A Flu Vaccine without the Needle (26/07/2010)

A new technology delivers a vaccine in a painless, biodegradable skin patch.
Getting vaccinated for the flu or other infections could become as easy as pressing a patch onto the skin--no shot in the arm required.
Researchers have investigated other microneedle patches as a way to deliver drugs...

A plane that lands like a bird (21/07/2010)

MIT researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a control system that lets a foam glider land on a perch like a pet parakeet. Photo: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL
Everyone knows what it's like for an airplane to land: the slow maneuvering into an approach pattern, the long descent, and the brakes slamming on as soon as the plane touches down, which seems to just barely bring it to a rest a mile later. Birds, however,..

Liverpool scientists construct molecular 'knots' (21/07/2010)

The molecular `knots' have dimensions of around two nanometers

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have constructed molecular 'knots' with dimensions of around two nanometers -- around 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Italy to China in driverless vehicles (21/07/2010)

In this Thursday, July 15, 2010 video cameras are seen on the front of an unmanned electric-powered vehicle as a technician works on another similar vehicle in Parma, Italy. Next week, four electric-powered orange vans depart on what has been conceived as the longest-ever test drive of unmanned vehicles: a 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile), three-month road trip from Italy to China

Playboy launches new work-safe website (21/07/2010)

In this photo taken July 15, 2010, Matt Gibbs, lead producer for Playboy Enterprises new web site called thesmokingjacket.com, is seen at Playboy's headquarters in Chicago. Playboy says the web site is safe to look at while at work _ welcome news for men tired of throwing themselves over their computer screens whenever the boss walks by. The site contains no nudity.

Amphibians wiped out before they are discovered (20/07/2010)

Fungal disease drives the loss of 30 species in Panama.

A Panamanian park has lost around 40% of its amphibian species in the past decade, with some dying out before biologists had even learned of their existence, according to research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science USA1. Combining genetics with nearly ten years of field surveys, biologists discovered 11 new species, only to find that five of them are already extinct in the area.

"We're losing things before we find them," says Andrew Crawford, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and lead author of the study.

The disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, threatens more than 2,800 amphibian species worldwide. Amphibians infected by the disease have skin several times thicker than normal, which affects their ability to breathe and the transfer of electrolytes.

More Than Half the World's Population Gets Insufficient Vitamin D, Says Biochemist (20/07/2010)

Vitamin D surfaces as a news topic every few months. How much daily vitamin D should a person get? Is it possible to have too much of it? Is exposure to the sun, which is the body's natural way of producing vitamin D, the best option? Or do supplements suffice?

Apes and Old World monkeys may have split later than thought (15/07/2010)

Fossil find resets timing of major event in primate evolution

Evolutionary findNewly discovered pieces of an ancient primate skull, including a face and frontal braincase shown here from the front and side, suggest to scientists that Old World monkeys and apes diverged between 29 million and 24 million years ago.I. Zalmout, W. Sanders

A slope-faced, big-toothed creature from the distant past has inspired scientists to recalibrate the ancient evolutionary split between apes and Old World monkeys.

Better Barriers Can Help Levees Withstand Wave Erosion (11/07/2010)

A new barrier design could protect reservoir levees from the erosive forces of wind-driven waves, according to studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and partners. These findings could help lower the maintenance costs for constructed ponds in the lower Mississippi Delta where levee repairs can average $3 per foot-and sometimes are needed just five years after a reservoir is built.

Black hole blows huge gas bubble (09/07/2010)

A small black hole has been observed blowing a vast bubble of hot gas 1,000 light-years across.

The gas is expanding because it is being heated by powerful particle "jets" being released by the black hole.

The observations were made by the Very Large Telescope in Chile and Nasa's Chandra space observatory.

Astronomers have unveiled the findings in the latest edition of Nature journal.