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A World Record for Energy-Efficient Lighting

On Thursday, Philips announced that it has developed the world’s most efficient “warm white” LED lamp. Designed to replace the fluorescent tube lighting that is ubiquitous in offices and industrial facilities, the new TLED (tube-style light emitting diode) has the potential to reduce worldwide energy consumption by more than 7%.Innovation in the LED lighting industry is generally measured in terms of two categories – cost reductions and efficiency improvements...

April 13, 2013 — Melissa C. Lott

Physics Week in Review: April 13, 2013

"The annals of theoretical biology are clogged with mathematical models that can be ignored or, when tested, fail." Biologist E.O. Wilson set off a mini-firestorm with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal topped by a provocative headline claiming "Great scientists don't need math." The actual text was a bit more nuanced than that; Wilson's main point, supporters say, was to encourage students not to be discouraged from pursuing a career in science just because they struggle with math.Stepping up to the plate to bat for Wilson's team, Ashutosh Jogalekar wrote, "In many fields math is a powerful tool, but only a tool nonetheless; what matters is a physical feel for the systems to which it is applied."Others didn't see it this way, most notably Berkeley mathematics professor Edward Frenkel, who wrote an impassioned response for Slate...

April 13, 2013 — Jennifer Ouellette

Neuroscience in Fiction: Fat Farm

Ed. note: This post originally appeared on “The law says that there is only one possible Barth in all the world. And you aren’t it.

April 12, 2013 — Susana Martinez-Conde

Why grad schools should require students to blog

Approximately one month ago, I fell into a rabbit hole – the rabbit hole better known as Writing My Dissertation. I’d been working toward that point for five years and counting, through seminars and conferences, experiments and literature reviews, conversations and late-night therapy sessions with an open statistics textbook and eyes full of tears over yet another beta or epsilon that I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend...

April 12, 2013 — Maria Konnikova

Why Jim Hansen Stopped Being a Government Scientist [Video]

Why did James Hansen retire on April 2 after 32 years as director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies? As he told the enterprising students of Columbia University's Sustainability Media Lab who captured him in the following video, "I want to devote full time to trying to help the public understand the urgency of addressing climate change." It's not exactly the "spend more time with my family" excuse often give by retiring government officials, but his family is nonetheless the reason for this change...

April 12, 2013 — David Biello

Ciliate gluttony (again)

Frontonia are a large, gluttonous species of ciliates, which makes them a wonderful, colourful, subject of microphotography. Despite the modest appearance of their mouth, they can swallow some impressively big prey -- the suture beneath the mouth can open to widen the engulfment...

April 12, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine