3 Groundbreaking Experiments Happening Aboard the ISS Right Now https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/christina-koch-activates-the-new-biofabrication-facility NASA astronaut Christina Koch activates the BioFabrication Facility aboard the ISS in August 2019. Credit: NASA Astronauts often leave Earth with plenty of fanfare, but spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) also routinely carry components for on-orbit experimentation, known as payloads. These systems
Imagine a world where everyone is right-handed. The world may not look different, but eventually, the question might arise: Why is no one left-handed? In the world of the molecules that make up the bodies of living things like DNA and RNA, this is a real question—and astrophysics researchers think they might have an answer.
The essence of the perfect slice of sourdough bread is in the air right now. It is even on your hands. The heart of the sourdough is the starter, a fermented culture of flour and water. The sour flavor of the dough comes from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) who live in relative harmony and competition
[embedded content] Are you looking for a fun physics activity to do with the kids this weekend? The Institute of Physics’ Melissa Brobby has just the thing – a self-spinning water sprinkler made from a milk carton. In the above the video, she shows you how to make a sprinkler and tells you about the
On Saturday, 30 May, space enthusiasts around the world held their breathe as the first commercially built rocket to carry people into orbit lifted off from Florida. On board were two American astronauts heading for the International Space Station – and this joint mission involving NASA and SpaceX has thus far been a success. In
What happens when you focus one of the world’s most powerful lasers on a spot so tiny it can be hidden by a human hair? Using the J-KAREN-P laser at the Kansai Photon Science Institute (KPSI) in Japan, a team led by researchers from the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)
The electromagnetic spectrum, an assortment of energy wiggling throughout space and time, is overwhelmingly underappreciated in our lives. There is no combination of existence that could happen without it. To celebrate the role that light plays in our lives, our ecosystem, and the operation of the universe, UNESCO declared March 16th as the International Day
UUltrasound is a powerful tool for looking inside the body. The scans see through layers of tissue to reveal pumping hearts, developing fetuses, troublesome blood clots, and injured muscles. They are relatively low-cost, portable, and have few side effects. Patients aren’t exposed to ionizing radiation or confined in a small space. They are, however, slathered
[embedded content] As an antidote to those glossy, big-budget TV programmes about the wonders of the universe, the cosmologist Peter Coles of Ireland’s Maynooth University is putting out a series of videos that point out that the universe is actually a bit disappointing. In his first video, shown above, he explains why stars really aren’t
If you’re on the receiving end of a snapping shrimp’s attack, prepare to be stunned. Also known as pistol shrimp, these little crustaceans shoot lethal rounds at predators and prey at highway speeds—a direct hit can be outright fatal or shock the recipient into submission. It’s not just the force of the attack that’s stunning
[embedded content] Yesterday I helped my daughter with her GSCE physics homework, and I was rather pleased that I remembered that V=IR and P=IV. While we had great fun working out the properties of various electrical appliances, some of you might want to do more hands-on physics at home. You are in luck because the
One of the most captivating aspects of the summer Olympics is watching the world’s best athletes push their bodies to the edge of what is humanly possible. In 2016, the world watched in awe as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his third consecutive Olympic gold in each of three distances—the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has quickly become the largest pandemic in recent history, but it’s not unprecedented. The outbreak of the so-called “Spanish Flu”, an avian influenza virus, spread worldwide, infecting one-third of the population. While scientists are still learning how the coronavirus operates, we have lots of tools at our disposal to fight it.
This short film takes you inside one of Spain’s premier materials science research facilities – the Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM). Managed by Spain’s scientific research council, the institute deals with both fundamental and applied research with a strong focus on areas that could lead to real-world applications. In the video – recorded just before
Antoine Riaud might need to take his wife on a second honeymoon. You’re supposed to spend that first romantic getaway obsessing over your new spouse, not how cells behave in an acoustics experiment. But when inspiration calls…well, it can be hard to ignore. For some time Riaud had been working on an idea for a
“Bacteria always find new ways to manipulate their environment to protect themselves,” says Harshitha Kotian, a PhD candidate at the Indian Institute of Science. Like many physics students, Kotian once thought research on bacteria and antibiotics should be left to the biologists and chemists. Now she’s part of an interdisciplinary research team that recently uncovered
[embedded content] Physicist and author Sabine Hossenfelder is probably most famous for being the bane of those who believe that physics should have an underlying mathematical beauty. But she is also a talented musician and video producer, as you can see in the above video. It’s a riff on REM’s “It’s the end of the
Until something disrupts the rhythm of life (or you’re in the car with a five-year-old), most of us don’t stop to analyze why things are the way they are. We’re too busy navigating life to step back and ponder our reality. But let’s try it for a few minutes. Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash. We live in
The future of clothing is electronic. Along with color and size, you’ll probably be able to choose clothes based on what they do—as determined by the sensors, indicators, and power sources embedded within them. Many researchers expect that such “smart clothing” will revolutionize at least some aspects of medicine and fashion. But in the age
In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, we delve into the March 2020 edition of Physics World magazine, taking a look at a feature examining how scientists hope to harness power from the motion of ocean waves, plus the magazine’s new interview-based graduate careers advice section. We also talk about some of the