Solar activity forecast for the next decade: weakest of last 200 years

Scientists predict that activity in the next solar cycle will be the weakest in the last 200 years. The number of sunspots in the Sun’s next 11-year cycle, starting in 2020, could be 30% to 50% lower than in its current cycle. Sunspots are regions on the Sun with magnetic fields thousands of times stronger […]

Cyborg bacteria covered in solar panels can beat plants at photosynthesis

Photosynthesis, or the way plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, is crucial for life on Earth — but it’s not a very efficient process. Scientists at a UC Berkeley lab taught bacteria how to cover their own bodies with nanocrystals, which function as tiny solar panels that capture more energy than plants can. The bacteria […]

Why do dogs love us? Geneticists hunt for DNA clues

I wonder often IF dogs love us.  Most people assume so. And here’s research on why.  I’ll have to assume it’s true until my dog says otherwise Somehow, dogs have evolved to like being around humans Somehow, dogs have evolved to like being around humans. In return for their exuberant, slobbery affection, dogs have convinced […]

Returning the Sense of Touch to Amputees Via Plastic Skin

Modern prosthetics enable millions of amputees to pick up an apple, but the sensation of holding that apple is still missing. Stanford chemical engineer Zhenan Bao has set out with a team of researchers to develop a new “skin” that could imitate skin’s nerve sensors. Bao’s skin would allow amputees to feel and move at […]

Google’s DeepMind makes AI program that can learn like a human

I don’t know what to think about this. I’m going to need to consult my computer Researchers have overcome one of the major stumbling blocks in artificial intelligence with a program that can learn one task after another using skills it acquires on the way. Developed by Google’s AI company, DeepMind, the program has taken […]

All-bacterial battery makes a nutrient when charged, eats it to discharge

But the ultimate destination of this electron transport chain doesn’t have to be a chemical. There are a variety of bacteria that ultimately send the electrons off into the environment instead. And researchers have figured out how to turn these into a fuel cell, harvesting the electrons to do something useful. While some of these […]