Recording electrical signals from inside a neuron in the living brain can reveal a great deal of information about that neuron’s function and how it coordinates with other cells in the brain. However, performing this kind of recording is extremely difficult, so only a handful of neuroscience labs around the world do it.
For years, computer users have been told they should have complicated passwords, including numbers, punctuation marks and other symbols, and upper- and lowercase letters. Despite those being hard to remember, people were told not to write their passwords down, and forced to make up new ones quite frequently. Users dutifully complied – by capitalizing the first letter of their passwords, adding a “1” or their birth year, or perhaps ending their password with an exclamation point.
You’ve probably decided the intended question is: “What has Donald Trump done now?”But how did you reach that conclusion? The word fragments could be part of many different words. You even expanded two almost identical fragments – “Don” and “don” – to different words – “Donald” and “done”.
The use of biofuels helps reduce human greenhouse gas emissions. That’s one reason why some petroleum companies offer petrol containing up to 10% ethanol (a biofuel). But if we are to have any real chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, it is not enough to reduce our emissions; we must put the process into reverse.
You’re already familiar with substances that are crystals - think rock salt, or quartz. Typically, these materials are hard, brittle and inelastic, and crack or shatter irreversibly when struck or bent. Published this week, our new paper describes a new type of crystal: one that is flexible, and that can even be tied in a knot.
In early July, Google announced that it will expand its commercially available cloud computing services to include quantum computing. A similar service has been available from IBM since May. These aren’t services most regular people will have a lot of reason to use yet. But making quantum computers more accessible will help government, academic and corporate research groups around the world continue their study of the capabilities of quantum computing.
Right now, there are two ways to be safe crossing a road: Wait until no cars are close by, so there’s enough time to make it to the other side of the street – or communicate with oncoming drivers. As the number of pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads climbs, up 25 percent since 2010 to more than 5,000 people in 2015, the dawn of driverless cars offers the promise of improving that sad safety record.
Solar has become the world’s favourite new type of electricity generation, according to global data showing that more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is being installed than any other generation technology.
It may not be obvious while lying in the sun on a hot summer’s day, but a considerable amount of heat is also coming from below you – emanating from deep within the Earth. This heat is equivalent to more than three times the total power consumption of the entire world and drives important geological processes, such as the movement of tectonic plates and the flow of magma near the surface of the Earth. But despite this, where exactly up to half of this heat actually comes from is a mystery.
Imagine a future in which buildings tower miles over the streets below, tourists take day trips to the edge of our atmosphere, and multiple space stations can be spotted drifting across the night sky. To make this sci-fi vision a reality, we will need to create new kinds of structures that are lightweight but still strong and tough.
Within the realm of physics, there are certain barriers that human beings have come to recognize. The most well-known is the speed of light, the maximum speed at which all conventional matter and all forms of information in the Universe can travel. This is a barrier that humanity may never be able to push past, mainly because doing so violate one of the most fundamental laws of physics – Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
In the broadest sense, an ATM works by accepting a cash request from a user, verifying the user’s authority to access a particular bank account, ensuring that account has enough money to fulfill the request and dispensing the money – all without the assistance of a bank clerk or teller.
As a scientist, I consider myself artistic in neither my abilities nor my observations of the world around me – I am a physicist who has dedicated his career to controlled experiments, mathematical descriptions and quantifying all I observe. I’ve always seen art as the converse – as something unquantifiable and fundamentally opposite to science.
When you step outside your house, light from the sun means that the colour of everything changes. You probably haven’t even noticed it, because your brain helps you see colours the same way under most conditions.
If you’ve ever tried to get the best deal on a holiday, you will have noticed that airlines and hotels continually change their prices. What might cost a certain amount now, could be cheaper or more expensive tomorrow due to this “dynamic pricing” – used as a method to manage revenue. We have studied these pricing techniques in sectors including airlines and hotels to further understand and identify when it is best to book and get the best price.
Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of human beings using cash currency does go back a long time – 40,000 years.
Does science inspire fiction or does it work the other way around? In the case of medical technology, the long-running TV and film series Star Trek has increasingly been inspiring researchers worldwide. Two teams were recently awarded the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize for developing handheld devices that can diagnose a range of diseases and check a patient’s vital signs without invasive tests – inspired by Star Trek’s medical “tricorder” device.
In late 2016, a sports championship event was held in Chicago, drawing 43 million viewers during the series finals. That was 12 million more people than watched the 2016 NBA Finals.It wasn’t soccer, or football, or even the World Series of Poker. Instead, it was the “League of Legends” World Finals, an esports competition.