It's great to be on the cutting edge of fashion, right? Would you change your mind if the cutting edge meant you'd be wearing a dress or a shirt made from the same bacteria that helps ferment your favorite beer or wine? Quite possibly you'll be both repulsed and fascinated by this all-organic, fermented fabric.
Science may be able to explain many things about how our world works, but communicating such things in a way that can be understood by 11 year olds (or the rest of us) is not easy to do. Take a flame, for example: just what the heck is going on there? This video, winner of Alan Alda's Flame Challenge, explains it in an easy and fun way.
The periodic table of elements now officially has two more members of the club, Flerovium and Livermorium. We'll pause while chemistry students everywhere begin to weep, and science geeks do a jig at these two elements finally receiving approval after a year's worth of research.
One of the NASA Space Apps Challenges that we didn't hear so much about was BakerFaire: how to make bread in space. In just three hours, 16 year old Sam Wilkinson managed to come up with a way to make bread rise instantly in microgravity without using yeast.
Art and science don't have to be enemies all the time. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (or FASEB, which is pronounced just like you think it is) asked a bunch of researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health to submit "captivating, high resolution images that represent the cutting edge of 21st century biomedical research." FASEB chose ten winners, which we've got for you in a seizure-inducingly colorful gallery below.
Imagine picking up a lump of material and squeezing it, only to have it expand. The more you squeeze it, the more it expands, and to compress it, you have to stretch it back out. This is totally backwards from the way the world should work, but a new class of mechanical metamaterials could make it possible.
Looking up in the sky tends to generate a lot of questions. You'll likely get why is the sky blue, or how are rainbows made — you know science, so you can knock those out of the park on your own. When the questions start coming about the universe it can get a little more complicated and you might want some help.
Dinos did it. Now we're finding out even the Earth passes gas. The gas is coming from sites all over the Arctic where methane gas is escaping as the ice melts. Aside from the obvious comic factor of our planet farting like a giant cow, there is the serious side that sudden releases trapped ancient methane could have an effect on climate change.
It's common for high-end watchmakers to include piezoelectric elements in watches, using your swinging wrist, rather than a battery, to keep it powered. New research hints that future gadgets could include something similar by way of genetically engineered viruses.
They say that leaves don't grow on trees, and they're right: leaves grow in labs. Labs at MIT, where some exceptionally clever biochemists have reinvented the ol' tree finger and turned it into something that's useful for more than something to keep giraffes in business: this artificial leaf can take sunlight and convert it straight into hydrogen and oxygen.