Three-dimensional movies are everywhere these days, and the novelty is poised to become a big-screen mainstay. Now the field of microscopy is getting into the act, too, but the end product is very different from 3-D movies such as Toy Story 3 or Avatar .
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory was meant to precisely measure carbon dioxide throughout Earth's atmosphere. Instead, it wound up shattering on the Pacific Ocean* near Antarctica in 2009, a victim of a failed fairing—the aerodynamic nose cone shroud that keeps the satellite from burning up during launch.
The final planned space shuttle mission, currently slated for mid-November at the earliest, may not lift off until February 2011, according to a NASA spokesperson.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has struggled in the past two months to come to grips with dispersants, the chemical cocktails being used to break up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill into tiny droplets that are easier for microbes to eat.
The quiet, suburban neighborhoods and strip malls that line Route 128, the main highway that circumscribes the Greater Boston area, hardly betray the area's high-tech firepower.
The body louse, a plague to humans and our ancestors for millions of years, subsists exclusively on our unwitting hospitality. Scientists have now parsed the modern human body louse's ( Pediculus humanus humanus ) genome, revealing a deep evolutionary dependence on humans and "remarkable completeness," despite being the shortest yet decoded in the insect group, the researchers wrote in a study published online June 21 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
Claiming that something can move faster than light is a good conversation-stopper in physics. People edge away from you in cocktail parties; friends never return phone calls.
Photovoltaic cells remain woefully inefficient at converting sunlight into electricity. Although layered cells composed of various elements can convert more than 40 percent of (lens-concentrated) sunlight into electricity, more simple semiconducting materials such as silicon hover around 20 percent when mass-produced.
Call it Einstein meets Einstein. A new experiment using a form of matter Albert Einstein predicted to exist might someday pave the way for fine-scale tests of general relativity, the famed physicist's phenomenally successful theory of gravitation.
BP CEO Tony Hayward sat alone before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Thursday to answer for his company's questionable decision to continue drilling this spring at the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil well despite safety concerns and that decision's catastrophic consequences.
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