Let’s Explore Quantum Teleportation

quantum teleportation2

Quantum teleportation is perhaps the closest that modern technology has come to developing a sort of teleporter for transmitting physical objects across distances without the use of some physical method of moving them. Quantum teleportation involves transmitting the exact state that an atom or photon exists in, and then using this data at a different site to reassemble it. This quantum information cannot travel faster than the speed of light, since it depends on classical communication. Read More →

What White Dwarfs Can Tell Us About the Universe

Birth of a white dwarf (bright spot at the center) in the Dumbbell Nebula./ Credit: Telescopio Joan Oro - Observatori Astronomic del Montsec

Birth of a white dwarf (bright spot at the center) in the Dumbbell Nebula./ Credit: Telescopio Joan Oro – Observatori Astronomic del Montsec

Researchers from Europe and the U.S. have ruled out a multitude of possible parameters for dark photons – a type of dark matter and energy – with the help of white dwarfs. In some aspects, the shining of these dying stars gives more information on dark forces than is provided by earth-based laboratories. The journal ‘Physical Review D’ has published the study [citation below]. Read More →

The World’s Most Powerful Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser

QCL Bild_1

Christoph Deutsch, Martin Brandstetter and Michael Krall in the cleanroom at TU Vienna.

Whether used in diagnostic imaging, analysis of unknown substances or ultrafast communication – terahertz radiation sources are becoming more and more important. A recent Vienna University of Technology breakthrough has been made in this important area [Citations below]. Terahertz waves are invisible, but incredibly useful; they can penetrate many materials which are opaque to visible light and they are perfect for detecting a variety of molecules. Read More →

What Aliens From Another World Will Look Like

Silicon Alien

Invading aliens from outer space won’t look like a Lady Gaga zombie or creatures with serious nasal drip problems. Top planetary scientists have now come up with different sketches of how aliens might appear. Here, then, are what real aliens will most likely look like if they drop on your house. Read More →

Buy a New Kidney or Heart With a Bioprinter

Modern medicine

The day when a person can drop in at the corner organ center and buy a new liver is far in the future, but bioprinting technology will make it possible. Researchers are already experimenting with printing arteries for implantation into patients with clogged arteries. Here, then, is where the bioprinting technology stands as of today.

Bioprinting is the process of using a three-dimensional printer to create living tissue. The process is still in its infancy, and researchers are trying different methods to perfect bioprinting. For example, Cornell University is working on creating heart aorta valves. Should these researchers perfect the process, these bioprinted tissues could be used to replace faulty valves in children with heart disease. Read More →

Are Dolphins More Intelligent than Humans?


Years ago when I was in the Navy, whenever we pulled out of port I’d watch dolphins glide along in front of our ship jumping out of the water in spectacular fashion. Their sheer power and beauty are difficult to describe unless you’ve witnessed them first-hand. As I’d watch them swim along in such a graceful manner, I’d find myself wondering what they thought of our ship and if they were self-aware or could communicate with one another. At the time I knew little about dolphins (I’m still learning today) but I couldn’t help thinking to myself that these beautiful creatures are probably much more intelligent than we are. Read More →

I’m OK, You’re Not OK


The right supramarginal gyrus plays an important role in empathy

Egoism and narcissism appear to be on the rise in our society, while empathy is on the decline. And yet, the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes is extremely important for our coexistence. A research team headed by Tania Singer from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences has discovered that our own feelings can distort our capacity for empathy. This emotionally driven egocentricity is recognized and corrected by the brain. When, however, the right supramarginal gyrus doesn’t function properly or when we have to make particularly quick decisions, our empathy is severely limited. Read More →

Climate Puzzle Over Origins of Life on Earth


The mystery of why life on Earth evolved when it did has deepened with the publication of a new study in the latest edition of the journal Science (citation below).

Scientists at the CRPG-CNRS University of Lorraine, The University of Manchester and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have ruled out a theory as to why the planet was warm enough to sustain the planet’s earliest life forms when the Sun’s energy was roughly three-quarters the strength it is today. Read More →

Mapping Clouds on Exoplanet Kepler-7b

NASA's depiction of an exoplanet discovered last year. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s depiction of an exoplanet discovered last year. (Credit: NASA)

An international team, with participation from the University of Bern, has produced the first map of clouds on an exoplanet using the Kepler Space Telescope. Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets is the path towards ultimately identifying life elsewhere in the Universe. Understanding the role of clouds in exoplanet atmospheres is a necessary ingredient in the cosmic hunt for life. Read More →

Methane Hydrate: The Next Energy Revolution

Methane Hydrate Energy

Hidden beneath the permafrost of the Arctic and under the sediment of the deep sea floor surrounding most continents lies an energy resource that could fuel the world for generations: methane hydrate. Also known as fire ice, this solid form of methane gas is abundant and clean burning (relative to coal). It also has the potential to be converted into a fuel we could use in our cars. Read More →