A thin lattice of metals and organic compounds could turn moisture trapped in the atmosphere into drinkable water using only the power of the sun.
By optimizing what they call a metal-organic framework (MOF) to hang on to water molecules, researchers at MIT and the University of California-Berkeley have created a system that passively catches water vapor and releases it later when exposed to heat from sunlight. Their device could offer a low-cost, sustainable means to deliver drinkable wa ...read more
Springtime Citizen Science
April is buzzing with citizen science you can do at hackfests, conferences, festivals, workshops, marches and more! Looking for family-friendly projects? Check this out. Below, we've selected three projects and two events we think you'll love. You can find more projects and events on SciStarter to do now or bookmark for later. Bonus: Complete your SciStarter profile this month and we'll send you a free pdf of The Rightful Place of ...read more
As robots take on greater roles in society, one simple question remains without a satisfying answer: How are they going to move around?
Researchers have devised robots that run, walk, roll, hop and slither, but each method of locomotion comes with advantages and inherent drawbacks. Wheeled robots are great indoors, but get stuck when faced with even a single step. Legged robots are good at navigating rough terrain, but have difficulty moving quickly and efficiently. There won't be one sol ...read more
In 1977, a group of marine researchers discovered something they’d only before theorized: cracks in the ocean floor releasing heat, warming up (and often boiling) the ocean around it. They also found mollusks in them, and subsequent vents have yielded heat resistant microbes, giant tube worms, and more fantastic creatures living in what are essentially small, underwater volcanoes.
Now, NASA has announced that they have indirect evidence for hydrothermal vents beyond Earth. In its encounte ...read more
In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s an enormous patch of seaweed that’s perplexed sailors for centuries: the Sargasso Sea. This strange place is where American and European eels go to breed. Once born, the little eels — called elvers — have to venture toward land.
American eels live out their lives — which can be more than a decade — just off the eastern seaboard. Their cousins across the pond live everywhere from Scandinavia to North Africa. Then, a ...read more
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