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Some of the most elaborately decorated instruments in history were produced in 18th century Naples. The materials for varnishes and decorations used by individual mandolin masters, honed for wealthy clients in the ancient city's labyrinthine artisan quarter, have been kept secret for over 200 years. Details are disclosed for the first time by Tommaso Rovetta from the Università degli Studi di Pavia and colleagues at the Laboratorio Arvedi Research Group in Springer's journal Applied Physics A - Materials Science & Processing.
It wasn't easy to find a specific book on library shelves in the Middle Ages. The spine title had not yet been invented, and the books weren't published in standard sizes. But readers didn't have to spend hours searching, thanks to an ingenious system that made use of concepts similar to modern GPS.
GPS satellites are crucial for navigation, but now researchers think this technology could be used for an unexpected purpose: finding traces of enigmatic dark matter that is thought to lurk throughout the universe.
AIR conditioning is a transformative technology. It has made the world’s torrid climes pleasanter to live in, and enabled the siesta-free working habits of the temperate regions to move closer to the equator. But cooling buildings takes a lot of energy. Heat must be pumped actively from their interiors to their exteriors. Fully 15% of the electricity used by buildings in the United States is devoted to this task. If an idea dreamed up by Aaswath Raman of Stanford University and his colleagues comes to fruition, that may change. Dr Raman has invented a way to encourage buildings to dump their heat without the need for pumps and compressors. Instead, they simply radiate it into outer space.
Despite society’s move toward a fully digital world, a good deal of business is still transacted on paper. In some estimates, it’s as high as 90 percent, with a great deal of printed paper discarded after just one-time use.
Sen—Astronomers have made the first ever observation from a ground-based telescope of a super-Earth passing in front of a star similar to the Sun.
A planet may be forming in a star system with more than one sun, making it sort of like an early Tatooine, the fictional home world of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars," new research shows.
Related: Binary Earth-Size Planets Possible Around Distant Stars
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health is unraveling the mystery of how blue light from residential and commercial lighting, electronic devices and outdoor lights can throw off-kilter the natural body clock of humans, plants and animals, leading to disease.
The amount of time people spend sleeping is linked with two regions of their DNA, a new study suggests.
In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans — they don’t assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new Yale study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Why does it take so long for human children to grow up? A male chimp and male human, for example, both end up with the same body weight but they grow very differently: at year one the human weighs twice that of the chimp but at eight the chimp is twice that of the human. The chimp then gains its adult weight by 12 – six years before the human. A male gorilla is also a faster growing primate – a 330-pound male gorilla weighs 110 pounds by its fifth birthday and 265 pounds by its tenth.
Athens, Ga. - Vitamin D deficiency is not just harmful to physical health—it also might impact mental health, according to a team of researchers that has found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of sunlight.
Related: Concussions and depression look alike in brain scans
A way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss has been found in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.
The holidays are packed with opportunities to raise a glass of our favorite boozy beverages and toast family, friends and good fortunes. But our ability to digest rum-spiked eggnog may be due to a massive climate shift that occurred millions of years ago.
Alt: Ability to consume alcohol may have shaped primate evolution
Thirty-five million to 47 million years ago, a carnivorous plant lived in what's now Russia. The dinosaurs were long gone, but various groups of mammals were still just evolving. The plant paid most of its attention, however, to smaller animals. Its leaves sported tentacley hairs that exuded a sticky fluid, designed to trap insects.
New findings published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences byan international team of researchers, including Museum Curator Ross MacPhee, are revising estimates of the age of American mastodon fossils—and helping to resolve a quandary about how these extinct relatives of elephants once lived in the Arctic and Subarctic.
Scientists have used a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to identify what different regions of the brain are doing while people read.
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