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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Africa’s top shots: 16-22 September 2016

A selection of the best photos from across Africa this week. Source: BBC

Your pictures

Each week, we publish a gallery of readers' pictures on a set theme. This week, we asked for your pictures on the theme of "dance". Source: BBC

Resonance in Rainbow Bridge

Utah's iconic Rainbow Bridge hums with natural and human-made vibrations, according to a new study. The study characterizes the different ways the bridge vibrates and what frequencies and energy sources cause the rock structure to resonate. The vibrations are small, according to a geology and geophysics professor, but the study provides a baseline measure of the bridge's structural integrity and shows how human activities can rattle solid rock.

Wheels: Don’t Waste Money on Premium Gas if Your Car Is Made for Regular

A new AAA report states that except in certain cases, premium offers no benefit and is a waste of money. However, brand-name fuels can still help.

Fracking causes earthquakes, but new research finds way to make it safer

Injecting wastewater deep underground as a byproduct of oil and gas extraction techniques that include fracking causes human-made earthquakes, new research has found. The study, which also showed that the risk can be mitigated, has the potential to transform oil and gas industry practices.

Marriage made in sunlight: Invention merges solar with liquid battery

As solar cells produce a greater proportion of total electric power, a fundamental limitation remains: the dark of night when solar cells go to sleep. Lithium-ion batteries are too expensive a solution to use on something as massive as the electric grid. A professor of chemistry has a better idea: integrating the solar cell with a large-capacity battery.

Unique feeding habits of whales revealed

Whales are the biggest animals to ever have existed on Earth, and yet some subsist on creatures the size of a paper clip. It's a relatively common factoid, but, in truth, how they do this is only just being uncovered, thanks to new technologies.

Different tree species use the same genes to adapt to climate change, researchers find

Both pine and spruce use the same suite of 47 genes to adapt to geographic variation in temperature, and to appropriately time acquisition of cold hardiness -- a trait that allows plants to tolerate the adverse conditions of winter -- large-scale analysis has revealed.

Trophy hunting of lions can conserve the species, report suggests

Trophy hunters can play an important role in lion conservation, researchers have shown. These findings may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. The new work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.

Bizarre new species of extinct reptile shows dinosaurs copied body, skull shapes of distant...

Iconic dinosaur shapes were present for at least a hundred million years on our planet in animals before those dinosaurs themselves actually appeared.

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Clues to the Innate Drug Resistance of a Cocoa-Fermenting Pathogen

At first glance, the yeast Candida krusei seems as innocuous as microbes come: it’s used for fermenting cocoa beans and gives chocolate its pleasant aroma. But it’s increasingly being found as a pathogen in immunocompromised patients — and C. krusei infections aren’t always easy to cure.

Toward efficient high-pressure desalination

One of the biggest operational challenges for desalination plants is the fouling of membranes by microbes. New research suggests a novel approach to reducing the rate of fouling, and thus improving desalination plant efficiency.

Whales and dolphins have rich ‘human-like’ cultures and societies

Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.