Earth

Radio frequency ID tags on honey bees reveal hive dynamics

Radio frequency ID tags on honey bees reveal hive dynamics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Scientists attached radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to hundreds of individual honey bees and tracked them for several weeks. The effort yielded two discoveries: Some foraging bees are much busier than others; and if those busy bees disappear, others will take their place.

The findings are reported in the journal Animal Behaviour.

A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

WASHINGTON D.C., June 22, 2014 -- Interest in magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is escalating, thanks to demand for fast, low-cost, nonvolatile, low-consumption, secure memory devices. MRAM, which relies on manipulating the magnetization of materials for data storage rather than electronic charges, boasts all of these advantages as an emerging technology, but so far it hasn't been able to match flash memory in terms of storage density.

Fly-inspired sound detector

Fly-inspired sound detector

WASHINGTON D.C., June 22, 2014 – Even within a phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly is distinguished among other arthropods for its cruelty -- at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern U.S. states and Central America, the fly is a most predatory sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of a singing male cricket, deposits a smear of larvae, and leaves its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the cricket from inside out.

Law of physics governs airplane evolution

Law of physics governs airplane evolution

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers believe they now know why the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft went the way of the dodo -- it hit an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

In a new study, Adrian Bejan, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, shows that a law of physics he penned more than two decades ago helps explain the evolution of passenger airplanes from the small, propeller-driven DC-3s of yore to today's behemoth Boeing 787s. The analysis also provides insights into how aerospace companies can develop successful future designs.

The evolution of airplanes

The evolution of airplanes

WASHINGTON D.C. July 22, 2014 -- One of the traditional arguments against Darwinian evolution has been that no one can confirm the process exists because it occurs on a time scale immensely greater than a human lifetime. Adrian Bejan, the J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University, has disagreed with that notion ever since 1996 when he discovered the Constructal Law, a fundamental principle of physics that underlies the evolution of flow systems as they change in design over time.

'Comb on a chip' powers new NIST/Caltech atomic clock design

'Comb on a chip' powers new NIST/Caltech atomic clock design

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a new design for an atomic clock that is based on a chip-scale frequency comb, or a microcomb.

Boosting the force of empty space

Boosting the force of empty space

This news release is available in German.

Jeju Island is a live volcano

Jeju Island is a live volcano

In Jeju, a place emerging as a world-famous vacation spot with natural tourism resources, a recent study revealed a volcanic eruption occurred on the island. The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) indicated that there are the traces that indicated that a recent volcanic eruption was evident 5,000 years ago. That is the first time to actually find out the date when lava spewed out of a volcano 5,000 years ago in the inland part of the island as well as the one the whole peninsula.

Quantum leap in lasers at Dartmouth brightens future for quantum computing

Dartmouth scientists and their colleagues have devised a breakthrough laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light. The laser may play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers, which are predicted to eventually outperform today's most powerful supercomputers.

The study appears in the journal Physical Review B.

Meerkats' sinister side is secret to their success, study shows

The darker side of meerkats – which sees them prevent their daughters from breeding, and kill their grandchildren – is explained in a new study.

Research into the desert creatures – which live in groups with a dominant breeding pair and many adult helpers – shows that the alpha female can flourish when it maintains the sole right to breed.

The study shows how this way of life, also found in many animals such as ants and bees, can prove effective despite its sinister side.