After 40 Years of Hunting, Scientists Identify a Key Flaw in Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panels are fantastic pieces of technology, but we need to work out how to make them even more efficient – and last year, scientists solved a 40-year-old mystery around one of the key obstacles to increased efficiency. The 2019 study outlined a material defect in silicon used to produce solar cells that has previously gone undetected. It could be responsible for the 2 percent efficiency

Geologists Finally Reveal The Forces That Forged Earth’s Sunken Continent Zealandia

Three years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results from our scientific drilling expedition reveal the largely submerged Zealandia continent, which stretches across five million square kilometres beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean, was shaped by two tectonic events. First it was ripped away from Australia and Antarctica, and th

An Extremely Rare ‘Double Nucleus’ Has Been Imaged in a Nearby Galaxy

Wrapped up within the nearby Cocoon Galaxy, astronomers have detected a rare double heart. Recognised in the Northern Hemisphere for its distinct shape, this distorted spiral galaxy, otherwise known as NGC 4490, appears to be hiding a true rarity. Despite its relatively small size - its system is roughly a fifth of the Milky Way - this cocoon holds not one, but two central cores. "I saw the

Bumblebees Are in Trouble, as Rising Temperatures Drive Their Decline

For some species, small jumps in temperature make a big difference in survival. To predict which populations are at risk, ecologists developed a new way to map shifts in population in relation to temperature change, and tested it on bumblebees. The news for many of these fuzzy-buzzy pollination balls across the western hemisphere isn't great. Putting aside any damage we're causing through wanto

The World’s Only Venomous Primate Could Explain Why Humans Are Allergic to Cats

For those with a severe cat allergy, any location that harbours a pet feline can become a toxic no-go zone. Research on another tragically cute mammal now suggests this might be no accident of nature – cats really are trying to keep us away. A study on the world's only known example of a venomous primate has found a surprising similarity between a key protein in its armpit glands and the alle

Scientists Unlock a New Method That Can Actually Bend Diamonds

Diamond is one of the hardest materials on the planet, but scientists have found a new way of getting it to bend and deform – and the key to these processes is to work at the tiniest possible scales. By beaming an electric field at diamond nanoneedles just 20 nanometres in length (about 10,000 time smaller than a human hair), the researchers were able to get them to bend to 90 degrees without

Astronomers Find Ultramassive Galaxy From The Early Universe That Suddenly Died

Astronomers have found a monster galaxy causing trouble in the early Universe. When the Universe was just 1.8 billion years old, galaxy XMM-2599 was already a colossal chonker. It was also already dead as a doornail. Sometime between the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago) and 12 billion years ago, it had ballooned out in a burst of star formation - and then completely stopped. "Even before

This Weekend We Might See a ‘Snow Supermoon’. Here’s What That Means

A full snow moon will be visible in the sky this weekend, but experts disagree about whether or not it's a supermoon. It will be one of the biggest full moons this year, since the Moon is nearing the closest point to Earth in its orbit. But there's no official definition for a supermoon. Astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined the term, and say that this is not a supermoon. Astr

We May Finally Have a Way to Detect Hawking Radiation Leaking From Black Holes

The epic collision between two neutron stars in 2017 really is the science gift that keeps on giving. As they merged, gravitational waves rippled out across the Universe; now reverberations from that event could confirm a decades-old hypothesis about black holes. Astronomers poring over the gravitational wave data believe they have found evidence of echoes - something that would only occur in t

US Trial Shows 3 Cancer Patients Had Their Genomes Altered Safely by CRISPR

US scientists have succeeded in genetically editing the immune systems of three cancer patients using CRISPR, without creating any side effects, a first for the tool which is revolutionizing biomedical research. The highly anticipated results from the first phase of a clinical trial were published in the journal Science on Thursday. They represent a stepping stone that doesn't yet prove CRIS

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