science stories

 
Nikon Small World is an exhibit of some of the best "photography through a microscope" you're ever likely to see. Now in its 37th year, the competition enjoys entries from micro-photographers from over 70 countries around the globe. Photomicrography allows photographers access to shapes, colors and detail that go unnoticed otherwise. Whereas one hundred people could take a picture of a city's skyline and all could look the same, photomicrographers could take a hundred different pictures of the same subject, and each would look wildly different. Does the reading lens in a DVD-ROM drive strike you as beautiful? It just might under intense magnification, as you'll see in the gallery below. Last time we showed you the terror that's in the unseen world all around us. This time, let's take a look at the beauty.
 
First it was solving a complex protein puzzle related to the HIV virus, and this time it is the 40,000 registered users of the game Planet Hunters who have identified 69 potential new planets and two very strong candidate planets outside the Earth's solar system. We think we see a new trend in the making.
 
The process of cell research is a delicate, hands-on technique critical to the study of human disease and drug research. Until now, the hands have been those of scientists, but now a series of robots have successfully created its first culture in the lab. This huge step forward now frees up scientists to perform new experiments and other tasks, so why hasn't it happened before now?
 
Think being part of the mile high club sounds exciting? Imagine joining the 62-mile high club (technically at that altitude, you're in space). James Bond definitely qualified for having a climatic congress with Holly Goodhead in the 1979 film Moonraker. But in reality just how enjoyable, or realistic, is sex in space?

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