Science Nation - Spider Silk

submitted by: nsf
Researchers are spinning spider silk from goats' milk - Spider silk and goat milk--what could possibly be the connection? Let's start with the spiders. Humans love spider webs, but aren't so crazy about their builders. While spiders make some people flinch, there's no escaping the appreciation for their masterful web construction. "There's a lot of interest in spider silk fibers because they're stronger than almost any other manmade fiber and they're also elastic," says Randy Lewis,...

Science Nation - Visualization Wall

submitted by: nsf
This 3-D experience even allows students to practice surgical techniques. When data becomes too complex to describe or even imagine, try bouncing it off a wall. But not just any wall. Measuring 14-by-8 feet, this giant behemoth is known as the VisWall (a product of Visbox, Inc.) and it can help researchers visualize some of the most complicated scientific concepts. For more on this and other Science Nation stories, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Leaf Sensor

submitted by: nsf
These tiny, lightweight gadgets could mean huge savings for farmers "Farmers have a very good eye. They can look at their crop if they've been farming for a long time and say, 'My crop needs water, I can tell,'" says Richard Stoner, founder of the biotech and agriculture company, AgriHouse. So who might know more about what a plant needs than a farmer or a greenhouse owner? How about the plant itself? What if plants could tell us when they are thirsty? With funding from the National...

Science Nation - Batty for Bats

submitted by: nsf
These creatures of the night could be the models for future aircraft! "If you just watch them in the sky, they can fly like nothing else. A bat can make a 180 degree turn at full tilt in three wing beats and go back the other way ... it's a pretty amazing creature." ~ Kenny Breuer, Brown University For more Science Nation, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Wind Energy

submitted by: nsf
Community college program trains future wind power technicians Soon, 44-year-old Brad Clark will begin his second career, 300 feet off the ground. "About a year ago, I got laid off from my position in high tech," explains Clark. "I'm an engineer by education and training, and once I got laid off, I had to think, what do I want to do? What's going to be a business that is going to be around? So I was part of a government retraining program." For more Science Nation, go to...

Science Nation - Fab Labs

submitted by: nsf
If you had the right tool kit, what would you make? If you take even a glance around the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., you can't help but notice--there seems to be a "bit" of everything, everywhere. But once you get past the bicycle tire hanging from the ceiling, the stacked book shelves and desks, a large tank of water, and a variety of electronic circuit boards, you'll find a small tool shop. And this is where our story...

Science Nation - Ulcer Answers

submitted by: nsf
Digesting the facts on stomach ulcers A stomach ulcer is a small erosion in the stomach lining or the first 12 inches of the gastrointestinal tract. The explanation of how you contract an ulcer has evolved from what seemed like an educated guess 50 years ago to something based more in scientific fact today. For more Science Nation, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Monkey Business

submitted by: nsf
Primates and humans share a sense of fair play Logan knows when he's been handed a raw deal. He and Liam, the monkey next to him, just did the exact same trick and Liam was rewarded with a grape. Logan got a cucumber. Any monkey knows grapes are more prized than that boring old cucumber slice Logan received. So he simply tosses that cucumber slice out of his cage. For more Science Nation, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Sea Turtles

submitted by: nsf
"Turtle Positioning System" helps reptiles on fantastic voyage "There's no off-the-shelf Speedo turtle bathing suit that we know about," laughed biologist Ken Lohmann, as he attached a soft cloth harness, or bathing suit, to a three-month-old loggerhead turtle. For more information and more Science Nation, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Metal Foam

submitted by: nsf
New material absorbs seven to eight times the energy absorbed by similar foams. Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Afsaneh Rabiei set out to make a material as light as aluminum and stronger than stainless steel. Her goal was to create something that could be used in products that would save lives, save energy and eventually save money, all at the same time. For more information, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp