The best talent scouts have a special instinct that tells them if a new band has the stuff to make it big - and make the record label money. Now, researchers have developed a software program that uses data from search queries on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks to predict which new artists will have hit songs.
A mutant roundworm that rapidly consumes its own fat could help researchers develop new treatments for obesity in humans.
Some insects use plants as telephones, communicating with each other at opposite ends of the plant, researchers have found. Insects that live below ground and feed on a plant's roots send chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, alerting leaf-eating insects that live above ground that the plant is already occupied.
In an effort to maintain a steady population of fish, many fisheries have rules for minimum fish sizes or weights. If the fish is too small, it must be thrown back to give it more time to grow and reproduce. Now researchers have found that this policy is flawed.
Evolution, by the very meaning of the word, is generally thought to be a process that slowly unfolds over time, without outside interference.
But now scientists from Rice University are trying to force certain viruses to evolve erratically, in an attempt to kill them. The technique is called "lethal mutagenesis," and while it may sound vicious, it could be a last resort of self-defense against contagious viruses that attack humans.
According to clean chemical company Purfresh, food growers lose between 20 and 40 percent of their crops every year due to sun damage, especially in water-limited regions. The company recently developed a kind of "plant sunscreen" rated at SPF 45 that protects crops from harmful UV and IR rays while permitting beneficial rays to reach the plants.
A trip to Mars could take years and cost billions of dollars. If NASA and the European Space Agency are going to commit to such an ambitious endeavor, they should try to get the most out of their investment. That's why, according to astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the first Mars pioneers should stay there permanently.
Scientists have found that the everyday Scotch tape you use to tape paper and other household materials has another use: it produces X-rays.
Researchers from Florida State have taken a step toward making commercial-grade buckypaper - an ultra-strong, ultra-light material that could be used in a wide variety of applications. Ideally, buckypaper could be 500 times stronger than, but 10 times lighter than, the strongest steel we have today.
Scientists from Israel have discovered how to genetically enhance the scent of flowers by a factor of 10. The method could also lead to "extra-tasty" fruits and vegetables, since smell is a key factor in determining taste.
Could microSD cards - tiny devices the size of a fingernail - replace bulky CDs and intangible downloads for next-generation music lovers? Selling albums in microSD format is the latest concept from SanDisk, the California-based manufacturer of flash memory cards and developer of SD cards, which are now widely licensed.
The idea of a space elevator made of ultra-strong carbon nanotubes has been talked about a lot over the past several years, but recently some research groups have begun to investigate the idea as a real possibility. Most recently, scientists from Japan have started an organization called the Japan Space Elevator Association, and they plan to host an international conference in November to draw up a timetable for the machine.
MIT researchers are designing a system that uses electricity from trees to recharge batteries and generate power in remote locations. The small amounts of tree-generated electricity could be used to track forest fires and possibly "patrol" borders for smuggled radioactive materials.
As delicious as fried food tastes, most people realize that french fries and potato chips are not the healthiest things to eat. Now, food scientists have invented an oven that produces food that looks and tastes fried, but doesn't use the fattening oil that typically gives fried food its taste.
Researchers have created a synthetic "tree" - a centimeter-sized hydrogel with nanopores that can pull water just like real trees pull moisture up their tall trunks.
In response to the growing concern of light pollution in urban areas, researchers have developed a system that automatically measures light pollution and optimizes lighting design. This quantitative data is the first published information that the researchers know of showing how much light escapes from outdoor lighting installations.
In a standard camera lens, light is focused onto a single point in order to magnify a scene. In telescopes, on the other hand, lenses work differently, by reflecting light back and forth to achieve greater magnification. This idea can also be thought of as "folding" light.
Scientists have discoverd that, in medieval churches, stained glass windows painted with gold purify the air when heated by the sun. The researchers hope that this discovery could also be used for modern technologies, since the chemical reaction involved is very energy-efficient.