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Tree rings helped scientists date ancient Greek eruption

Tree rings helped scientists date ancient Greek eruption

Science
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Tree ring analysis has helped scientists pinpoint the date of Thera's eruption. The volcano on the Greek island of Santorini erupted sometime during the 15th or 16th century BC, but scientists have previously been frustrated by discrepancies between radiocarbon and archaeological evidence of the ancient eruption's precise timing. "It's about tying together a timeline of ancient Egypt, Greece, Turkey and the rest of the Mediterranean at this critical point in the ancient world -- that's what dating Thera can do," Charlotte Pearson, an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the University of Arizona, said in a news release. The latest findings, analysis of carbon in tree rings traced to the time of the eruption, have revealed an agreement, or overlap, between the timeli...
Scientists stack elastic circuits to build 3D stretchable electronics

Scientists stack elastic circuits to build 3D stretchable electronics

Science
Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have built a stretchable electronic patch capable of measuring a variety of biological activities, including respiration, temperature and eye movement, as well as heart and brain activity. Researchers have previously demonstrated the advantages of creating complex electronics by stacking rigid circuits. As part of the latest proof of concept study, scientists stacked flexible circuits. The method allowed researchers to achieve more sophisticated functionality while maintaining flexibility. "Our vision is to make 3D stretchable electronics that are as multifunctional and high-performing as today's rigid electronics," Sheng Xu, a professor of nanoengineering at the UCSD Center for Wearable Sensors, said in a news release...
Scientists develop way to supercool liquids without freezing them

Scientists develop way to supercool liquids without freezing them

Science
Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine have developed a new way to supercool liquids without freezing them. Scientists used the method to significantly decrease the freezing points of water and water-based solutions, allowing them to keep the liquids at extremely cold temperatures for a long period of time. To prevent freezing, scientists relied on insulation. "Our approach, which we dubbed 'deep supercooling,' is simply to cover the surface of such a liquid with a solution that does not mix with water, like mineral oil, to block the interface between water and air, which is the major site of crystallization," researcher Berk Usta said in a news release. "This surprisingly simple, practical and low-cost approach to supercoolin...
Space station crew helps scientists analyze complex plasmas

Space station crew helps scientists analyze complex plasmas

Science
Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Experiments carried out on the International Space Station are helping scientists better understand how dust particles behave inside complex plasmas. In addition to electrons, ions and gas atoms, complex plasmas, or dusty plasmas, contain an array of microparticles, including dust grains. Inside the plasma, these particles become highly charged and interact with one another in unusual ways, sometimes behaving like liquid or crystalline molecules. Scientists are keen to better understand the behavior of microparticles in plasma, but gravity distorts plasma experiments on Earth. On the space station, under microgravity conditions, European Space Station astronauts and Roscosmos cosmonauts trapped a microparticle cloud in plasma before allowing the cloud to drift -- all while...
Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Science
July 27 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Plymouth are developing experiments and standards for quantifying the effects of pollution exposure on animal behavior. Researchers know animals are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals. They also know pollution exposure can alter behaviors related to survivability -- feeding, finding mates and avoiding predators. But measuring changes in behavior isn't easy. In a series of new experiments, scientists at Plymouth revealed potential flaws in traditional ways of measuring animal behavior. In a previous experiment, researchers showed amphipods, small crustaceans, swim away from pulses of light. They also found the animals like to swim near the tank wall in the lab. But as part of their most recent study, scientists showed the shape and size o...