Stories tagged Research findings

Did some big discovery just happen recently? Write up a quick description (1 or 2 lines) and link to a larger story elsewhere.

Maya frieze discovery: Archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli looks at the frieze discovered at the Holmul Archaeological Project.
Maya frieze discovery: Archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli looks at the frieze discovered at the Holmul Archaeological Project.Courtesy Francisco Estrada-Belli
One of the largest and most vibrant archaeological discoveries of the Maya culture was announced yesterday.

Archaeologists have uncovered a 30-foot by 6-foot frieze inside the base of a pyramid depicting deified Maya rulers. Much of the frieze's red, blue and yellow paint has been preserved by debris that had fallen over the frieze. Here's a link to the full report of the finding by archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli’s team at the Holmul Archaeological Project in Guatemala.

“This is a unique find. It is a beautiful work of art and it tells us so much about the function and meaning of the building, which was what we were looking for,” said Estrada-Belli. The carving depicts human figures in a mythological setting, suggesting these may be deified rulers. The team had hoped to find clues to the function of this building, since the unearthing of an undisturbed tomb last year. The burial contained an individual accompanied by 28 ceramic vessels and a wooden funerary mask.

The full frieze: Here's a panoramic view of the full frieze found in Guatemala.
The full frieze: Here's a panoramic view of the full frieze found in Guatemala.Courtesy Francisco Estrada-Belli

Using semiconductor nanowire transistors, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a flexible sensor that lights up when touched. The harder it's pressed the brighter the lights. It's paper-thin, flexible nature could allow it to be laminated to any surface, which is quite different from the rigid touchscreens we find on iPhones, computer screens, and ATMs, for example. This new technology could be used to give robots a finer sense of touch, create a wallpaper that doubles as a touchscreen, or laminate dashboards to allow drivers to change electronic controls by waving their hand.

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Silicon circuit: A protective coating allows this sensor to be implanted in the body in order to detect the presence of proteins that mark the first signs of organ rejection.
Silicon circuit: A protective coating allows this sensor to be implanted in the body in order to detect the presence of proteins that mark the first signs of organ rejection.Courtesy Paul Berger
Researchers from Ohio State University have developed a coating that allows small sensors to function even when in contact with blood, bodily fluids, or living tissue. Currently, the electrical signals in silicon-based, implantable sensors are disrupted by the electrolytes in the body, resulting in unreliable readings. This new, ultra-thin coating blocks the electrolytes and allows the sensors to continue functioning accurately within the body. These coated sensors are first slated to be used to detect early stages of organ transplant rejection, but could have a lot of other possible applications in the future.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a new nanomaterial that could help reduce CO2 emissions produced by coal-fired power plants. This new material acts like a sponge and “soaks up” the carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere by trapping the CO2 molecules in tiny nano-sized pores. This new material is potentially much more energy efficient than other, current methods of separating out CO2 from power plant emissions.

Mosquito: Researchers have tracked several traits that make people be more susceptible to mosquito bites. How do you rate?
Mosquito: Researchers have tracked several traits that make people be more susceptible to mosquito bites. How do you rate?Courtesy JJ Harrison
With all the rain we've had this summer, the conditions are prime for creating large mosquito populations. And researchers have now figured out certain factors – like blood type – that can make people be more tasty targets for the little buzzers. Question, do you think mosquitoes prefer to strike beer drinkers? Click here to find the answer to that, and other factors that can impact your appeal to mosquitoes.

Not your grandma's bandage
Not your grandma's bandageCourtesy Ivy Dawned
Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a wound dressing that can detect infection. In the presence of disease-causing pathogenic bacteria, tiny nanocapsules release dye that fluoresces under UV light. Currently, these wound dressings are being used for pediatric burn victims, whose immature immune systems make them particularly susceptible to infection.

The flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 on Feb. 15, 2013, will be the closest known approach to Earth for an object its size, but there is no chance it will hit Earth.

Ever pull that old bottle of beer out of the back of the fridge and try to remember how old it is? Should I drink it? It might be months, maybe even a year or two old. Well how about 11,000-year-old breweries? Archaeologists have found some very old evidence of breweries and it has created a debate over if grain production started as a way to make beer or bread.