowing them to fit a kilobyte in a space under 100 nanometers across. That translates to a storage density of about 500 terabits per square inch. A 4-terabyte hard drive you can buy today are about 1 terabit per square inch.
10 future technologies by the 2030s — Owing to accelerating change we can expect to see the emergence of some fairly disruptive technological innovations in the coming years. Here are 10 mindblowingly futuristic technologies that should appear by the 2030s.
~ What about a Microsoft Word dictionary that stays on British English? No, I didn’t think so …
Australian drought crop breakthrough — Researchers at the Australian National University have just identified the enzyme — phosphatase SAL1 — responsible in a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Now, they want to use it to push plants into drought-mode early.
~ They’re going to really need this breakthrough.
Librarians find time capsule, taste contents — Librarians at the University of Montana recently discovered a hidden closet at the school, filled with hundreds of Cold War-era boxes. The boxes contained food rations from cans of blackberries and peaches to graham crackers. And for some reason they decided to taste some of the foods.
~ Librarians are stale lovers?