New method for detecting water on Mars
A 21 year old undergraduate student from Washington State University has helped to develop a new method of finding water on Mars. The geology major discovered a way of checking for water in basalt, a kind of dark volcanic rock. It's important to look for signs of water because water indicates the possibility of life.
I believe that this is really cool, and another step closer to possibly having life on Mars one day in the future.
Big-headed ants grow bigger when faced with fierce competitors
An invasive species of ant has been found to react to competitors. Soldier ants grow bigger heads to use as weapons when challenged by other fighting ants. This is an interesting view of adaptations taking place right before our eyes.
I think that it would be pretty cool to watch an ant blow up its head to seem more fierce to the other little ants.
Batteries included: A solar cell that stores its own power
Researchers have managed to combine a solar cell with a battery into one device. The major breakthrough was the use of a mesh solar panel that allows for airflow--it lets the battery/cell "breathe." The device is currently awaiting a patent.
Solar energy is necessary for the future of this planet so the solar cell battery is a large step forward.
Previously unseen details of seafloor exposed in new map
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a new version of the map of the ocean floor. It's twice as accurate as the old ones and shows several features of the ocean floor in sharp detail. 80% of the ocean is completely uncharted, after all, so there's plenty to be done, especially with the help of satellites.
I have always loved the ocean so to find out that scientists have discovered more of the ocean is an amazing feat.
Air pollution increases river flows, study shows
A study conducted by scientists from the United States and from France suggests that aerosols have a significant effect on river flow in the northern hemisphere. Around 1980, at the peak of air pollution, river flow may have been increased by 25%. Major concerns related to river flow include water shortages. This is an example of a way that climate change affects more than just temperature--the earth itself is physically changed by air pollution.
Pollution is a large problem in today's world. We need to do everything we can to stop the spread of pollution.