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Bloodhound supersonic car set for October trials

Bloodhound supersonic car set for October trials

Science
The Bloodhound supersonic car will run for the first time on 26 October. It is going to conduct a series of "slow speed" trials on the runway at Newquay airport in Cornwall. Engineers want to shake down the vehicle's systems before heading out to South Africa next year to try to break the land speed record. This stands at 763mph (1,228km/h), and Bloodhound's aim is to raise the mark in two stages - by getting first to 800mph and then to 1,000mph. The Newquay trials will not see anything like those speeds. The 9,000ft-long (2,744m) runway at the former RAF base is simply too short to allow Bloodhound to use the full thrust at its disposal. Instead, driver Andy Green will take the car up to about 200mph using just its Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine. The rocket motor that would ordinarily pro...
Scientists map invasive species hotspots

Scientists map invasive species hotspots

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- Where are alien, or invasive, species most abundant? Where do they have the most success?According to new research by an international team of scientists, foreign invaders -- both plants and animals -- most frequently take root on islands and among the coastal regions of continents.In an effort to identify geographical patterns, scientists mapped the distribution of different types of invasive species, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, spiders, ants and vascular plants. Their analysis identified 186 islands and 423 mainland regions with high concentrations of alien species.Scientists measured the largest number of invasive species -- from all groups -- in Hawaii and New Zealand."Both regions are remote islands that used to be very isolated, lacking so...
The future will be rainier than expected, according to new NASA data

The future will be rainier than expected, according to new NASA data

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- In a new study, NASA scientists argue the latest predictive climate models underestimate future levels of precipitation in the tropics.NASA data suggests the tropics will host fewer tall, high-alittude clouds as global warming continues, boosting rainfall totals in the region.Under different circumstances, fewer clouds would likely translate to less precipitation. But tall tropical clouds help trap heat in the atmosphere. Without fewer of them around, the air above the tropics is expected to cool. Cooler air means more rain.But the confusing changes don't stop there. The increase in rain is expected to reheat the atmosphere. As raindrops condense, they transfer energy to their surroundings, warming the atmosphere. The cycle of heating and cooling encourages large-scale air...
Scientists capture, suspend individual cells in tiny drops of gel

Scientists capture, suspend individual cells in tiny drops of gel

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- A new method for isolating cells promises to prolong the amount of time scientists can study individual cells in the lab.Currently, only way to study individual cells is to cultivate and capture them in microgels, tiny hydrogel droplets. Unfortunately, most cells escape from the droplets within a few days.In order to study the biochemical mechanics of disease -- as well as the promise of new drug and stem cell therapies -- researchers need to monitor individual cells for longer periods of time.Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands decided to take a closer look at escaping cells and found most were located near the edges of the hydrogel droplets. The scientists developed a chip capable of trapping individual cells in the exact center of the drops of hyd...
Subsea pipelines offer shelter to important commercial fish species in Australia

Subsea pipelines offer shelter to important commercial fish species in Australia

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- For conservationists and environmentalists, pipelines and the oil they carry are mostly viewed as a threat to ecological health. But new research suggests they serve as a safe haven for important commercial fish species off the coast of northwest Australia.The North West Shelf, which lies off the coast of Western Australia, features an array of gas wells, subsea pipelines and other kinds of underwater infrastructure necessary to support oil and gas exploration in the region.Oil and gas companies regularly use remote operated vehicles, or ROVs, to monitor their pipelines. Researchers at the University of Western Australia used video footage from industry submersibles to survey fish diversity and abundance around pipelines at varying depths.Their analysis revealed a surprisi...