Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Science

34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive 150

cold fjord writes "A scientist has made a weird and wonderful find. 'It's a tale that has all the trappings of a cult 1960s sci-fi movie: Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the 34,000-year-old crystals and discovers, trapped inside, something strange. Something... alive.' The Geological Society of America's current issue of GSA Today has the academic paper."
Power

Video Shows Why Recharging Kills Batteries 111

sciencehabit writes with this except from Science: "You may not give a lot of thought to what happens inside the battery of your laptop or cell phone, but to judge from this video, it's not a dull place. The battery in question is a miniature rechargeable lithium-ion device, and the clip shows what happens when it is charged. As lithium ions flow from the positively charged cathode into the 200-nanometre diameter wires of tin oxide that make up the negatively charged anode, the nanowires writhe and bulge, causing them to expand up to 2.5 fold. The wires also change structure from a neatly ordered crystal to a disordered glassy material. These distortions may explain why such batteries ultimately wear down. Knowing more about the process may help researchers develop longer lasting, and perhaps much smaller, batteries in the future."
Sci-Fi

Space-Time Cloak Could Hide Actual Events 129

An anonymous reader writes "My first thought was, a hypothetical space-time invisibility cloak? That must be what hypothetical crime-fighting Einstein wears when he wades into the fray! Sadly, the researchers who thought up this trick to 'hide events' say that the metamaterials we have on hand will only allow for a nanoscale demonstration at best."
Australia

Immune System Killer Mechanism Identified 88

traveller.ct writes "Researchers from Melbourne and London have identified the mechanism by which the immune system destroys malignant cells. The notion of killer cells puncturing a malignant cell to inject toxic enzymes has been understood for over a century, but now, using the Australian Synchrotron, researchers have identified the protein which is responsible for forming a pore in the malignant cell: perforin. Perforin resembles the cellular weaponry employed by bacteria such as anthrax, but may have been appropriated by our immune system in our evolutionary past to fight against them. The researchers are now investigating ways to boost perforin for more effective cancer protection and therapy for acute diseases such as cerebral malaria."
Botnet

Bredolab Botnet Taken Down 187

Leon Buijs writes "Monday a 27-year-old Armenian was arrested at request of the Dutch authorities. The Dutch police think he is the brain behind the infamous, 30 million infected computers large Bredolab network, that was taken down by their Team (in Dutch) High Crime. Bredolab was used to spread virii and spam via the Netherlands. While taking the botnet down at a Dutch ISP, the suspect did several attempts to regain control. When this didn't work out, he did a DDoS attack on the ISP's servers using a 220,000 computers botnet. However, this was also broken off by taking 3 servers offline that the Armanian used for this, in Paris."
Hardware Hacking

Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene 139

bugsbunnyak writes "The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded for the discovery of graphene to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. Graphene is a novel one-atom-thick lattice state of carbon which has demonstrated unique quantum mechanical properties. These properties derive in part from the 2-dimensional nature of the material: quantum interactions are constrained to the effectively planar dimension of the lattice. Graphene holds promise for physical applications including touch screens, light cells, and potentially solar panels. Geim becomes the first scientist to achieve a Nobel prize despite earlier winning the highly-coveted Ig Nobel in 2000 for his studies of diamagnetic levitation — also known as The Flying Frog." Slashdot originally mentioned the frog almost exactly 10 years ago.
Transportation

Chinese High-Speed Train Sets New World Record 267

shmG writes "A new high-speed train linking Chinese cities Shanghai and Hangzhou has set a fresh world record for train speed at 416.6 kilometers per hour (259 mph) on its trial run on Tuesday. The train is expected to cut the travel time by half, to 40 minutes for covering a distance of 202 kilometers between the two cities at an average speed of 350 kilometers per hour. 'The new record of 416.6 km per hour shows that China has achieved a new milestone in high-speed train technologies,' Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways, was quoted as saying."
Biotech

Light Could Make Paralyzed Limbs Move 63

Zothecula writes "In a study that could eventually restore movement to humans' paralyzed limbs, researchers at California's Stanford University have used light to induce muscle contractions in mice. A gene derived from algae was inserted into the mice, encoding a light-sensitive protein which adhered to their nerve cell surfaces. Scientists then placed an 'optical cuff' lined with tiny, inwards-facing LEDs around the mice's sciatic nerves. By penetrating those nerves with brief, high-intensity bursts of blue light, they were able to produce muscle contractions similar to those that would occur naturally. The technology is called 'optogenetics.'"
Space

Earth-Like Planet That Could Sustain Life Found 575

astroengine writes "An exoplanet, 20 to 50 percent the mass of Earth, has been discovered 20 light-years away and it appears to have all the ingredients conducive to sustaining life. It has enough gravitational clout to hold onto an atmosphere and it orbits well within the 'Goldilocks Zone' of its parent star. However, it would be a very different place to Earth; it is tidally locked to its star, creating one perpetual day on the world. Interestingly, this may also boost the life-giving qualities of the exoplanet, creating stable temperatures in its atmosphere."
Worms

Stuxnet Worm Claimed To Be Devastating In Iran 390

sciencewatcher writes "At debka.com, a website associated with intelligence communities focusing on the Middle East, the claim is made that Tehran this week secretly appealed to a number of computer security experts in West and East Europe with offers of handsome fees for consultations on ways to exorcise the Stuxnet worm spreading havoc through the computer networks and administrative software of its most important industrial complexes and military command centers."
Hardware Hacking

Arduino Project Upgrades With 2 New Boards 113

EqualSlash writes "The Arduino Project is releasing two new boards — Arduino Uno to replace Duemilanove and Arduino Mega 2560 to replace the existing Arduino Mega board. With Uno, the board is not just getting a new pronunciation-friendly name but also has a custom-made USB-serial converter to replace the older FTDI chipset, thereby removing the need to install drivers (they now have their own USB Vendor ID). It now has a logo and stylish packaging, and soon will have its own branded web store. A new Ethernet integrated board and a tinkering toolkit will be made available shortly."
Medicine

Scientists Find New Target For Alzhiemer's 107

GarryFre writes "Neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found a new therapeutic target that can potentially lead to a new way to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The target called neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase) is a protein which, when activated, can cause a chain of reactions in the cell leading to neuronal death and memory loss. Already a substance has been found that shows some promise in halting the progression of the disease."
NASA

Martian Meteorite Gets NASA Mars Rover's Attention 94

coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will take a small detour on its current journey to check out what could be a toaster-sized iron-based meteorite that crashed into the Red Planet. NASA scientists called the rock 'Oileán Ruaidh,' which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. The rock is about 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide from the angle at which it was first seen on September 16."
Earth

Capturing Carbon With Garbage Heaps 186

davide marney writes "In a Washington Post opinion piece, Hugh Price argues that using a decidedly low-tech solution to sequestering excess carbon — making piles of agricultural waste — is better than many 'green' solutions already in practice. Sometimes the easy answer is the right answer. After all, it's how coal forms, and we know that works pretty well."
Australia

Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

Working...