Scientific

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Tech Update (April 2018)

Andy Cormack gives us the heads up on what’s on the horizon in hardware and technology, giving you the lowdown on the next big thing.   In April’s update, Andy looks at some literally lunatic ideas for 4G on the Moon no less, putting the brakes on Hyperloop, hotels in space and  robot bees. It almost feels like the 1960s again.  Read on…   Audi, Vodafone, and Nokia plan Lunar Mobile Phone Network While 5G is on the horizon, some companies have their heads set firmly beyond the clouds as Audi, Vodafone, and Nokia are partnering on a project to implement a 4G network on the Moon, one that may...

Science News (April 2018)

Droning on about landslides A group of campaigners have urged the Environmental Agency to use a fleet of drones to uncover bad farming practices across the UK with a view of penalising farmers who allow soil to run off their fields. It is believed that only 0.5% of farms are checked each year, yet coalition campaigners feel that not enough is being done to protect rivers or rising flood numbers. The groups feel that poor and careless farming is the cause of the decline of the United Kingdoms rivers, with much of the farmers waste off their fields causing our riverbeds to fill with sludge and become a potential cause...

Special Report: Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018)

Cheryl Dyer Ballard takes a look at the incredible life of Stephen Hawking, cosmologist, scientist, and one of the most incredible minds of all time.    Trapped in a failing body, he netherless succeeded where others would have given up, producing some incredible work over  the course of the last few decades, increasing our understanding of the universe, time, space and reality.  This week, Cheryl takes a good look at the man, his career and his legacy. This week has seen one of the saddest moments in the world of science and education, with the passing of British Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Author and Director of Research at the Centre of...

Scientific News (March 2018)

Alzheimer’s researchers win top research prize Four neuroscientists have been awarded the prestigious 2018 Brain Prize, following their pioneering research on the genetic and molecular sources of Alzheimer’s Disease. The Brain Prize was awarded by The Lundbeck Foundation based in Denmark. The winners not only gain a title, they are also rewarded with a €1 million prize fund. The prize is awarded to one or a group of scientists across the globe who have proven excellence and have provided continued contributions within the field of neuroscience, and highlights great discoveries. The group of four scientists this year were Professors Bart De Strooper, Michel Goedert, John Hardy and Professor Christian Haass....

Scientific News (February 2018)

The future is too bright The technology used in space exploration has dramatically advanced in recent years, and astronomers are able to look deeper into space more than they have ever been. However, these technological advances have the potential to cause mass pollution in our skies, meaning that astronomers could be denied a clear view into space, and have limited sensitivity in terms of remote sensing, leading to inaccurate measurements. Space debris, radio interference and light have already been highlighted as major causes of pollution within our skies, and the situation is set to deteriorate over the next 20 years following the launch of a further 20,000 satellites that would...

Scientific News (January 2018)

It came from outer space Astronomers are baffled by the presence of unusual recurring radio pulses that they are receiving from space. FRB – more commonly known in the space industry at Fast Radio Bursts – are proving to be astronomers most tenacious puzzle to date. The FRBs are frequently short-lived; however, astronomers have found a source of repeated flashes. It is believed that the unusual events have been caused by a dead star that possesses an extraordinarily strong magnetic field. Archives have shown that the first FRB was recorded in 2007 from the Parkes Radio Telescope based in Australia during their search for new examples of magnetised neutron stars,...

Scientific News (December 2017)

Well and truly rooked An AI program, has successfully taught itself the game of Chess, and within hours has triumphantly won against a world-leading professional chess program. The AlphaZero program, went up against specially designed software Stockfish 8, triumphantly dispatching its competitor with wins or final draws after 100 games according to Google’s, DeepMind Division. AlphaZero successfully won 25 games, playing the white pieces on the board and having the first move, 3 games were played using the black pieces of the board. A further 72 games ended with ties. Each computer program was given a minute for thinking time each move. Deepmind has continually proven successful, and has come up against some...

Scientific News (November 2017)

Measuring up The measurement systems that we take for granted are about to receive a long overdue overhaul. The original metric system was first created in France following the French Revolution in 1789. When first introduced, it had only two standard units, these being the kilogram and the metre. It was during the 1860’s that James Clerk Maxwell and William Thomson (also known as Lord Kelvin) developed a new system with three base units – known as length, mass and time. Scientific experiments involving electricity and magnetism led to the realisation that other units of measurement were required and needed to be introduced, as many confusing versions of the metric system...

Scientific News (October 2017)

It’s an ill wind A satellite, belonging to NASA has been providing fresh information involving carbon dioxide (CO2) and the way it moves through the atmosphere.  The satellite, known as the “Orbiting Carbon Observatory” (OCO) has been providing scientists with new insights into – and the behavioural movements of – CO2 throughout 2015/2016, during a time when Earth experienced an El Nîno event. This is when the Trade Winds weaken in the Central and Western areas of the Pacific.  The surface water temperatures in South America warm up, due to less cold water welling up from below to cool the surface. The clouds and rainstorms associated with warm ocean waters then move towards...

Scientific News (September 2017)

A salt and battery Non-explosive batteries have recently been developed by scientists. These Lithium-ion batteries provides an adequate power supply to use in your everyday household electronic devices. Researchers carried out a number of physical and destructive tests, however, no explosion or ignition was produced.  Their findings were published in the academic journal Joule at the beginning of September. The batteries have been developed using a saline solution as the electrolyte. This has removed any risk of explosion that some non-aqueous models are prone to.  Until recently, if you required a high energy battery, your first choice would be a non-aqueous lithium-ion battery, which could overheat and in some instances catch fire. For...