Lisa Zyga's Blog

Welcome to Lisa Zyga's blog!


Software Predicts Future Rock Stars

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.

Mutant Worms May Provide Cure for Obesity

A mutant roundworm that rapidly consumes its own fat could help researchers develop new treatments for obesity in humans.

Light Could Bring Music to Deaf People

Scientists have accidentally discovered that infrared light can stimulate neurons in the inner ear like sound waves do.

Scientists to Evolve Viruses to Death

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.

Sunscreen for Plants Could Increase Worldwide Crop Yields

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.

Buzz Aldrin: Mars Pioneers Should Remain Permanently On Mars

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 Discover that Scotch Tape Produces X-Rays

Scientists have found that the everyday Scotch tape you use to tape paper and other household materials has another use: it produces X-rays.

Buckypaper: A Future Material for Airplanes to TVs

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.

SanDisk announces ‘SlotMusic’: albums on microSD cards

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.

Japan to Draw Up Plans for a Space Elevator

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.