Using a nanopore sequencer on a USB dongle and new open-source fuzzy logic UNCALLED software, scientists can selectively sequence DNA samples in three days or less without the need for large expensive lab equipment.
Researchers at Oregon State University have demonstracted how to map the ocean floor using whale song! The 190 dB song of fin whales takes the form of second long bursts in the 20Hz range separated by dozens of seconds and typically last for hours.
Scientists at Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany have developed paper thin speakers which can be printed on rolls of paper called T-Paper. The paper holds two layers of conductive organic polymer with a piezoelectric layer in between that vibrates to create the sound. T-paper can be shaped into a circle and act as a hanging loudspeaker at events like tradeshows or as part of museum exhibits to broadcast audio information.
Engineers at MIT have used spinach to detect explosive materials in groundwater. Carbon nanotubes in the spinach leaves emit a signal when the routes detect nitroaromatics, often found in landmines, which is picked up by an infrared camera that triggers an email to alert scientists.
Airborne.cam is a calculator that displays the individual risk of COVID-19 infection indoors based on a number of input factors, such as size of the room, the type of ventilation, and the period of time spent in the room.
Nature published a list of 10 remarkable discoveries of 2020 which include the violation of matter-antimatter symmetry, the connection between the shifting jetstream and the ozone layer, and the DNA based discovery of incest between the people buried in Newgrange.
NASA scientists have discovered an energy barrier around the earth that protects us from radiation and that is accidentally man made. The barrier is made of VLF (very low frequency) radio waves, which are generally used to communication with underwater submarines but have been leaking into the atmosphere.
Someone decided that it was a good idea to put spiders on the International Space Station! Experiments with the space spiders (!) have shown that the spiders need a point of reference when building their webs and that light can be used as that reference in the absence of gravity. With no point of reference the spiders spin symmetrical webs in zero-g.