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ALL POSTS BY Andrea Alfano

How Tiny Particles Called Prions Access And Destroy The Brain

Prions are basically brain-eating protein zombies, and so far, doctors have no way to cure the diseases they cause. New research that sheds light on how prions access the brain could facilitate earlier detection of prions in the body.

August 6, 2015

Science Images Of The Week: Pancake Bounce, Mouse Ear Art And More

Whether studying the blood vessels in a mouse's ear or the bizarre behavior of a droplet of water, scientists served up some stunning shots this week. There was even beauty to be found in the patches of cells in our own bodies that may serve as a gateway for brain-destroying pathogens.

Feature August 6, 2015

This Dying Star Looks Like A Cosmic Soap Bubble

Planetary nebulas are one of the most spectacular ways in which stars can die. This is the best view yet of the planetary nebula nicknamed the Southern Owl Nebula.

Space August 5, 2015

A New Ultrafast Light Source Is Setting The Stage For Optical Computing

Capable of blinking at the incomprehensible speed of 90 billion times per second, a new light source represents a key step toward optical computers. These computers could, in theory, run even faster than current computers.

August 5, 2015

Podmasters: 'Why Oh Why' Host Andrea Silenzi Gives A Podcaster's View On Live Performances

Podcasts are going live with what appears to be great success. Andrea Silenzi gave Tech Times an insider's perspective after last week's 'Tape Festival.'

Feature August 4, 2015

Substances That Allow Earthworms To Transform Our World Discovered With Molecular Microscopes

Earthworms are ecosystems engineers, without whom forests and many other parts of our planet would look completely different. Using molecular microscopes, researchers recently uncovered the key to their amazing aptitude for the critical task of recycling plant matter.

Animals August 4, 2015

Empowering Drones With Insectlike Eyes

An ‘artificial eye’ modeled off those of insects could lead to big advances for small drones. The tiny sensors weigh just a couple of milligrams, far smaller than any digital camera that is available today.

FUTURE TECH August 3, 2015

Hubble Catches Sight Of A Dying Star’s Beautiful Final Moments

The Hubble Space Telescope captured this breathtaking image of a planetary nebula. Like a supernova, a planetary nebula is the explosive phase of a star's death, but these two phenomena are not the same.

Space August 3, 2015

Borrowing The Boxfish’s Shell Design To Create Better Body Armor And Flexible Electronics

The boxfish's beautiful arrangement of hexagonal scales creates an incredibly tough armor that still manages to remain flexible. Scientists are taking inspiration from this amazing natural material to design new materials with applications ranging from human body armor to flexible electronics.

July 31, 2015

New Way To Make Quality Graphene Boosts Commercial Viability

Graphene is a 2D material with seemingly unlimited applications in the lab, but the cost of producing it in large sheets has severely limited its applications in the real world. A new technique for growing graphene could change that.

July 31, 2015

This Week In Space: Streaming The Golden Record And Studying Extraterrestrial Kombucha

Earthlings got new access to something that humans launched into space nearly 40 years ago and also learned about why humans launched kombucha microorganisms into space more recently. Plus, alien auroras, a gorgeous new shot of Earth that spotlights Africa, and more.

Space July 31, 2015

Bug-Inspired Bots Can Leap Off Liquid Water

Walking on water is already a tough enough task, but jumping from the surface of water presents an even greater challenge. By studying water strider insects, scientists were able to build a tiny robot that can launch itself off this ubiquitous liquid.

July 30, 2015

ESA Sent Kombucha Into Space To Learn About Potential For Extraterrestrial Life

Kombucha is all the rage among health nuts and hipsters these days, and apparently scientists have taken interest in the ancient brew, too. ESA has sent samples of the microorganisms that turn tea into Kombucha to space in order to learn more about what forms of life can survive beyond our planet.

Space July 30, 2015

Science Images Of The Week: Hard Drugs, Beautiful Chaos, And More

Drugs, chaos, and snakes were just a few of the sources of amazing science images this week. As always, we got some breathtaking perspectives from space, plus some inspiring science-based art.

Feature July 30, 2015

Smartphone DNA Test For Chlamydia Offers Affordable Alternative

Most people living with chlamydia don't even know they have it. The expense of testing for this STD has been an obstacle to early detection and treatment, so researchers developed a lower-cost testing device that attaches to smartphones.

July 29, 2015

Editing The Genomes Of Human Immune Cells Is Now Possible With CRISPR

With the powerful new genetic engineering tool known as CRISPR, scientists were able to successfully edit key cells in the human immune system. This advance could aid efforts to fight diseases such as HIV and even various cancers.

July 29, 2015

Brain Scans Show How Suspenseful Movies Hack Into Your Attention Circuits

Scientists scanned people's brains while they watched suspenseful movies to figure out how these fictional stories are so powerful for capturing our attention. They found that watching thrillers can hack your brain’s attention circuits to give you tunnel vision.

July 27, 2015

Scientists Are Making Lasers Out Of Pig Fat

As if anyone needed another reason to love pig fat, scientists are now turning it into cellular lasers. Besides being a lot of fun to play around with, the lasers could help scientists learn about cells in new ways.

July 27, 2015

The Extreme Darkness Of Moth Eyes May Help Scientists Improve Solar Panels

Moths’ eyes are exquisitely adapted for seeing in the dark, so they absorb almost all of the light that hits them. This same property may help researchers create solar panels capture more light so that they can generate more energy.

Feature July 27, 2015

Fruit Flies Show They May Be Self-Aware By Playing A Video Game

Scientists set up fruit flies to essentially play a virtual reality video game to test whether these insects are self-aware. Their results suggest that the flies were actually aware they were controlling the avatars on the screen.

July 24, 2015

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