ALL POSTS BY Andrea Alfano

A Cure For Blindness May Be In Sight Thanks To Vision Cell-Restoring Gene Therapy

By inserting a human gene for a light-sensing pigment, researchers were able to restore some vision in mice whose vision cells were destroyed. The work suggests that a similar strategy might succeed in humans.

August 18, 2015

Study Uses Data From A Smartphone Necklace To Map Memories In The Brain

The further apart two memories are formed in space and time in the real world, the farther apart those two memories are physically stored in the brain, a new study found. Scientists strapped smartphones around study participants’ necks to capture random photos that served as a definitive record of where and when memories where first made.

August 17, 2015

India’s First Interplanetary Mission Captures Incredible 3D Images Of A Massive Martian Canyon

This breathtaking 3D image of a canyon on Mars was sent back to Earth by India's Mangalyaan spacecraft, launched in 2013. India's first-ever interplanetery mission has been successful thus far, despite its remarkably low budget.

Space August 17, 2015

Giant Viruses Are Making Scientists Reconsider The Tree Of Life

Over the course of the past decade or so, scientists have found a bunch of enormous viruses, bigger than the scientific community thought was possible. They are causing a lot of confusion.

August 16, 2015

Black Phosphorous Might Beat Graphene In The Next-Generation Electronics Game

Graphene isn't the only 2D material in town. Advances in black phosphorous research are threatening to dethrone the carbon-based king of flatland.

August 15, 2015

This Week In Space: Lettuce Grows In Space As Our Universe Slowly Dies

Space news was even wackier than usual this week. Among the highlights: space lettuce, a piano duet with a pulsating star, and an announcement that the universe is dying.

Space August 14, 2015

NASA Is Using A Tiny Camera Made For Surgery To Save Satellites In Orbit

The smallest camera that NASA could find in the entire world is barely a millimeter across and was designed for surgeries. Now, this camera is up in space as a critical part of an effort to service satellites.

Space August 14, 2015

Pig-To-Person Organ Transplants Are Becoming A Real Possibility With Genetic Engineering

Pigs could be an essentially unlimited supply of organs, if only human bodies didn't reject them. Scientists are working to engineer pig organs that won't invoke a deadly immune system response when transplanted into humans.

August 14, 2015

Science Images Of The Week: Mustachioed Microorganisms, Golden Arches In Space And More

From the feet of geckos to the surface of the sun, this week's science images are full of inspiration. Also in the mix: a gorgeous view of Milan from space, lab bench art and a dashing little microorganism.

August 13, 2015

Drones Overhead Make Bear Hearts Beat Faster

Bears may be more bothered by drones than their outward behavior suggests. When scientists strapped heart monitors on American black bears, they saw heart rates spike as drones flew by.

August 13, 2015

First Fully Sequenced Octopus Genome Reveals Secrets Of Cephalopod Intelligence

For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the octopus genome. Within these biological blueprints, they found clues about how these cephalopods became so incredibly intelligent.

August 12, 2015

'Genomic Archaeology' Reveals That Lager Yeast Was Born More Than Once

Lagers dominate the world beer market, but the origins of the hybrid yeast that brews them has been a topic of debate among beer buffs. The first-ever genome sequence of the long-lost strain of yeast that blended with bread yeast centuries ago shows that lager yeast arose at least twice.

August 11, 2015

Scientists Are 'Milking' Deadly Jellyfish For Medicine

How does one milk a deadly jellyfish? Scientists have come up with a more effective method for harvesting venom from jellyfish that they can use to develop better anti-venoms and other new drugs.

August 11, 2015

Growing Graphene Nanoribbons For Next-Generation Electronics Just Got Easier

Designing next-generation electronics means unlocking a new level of speed and energy efficiency with new materials. Graphene’s incredible properties have made it the materials science powerhouse of the 21st century, but actually making the stuff has proven to be its biggest obstacle.

August 11, 2015

Moonshots: How LiftPort’s Michael Laine Went From Crawling Through The Mud To Creating A Space Elevator

Michael Laine founded the space elevator company LiftPort in 2003 after spending most of his career as a Marine and then an investment manager. More than 10 years later, he’s still dedicated to the project because he believes it can change the world.

Space August 11, 2015

Using The Mathematics Of Memory To Reveal Genes' Roles In The Brain

For the first time, scientists have developed mathematical models that describe memory processes. The new models allow researchers to identify links between memory processes and genes.

August 11, 2015

Why Domestic Cats Have Slit Pupils And Big Cats Don't

Comparing the pupil shapes of over 200 species of land animals revealed that this feature is linked to an animal's role as predator or prey. For cats, whether pupils are slit-shaped or round depends on their proximity to the ground.

August 8, 2015

Barnacles On A Washed-Up Wing May Reveal Clues About The Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

More than a year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, a wing fragment believed to be from that plane washed ashore. The barnacles that have grown on its surface could reveal clues about where the plane crashed.

August 7, 2015

This Week In Space: The Dark Side Of The Moon And The Luminous Death Of Stars

Our own solar system soared this week with a beautiful image of the 'dark side' of our moon, the third anniversary of Curiosity's arrival on Mars, and observations of new features on Saturn's icy moon Tethys. Space telescopes also brought us spectacular images of the remnants of dying stars.

Space August 7, 2015

Tiny Implantable Sensor Lets Doctors Monitor Cancer Treatment In Real Time

This TicTac-sized sensor uses chemical signals to provide doctors with real-time information on how their patient's cancer is responding to treatment instead of only static snapshots. The new tool makes it possible for doctors to detect changes in tumor size more quickly so they can adjust treatments more effectively.

August 6, 2015

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