Stories tagged Science links

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An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale has killed at least 2900 people in Indonesia. (This site has updates.)

Klingon spaceships used an invisibility cloak to hide their ship in the Star Trek series. A similar technology will be tested in as soon as 18 months.

John Pendry and colleagues at Imperial College London, UK, have calculated that materials engineered to have abnormal optical properties, known as metamaterials, could make light pass around an object so it appears as if it were not there at all.

Pendry's team has drawn up plans for a spherical metamaterial structure that would render an enclosed object invisible. Electromagnetic waves (Radar, light), instead of reflecting off the structure, would flow around it like water around a rock in a stream.

Read about it:

Human on a chip

"Scientists are recreating the human body on a microchip - using clumps of cells from different organs linked by fluid-filled channels - to reduce the amount of animal testing for drugs.
Michael Schuler, at Cornell University, in New York, built a chip which, among other tissues, carried liver and lung cells. Tests with naphthalene, a chemical found in mothballs, showed that the liver cells broke the chemical down into toxic byproducts that killed some of the lung cells - the same effect seen in people.
The chips could be used to see how viruses cause infection and how drugs work, and cells could be given a disease to investigate treatment. "We're not saying we can replace animal studies, we just hope to make them more efficient, and reduce our use of animals," said Dr Schuler." The Guardian

In an effort to create an artificial reef, the United States Navy sunk an 888-foot aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Mexico last week. The USS Oriskany (oh-RISK-uh-nee) is now the world’s largest man made reef and the first vessel sunk under a Navy program to dispose of old warships by turning them into artificial reefs that will attract fish and other marine life. The hope is that the new reef will bring an economic infusion from sport divers and fishermen.

Kristi Curry Rogers, a current 'Scientist on the Spot' is featured with her husband Ray Rogers in this week's Macalester College podcast. They, "talk about the lure of dinosaurs, why they keep going back to the same place and why this 'stuff' never gets boring."

Yesterday, scientists in Alaska started testing migratory birds for signs of the H5N1 avian flu. For more information on avian flu, check out our online feature.

Ligers generated a lot of interest in a previous blog entry. Recently, a DNA test confirmed the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild in Canada's Northwest Territories. Read more about it here.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, is strongly criticizing the idea that creationism should be taught in schools alongside the scientific evolutionary theory. He dismissed the ideas of creationism saying,

"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god."

Does this bring up questions for you about Catholicism and science? Ask Paul Wojda, our expert on the spot this month.

Laura Chang, the New York Times' science editor is taking questions about science journalism. Should be pretty cool to see both the questions and the answers.
Well spring is pretty much wrapped up but I still enjoyed browsing through this BBC website Springwatch. Our updated summer phenology exhibits are coming soon.