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Updated: 11 hours 26 min ago

Astronauts complete space walk to repair space station

8 October 2014

Guardian: Yesterday astronauts completed the first of three space walks outside the International Space Station. Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency worked for 6.5 hours to take care of several tasks, including moving a failed cooling pump into storage and replacing a light in a TV camera. The next two space walks are scheduled for 15 October and 22 October.

Astronauts complete space walk to repair space station

8 October 2014

Guardian: Yesterday astronauts completed the first of three space walks outside the International Space Station. Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency worked for 6.5 hours to take care of several tasks, including moving a failed cooling pump into storage and replacing a light in a TV camera. The next two space walks are scheduled for 15 October and 22 October.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to three physicists

8 October 2014

Nobel Foundation: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, VA; Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany; and William E. Moerner of Stanford University in California. The three researchers won the prize "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy."

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to three physicists

8 October 2014

Nobel Foundation: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, VA; Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany; and William E. Moerner of Stanford University in California. The three researchers won the prize "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy."

Eleven Nobel laureates call for sustainable economy

7 October 2014

Guardian: A conference of Nobel laureates is being held this week in Hong Kong. The event coincides with the awarding of this year's Nobel Prizes. Its focus is on the likely effects of global warming and the rate at which humanity is using Earth's natural resources. The laureates, who include physicists Brian Schmidt and George Smoot and crystallographer Ada Yonath, say the primary message is that sustainability is key—not just in fighting climate change, but also in ensuring that humanity can continue to support itself ecologically and economically. Smoot pointed to the blue LED, which earned this year's physics prize, as an example of the way technology can help with sustainability. LEDs provide a low-carbon and efficient alternative for artificial lighting. The laureates listed several major areas that humanity needs to be concerned with going forward, including Asian urbanization, alternative energy sources, drug-resistant bacteria, and ecological conservation. They also indicated that open and honest discussion by scientists is necessary for convincing politicians and the public of the dangers of non-sustainability.

Eleven Nobel laureates call for sustainable economy

7 October 2014

Guardian: A conference of Nobel laureates is being held this week in Hong Kong. The event coincides with the awarding of this year's Nobel Prizes. Its focus is on the likely effects of global warming and the rate at which humanity is using Earth's natural resources. The laureates, who include physicists Brian Schmidt and George Smoot and crystallographer Ada Yonath, say the primary message is that sustainability is key—not just in fighting climate change, but also in ensuring that humanity can continue to support itself ecologically and economically. Smoot pointed to the blue LED, which earned this year's physics prize, as an example of the way technology can help with sustainability. LEDs provide a low-carbon and efficient alternative for artificial lighting. The laureates listed several major areas that humanity needs to be concerned with going forward, including Asian urbanization, alternative energy sources, drug-resistant bacteria, and ecological conservation. They also indicated that open and honest discussion by scientists is necessary for convincing politicians and the public of the dangers of non-sustainability.

Researchers develop 3D printed ear

7 October 2014

Telegraph: A new technique has been developed to help children born with severe facial deformities. It involves the creation of an ear implant through the use of 3D printing. Rather than taking cartilage from other parts of the body, as has been done in the past, scientists show how the undamaged ear can be scanned and a mirror copy created using a spongy plastic. The new ear is then implanted under a flap of the patient’s skin for 4–8 weeks, during which time the skin grows over it and blood vessels develop. At that point, it can be detached and put in place. The process also reduces the number of operations that used to be required. Trials are set to begin in India and the UK by next year.

Researchers develop 3D printed ear

7 October 2014

Telegraph: A new technique has been developed to help children born with severe facial deformities. It involves the creation of an ear implant through the use of 3D printing. Rather than taking cartilage from other parts of the body, as has been done in the past, scientists show how the undamaged ear can be scanned and a mirror copy created using a spongy plastic. The new ear is then implanted under a flap of the patient’s skin for 4–8 weeks, during which time the skin grows over it and blood vessels develop. At that point, it can be detached and put in place. The process also reduces the number of operations that used to be required. Trials are set to begin in India and the UK by next year.

Aerosol pollution can raise fresh groundwater supply

7 October 2014

Nature: Over the past century, particles such as sulfates emitted by power plants, factories, and agriculture have been clogging the air and reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. According to a recent study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers have found that as less sunlight reaches the ground, less evaporation occurs and more water ends up in rivers. To verify that air pollution really influences land hydrology, the researchers ruled out several other factors that can affect river flow, such as global climate change, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and local vegetation. They estimate that by 1980, aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere “led to an increase in river runoff by up to 25% in the most heavily polluted regions in Europe.” Nevertheless, Earth’s water cycle is complex. Other scientists have pointed out that if the air becomes too polluted, as has happened after major volcanic eruptions, it could also affect rainfall and leave rivers drier than ever.

Aerosol pollution can raise fresh groundwater supply

7 October 2014

Nature: Over the past century, particles such as sulfates emitted by power plants, factories, and agriculture have been clogging the air and reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. According to a recent study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers have found that as less sunlight reaches the ground, less evaporation occurs and more water ends up in rivers. To verify that air pollution really influences land hydrology, the researchers ruled out several other factors that can affect river flow, such as global climate change, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and local vegetation. They estimate that by 1980, aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere “led to an increase in river runoff by up to 25% in the most heavily polluted regions in Europe.” Nevertheless, Earth’s water cycle is complex. Other scientists have pointed out that if the air becomes too polluted, as has happened after major volcanic eruptions, it could also affect rainfall and leave rivers drier than ever.

Nobel physics prize honors inventors of blue LEDs

7 October 2014

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Isamu Akasaki (Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan), Hiroshi Amano (Nagoya University, Japan), and Shuji Nakamura (University of California, Santa Barbara) are the awardees of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the laureates overcame a range of challenges in physics and materials science to develop efficient blue light-emitting diodes. Red and green LEDs had been available since the late 1960s. The invention of blue LEDs, which made their debut in 1993, completed the visual spectrum and made it possible for LEDs to be used for a wide variety of lighting applications. Compared with incandescent light bulbs, LEDs are 10 times more energy efficient, last 50 times longer, and are more physically robust. Given that 20–30% of the world's electricity is consumed by lighting, the widespread adoption of LED lighting should lead, in the words of the Nobel committee, "to significant energy savings of great benefit to mankind."

Nobel physics prize honors inventors of blue LEDs

7 October 2014

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Isamu Akasaki (Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan), Hiroshi Amano (Nagoya University, Japan), and Shuji Nakamura (University of California, Santa Barbara) are the awardees of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the laureates overcame a range of challenges in physics and materials science to develop efficient blue light-emitting diodes. Red and green LEDs had been available since the late 1960s. The invention of blue LEDs, which made their debut in 1993, completed the visual spectrum and made it possible for LEDs to be used for a wide variety of lighting applications. Compared with incandescent light bulbs, LEDs are 10 times more energy efficient, last 50 times longer, and are more physically robust. Given that 20–30% of the world's electricity is consumed by lighting, the widespread adoption of LED lighting should lead, in the words of the Nobel committee, "to significant energy savings of great benefit to mankind."

Developers of blue LEDs win 2014 physics Nobel

7 October 2014
The invention greatly extended the range of applications for efficient and long-lived solid-state lighting.

Developers of blue LEDs win 2014 physics Nobel

7 October 2014
The invention greatly extended the range of applications for efficient and long-lived solid-state lighting.

IPF 2014: Detecting stealth crop diseases

6 October 2014
Physicists help Brazilian orange groves to thrive.

IPF 2014: Detecting stealth crop diseases

6 October 2014
Physicists help Brazilian orange groves to thrive.

Peter J. Price

6 October 2014

Peter J. Price

6 October 2014

IPF 2014: Industrial physics goes global

6 October 2014
The latest Industrial Physics Forum, held this week in Campinas, Brazil, explores technological innovation in emerging economies.

IPF 2014: Industrial physics goes global

6 October 2014
The latest Industrial Physics Forum, held this week in Campinas, Brazil, explores technological innovation in emerging economies.

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