Science

Heat Camouflage

Research published by The American Chemical Society shows that aerogel film coated with polyethylene glycol and a waterproof layer acts as an effective invisibility cloak to infrared detectors. The relatively inexpensive coated material effectively absorbs heat but releases it slowly over time, making it less visible.

AntBot

Researchers at CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, in the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement – Étienne Jules Marey (ISM) have developed a robot that can navigate outdoors without GPS. The AntBot mimics the cataglyphis desert ants, which navigate using an internal celestial compass based on the sky's polarised light combined with counting their steps taken.

Bee Arithmetic

Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne conducted an experiment that showed that bees can perform addition and subtraction arithmetic by associating abstractions such as colour to the operators and performing calculations within a maze in search for sugar water.

Immediate Fossil Fuel Phaseout Needed

A study from the University of Leeds says that there is a 66% chance of keeping temperature increase below a 1.5 degree increase if a fossil fuel phaseout begins immediately. The research assumes a lifespan for powerplants of 40 years, cars 15 years and planes 26 years. It also assumes a rapid end to beef and dairy consumption. If the phaseout doesn't being until 2030, the chances reduce to 33%.

Insect Cam

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a 1.4mm thick camera prototype. The novel ultra-slim camera design is based on the eye structure of the xenos peckii parastic insect, which consists of a series of micro-prisms that sit above a set of microlenses.

Air Scrubber Ivy

Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a pothos ivy houseplant to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it. The modified plants express a 2E1 protein that transforms the cholorform an benzene into molecules that the plants can then use to support their own growth.

Softday Uisce Salach

Art-Science duo Softday have launched a new community art project called Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) based on water analyses from domestic water supplies from the River Liffey, its tributaries in Dublin City and from Dublin Port. The project will synergise science and arts practice using water sampling and creative technology, developing new thinking and new meaning around the sustainability of water resources.

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