Category: Interesting Science News

Satellite Imaging

Take a look at these recent images from two satellite missions. A fluorescence map of the world from the OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2) satellite, indicating regions of high photosynthesis activity. A video showing ice loss of the Greenland ice sheet, from data collected by ICESat (Ice, Cloud and Elevation Satellite).

How Cells Move in a Multicellular Organism

Answering the question of how cells move in a multicellular organism is interesting in itself but may also lead to important applications, such as a better understanding of how metastatic cancer actually spreads. Researchers at NIH, Rochester, and Penn State, have identified a new way for cells to move inside a three-dimensional matrix: by using the cell nucleus as a piston! The…

Soliton Turbulence

Understanding complex nonlinear behaviors such as turbulence or space-time disorder is a huge challenge. Being able to describe these phenomena in terms of interacting objects, such as particles, defects, or solitons, is conceptually pleasing and exciting. In an article that just appeared in Physical Review Letters, an international team of researchers reports the observation of “soliton turbulence” in sea surface height…

Robotic Swarm

Fish schools and bird swarms are amazing to look at. It is even more exciting to come up with an understanding of how thousands of entities, each of which is most likely only aware of its nearest neighbors, can self-organize into such large structures. My students and I are interested in this question from a dynamical systems and statistical physics perspective. One…

On Getting Enough Sleep

The research article Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning, published in the journal Science, describes how sleep promotes the retention of dendritic spines formed during learning, which in turn strengthens memory. News coverage of this work includes Sleep’s memory role discovered, published by BBC News, A Good Night’s Rest Boosts Learning, in Science Sifter, and the perspective Memories—getting wired during sleep in Science.