• Articles

    Why Mars Died, and Earth Lived

    The Mars rover, Curiosity, is the latest in a long line of missions to Mars… Landers sent to scoop its soil and study its rocks, orbiters sent to map its valleys and ridges. They are all asking the same question. Did liquid water once flow on this dry and dusty world? Did it support life in any form? And are there remnants left to find? The science that comes out of these missions may help answer a much larger, more philosophical question… Is our planet Earth the norm, in a galaxy run through with life-bearing planets? Or is Earth a rare gem, with a unique make-up and history that allowed…

  • So … Sometimes Fireflies Eat Other Fireflies | Deep Look
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    So … Sometimes Fireflies Eat Other Fireflies | Deep Look

    If you think there’s something romantic about fireflies glowing on a warm summer night… You’d be right. But what you don’t see, is the dark side of this luminous display. Firefly flashes are a secret code, a language of light. The light comes from a masterful bit of chemistry. A bioluminescent reaction that generates light but no heat. So what are they saying? Well, males on the wing are advertising themselves to females with a bit of sexy skywriting. Take the common Eastern firefly. His signature move? A fishhook-shaped maneuver. Which is why his species is sometimes called the “Big Dipper.” Her reply is more subtle: a single, slow pulse…

  • World’s Smallest Car Race
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    World’s Smallest Car Race

    In April 2017, six teams of scientists from all over the world came together for the world’s smallest car race. Teams had to use state of the art electron microscopes to guide their cars on a track hundred times thinner than a strand of hair and even if the distance was so small the whole race took 30 hours… But what is the purpose of this race and what is a nanocar? My name is Remy Pawlak and I was one of the pilot of the Swiss nano dragster during the first international nanocar race. So the idea is to use an organic molecule that you synthesize that you adsorb…

  • The next step in nanotechnology | George Tulevski
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    The next step in nanotechnology | George Tulevski

    Translator: Leslie Gauthier Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz Let’s imagine a sculptor building a statue, just chipping away with his chisel. Michelangelo had this elegant way of describing it when he said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it’s the task of the sculptor to discover it.” But what if he worked in the opposite direction? Not from a solid block of stone, but from a pile of dust, somehow gluing millions of these particles together to form a statue. I know that’s an absurd notion. It’s probably impossible. The only way you get a statue from a pile of dust is if the statue built itself…