It has been an amazing month for science.

MIT researchers have succeeded in printing solar panels onto any piece of paper.

Dutch company PlantLab has figured out how to triple the yield of plants using only 10% of the water typically needed:

When grown outdoors plant photosynthesis is only about 9% efficient. With the correct balance of colored LED light, PlantLab has increased that efficiency to 12 or 15%, aiming for 18%. Double the efficiency means increased yield (or more likely equal yield with less energy). By keeping the plants in a contained system, PlantLab can also recycle evaporated water, which helps them grow crops using just one tenth the water as with traditional greenhouses. Because PlantLab’s harvest is indoors, they don’t have pests (and could quickly isolate rooms that somehow got contaminated) and they don’t need pesticides. Finally, PlantLab’s production facilities can be built almost anywhere: from the Sahara to the Artic, it’s all going to look the same indoors. So everyone’s food can be grown as local as possible. That means fresher food with less costs of transportation.

PlantLab’s Gertjan Meeuws recently discussed some of the other benefits and results of their work on Southern California public radio (KPCC). He claims they’re able to increase crop yield by a factor of three so far!

Scientists at MIT have designed a drug that can cure virtually any viral infection.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvannia have found a way of “turning the patients’ own blood cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their [leukemia] cancer cells.”

Physicists at Niels Bohr Institute maintained quantum entanglement for an hour.

Quantum entanglement means that two objects should be too far apart to effect one another but – due to quantum mechanics – change to one instantly induces changes the other.

Quantum entanglement will one day allow much better computer cryptography, form the backbone of quantum computing, and may allow for interstellar communication systems between spacefaring humans traveling among the stars, make it possible to store information in black holes, or even allow information to instantly pass from past to future.

And for the first time ever, scientists filmed (from a spacecraft) a coronal mass ejection from the sun washing over the Earth. Watch the video (40 megs, takes a while to download; the Earth is the blue ball on the left).

Click here for more amazing science discoveries.

Category: Science, Weekend

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11 Responses to “Incredible Science Discoveries”

  1. BusSchDean says:

    Education has social benefits. And to think that just 15 years ago some of these scientists might have been playing beer pong between studying for tough exams.

  2. GreenTom says:

    Nice to be reminded of something other than markets, thanks. Even though it’s become a staple of science fiction, I think it’s generally accepted by physicists that quantum entanglement doesn’t allow FTL communications.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-communication_theorem)

  3. realgm says:

    That’s why it important to crack down on all wall street frauds.

    The money generated from the frauds attracted most of the smartest people in the world (regardless if they are smart in finance or science or engineering) and turned them into quants, bankers, and criminals. It’s a corrupted industry that got way too big than is necessary.

    The money should be spent on innovation, science, engineering project to improve human life instead of wasted on bonuses for wall street bankers doing account frauds and screwing up the economy.

  4. realgm says:

    If some of these smart people didn’t go to wall street to chase the corrupted money, there might be more innovation and science discoveries by now.

    I personally know a lot of engineers, computer professionals went on to study MBA and tried to chase those corrupted money on wall street. It’s pathetic.

  5. arogersb says:

    When I was at MIT Sloan I visited a company called Konarka (http://www.konarka.com/) in Lowell Mass. They print this stuff on plastic instead of paper but the challenge is the same, how you get the ink to be efficient. These guys solved it with nanotech and I recall they had managed to sell it to some big clients (military equipment for example).

  6. formerlawyer says:

    @A7L-B Says:

    For a more sanguine view of Roy W. Spencer’s research see:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Roy_Spencer.htm

    Roy Spencer is somewhat of a serial mistake scientist. Over the past 20 years, he has continually tried to show that global warming is either not happening or is not of concern. The problem is, he has been shown to be wrong time and time again. He has left it up to others to fix his mistakes. He has made multiple errors with satellite measurements – in fact, he originally said the earth was getting colder. After scientists discovered he had made errors, he corrected his work and his new results show the earth is warming. He also made mistakes with his climate modeling that forced other scientists to write corrections. In the end, Roy has been forced time and time again to admit his errors.

    Spencer doesn’t really view himself as a scientist. Recently, he stated that he views himself a little like a “legislator, paid by the taxpayer to minimize government.” This is curious as his job is to do science, to provide the public with accurate information and let others handle policy.

  7. Marc Mayor says:

    It’s either an amazing month for science, or an amazing month for hype about potential future science.

    In today’s world, please pardon me for being just a bit cautious…

  8. constantnormal says:

    And then there is this …

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/08/19/1218219/13-Year-Old-Uses-Fibonacci-Sequence-For-Solar-Power-Breakthrough

    Amazing how many seemingly obvious things are just waiting to be recognized and tried … No higher math required, no computer simulations needed … Solar cells have been around for a while, and I’m confident that fixed-position solar mirrors could be deployed in a similar manner, making it possible to have effectively harvested solar energy thousands of years ago … It’s just that slavery was even cheaper …

  9. A New Paradigm: The New Science of Lammert Saturation Macroeconomics

    The macroeconomic debt-money-asset system has the same self organizing self assembly patterned laws and characteristics exactly equal to physics, chemistry, and biology.

    On 22 and 23 August 2011 equity and most commodity assets(except US debt futures) will undergo a predicted historical nonlinear collapse.

    In simple terms equity and commodity asset valuations along a timeline are projections of the global available money supply which is composed of debt and money; global debt is undergoing nonlinear collapse.

    22 and 23 August 2011 represent day 20 and 21 of a 13/32/26/20-21 day :: x/2.5x/2x/1.5-1.6x ideal Lammert 4 phase fractal series 3 of valuation growth and one of decay. These one or two trading days are likely to be
    extended with expected trading halts.

    These two days represent the predicted and expected historical nonlinearity of synchronized long term US equity second fractals dating from 1788, 1982, and 2003 with base fractals of 70 years, 9 years, and 32 months respectively.

    The scientific null hypothesis is this: the perfectly patterned quantum 13/32/26/of 20-21 day four phase fractal series ends in an expected historical synchronized second fractal nonlinear collapse(and the preceding Saturation Macroeconomic’s predicted 20/50/40 day reflexic x/2.5x/2x 11 October 2007 Wilshire high) is occurring by chance and by chance alone.

    The macroeconomic debt-money-asset system has the same self organizing self assembly patterned laws and characteristics equal exactly in their mathematical precision to physics, chemistry, and biology.

    It is society’s task to use the known self balancing and quantitative principles of new science to develop rules for a fairer wealth, asset and asset derivative, and monetary system which will allow maximal participation of the consumer base of the macroeconomic system and prevent future excesses of asset production, asset over overvaluation, and excess wealth and debt concentration.

  10. [...] always love reading about new science discoveries, as it all sounds very much like magic to us and ultimately reminds us about the positive potential [...]