Cornstarch might have ended the Gulf spill agony sooner

On May 25th, 2010, the online arm of Upstream, a newspaper for the international oil and gas industry, reported that British Petroleum had started top-kill procedures on the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The company said that the operation,…

From toxicity to life: Arsenic proves to be a building block

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Arsenic – an element that triggers death for most Earthly life forms – is actually allowing for a bacterium to thrive and reproduce.
In a study that may prompt the rewriting of textbooks, a team of astrobiologists and chemists…

Taming thermonuclear plasma with a snowflake

Physicists working on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are now one step closer to solving one of the grand challenges of magnetic fusion research — how to reduce the effect that the hot pla…

Project sets records for laser performance

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently produced 10,400 Joules or 10.4 kiloJoules (kJ) of ultraviolet laser light in a single laser beamline, setting a world record for laser performance. In recent weeks NIF laser scientists also have used the first four NIF beamlines to set records for infrared and green single beam laser energies with 21 kJ and 11 kJ of energy delivered, respectively. NIF researchers focused this light into a special diagnostic system designed to provide precise measurements of laser beam quality and performance at these different frequencies.

New Look at Satellite Data Supports Global Warming Trend

A new analysis of satellite data collected since the late 1970s from the lowest few miles of the atmosphere indicates a global temperature rise of about one-third of a degree Fahrenheit between 1979 and 1999. The results are at odds with previous analyses that show virtually no warming in the satellite record over the 20-year period.

Semen quality may start to decline in one's 20s

With each passing year, semen quality in adult men declines, suggesting that age plays a greater role in male fertility rates than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The study, published Thursday, Feb. 6, in the journal Human Reproduction, suggests that even healthy men may become progressively less fertile as time goes by.

Zooming-in on star formation in the Orion Nebula

A team of astronomers is using one of the most advanced ground-based telescopes in the world to “zoom-in” on protostars in the Orion Nebula, revealing in unprecedented detail a variety of phenomena associated with star and planet formation in the presence of extremely massive, luminous stars. These phenomena include high-velocity jets of gas launched from the protostars themselves; evaporation flows driven by the intense radiation of nearby massive stars; and colliding winds that form thin, filamentary sheets of gas.

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