'Mirage Earth' exoplanets may have burned away chances for life
(Phys.org) —Planets orbiting close to low-mass stars—easily the most common stars in the universe—are prime targets in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Rare 2.5-billion-year-old rocks reveal hot spot of sulfur-breathing bacteria
Wriggle your toes in a marsh's mucky bottom sediment and you'll probably inhale a rotten egg smell, the distinctive odor of hydrogen sulfide gas. That's the biochemical signature of sulfur-using bacteria, ...
Oxygen levels were only 0.1 percent of today's levels for roughly billion years before rise of animals
(Phys.org) —Geologists are letting the air out of a nagging mystery about the development of animal life on Earth.
Scientists' new analysis of plant proteins advances our understanding of photosynthesis
A world without plants would be a world without oxygen, uninhabitable for us and for many creatures. We know plants release oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide and breaking down water using sunlight through ...
Electrically conductive plastics promising for batteries, solar cells
(Phys.org) —An emerging class of electrically conductive plastics called "radical polymers" may bring low-cost, transparent solar cells, flexible and lightweight batteries and ultrathin antistatic coatings ...
Researchers discover a way to tease oxygen molecules from carbon dioxide
Cheap hybrid outperforms rare metal as fuel-cell catalyst
(Phys.org) —Graphene quantum dots created at Rice University grab onto graphene platelets like barnacles attach themselves to the hull of a boat. But these dots enhance the properties of the mothership, ...
Plant engineered for more efficient photosynthesis
(Phys.org) —A genetically engineered tobacco plant, developed with two genes from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), holds promise for improving the yields of many food crops.
Water's reaction with metal oxides opens doors for researchers
A multi-institutional team has resolved a long-unanswered question about how two of the world's most common substances interact.
Silk leaf maker says material could aid space journeys (w/ Video)
Highly efficient nanoparticles could bring down the cost of fuel cells
(Phys.org) —Fuel cells are a promising, non-polluting way to power cars, but their platinum catalysts are so expensive that there's no way current technology could be economically scaled up for widespread ...
Engineers figure out how to make more efficient fuel cells
Solar power and other sources of renewable energy can help combat global warming but they have a drawback: they don't produce energy as predictably as plants powered by oil, coal or natural gas. Solar panels ...
Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation
Tibetans were able to adapt to high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new report by University of California, ...
Water behavior breakthrough opens a crucial door in chemistry
(Phys.org) —A multi-institutional team has resolved a long-unanswered question about how two of the world's most common substances interact.