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Plants are able to "remember" and "react" to information contained in light, according to researchers. Plants, scientists say, transmit information about light intensity and quality from leaf to leaf in a very similar way to our own nervous systems. These "electro-chemical signals" are carried by cells that act as "nerves" of the plants...


 memory communication thinking plant intelligence cognition light electricity chemistry signal nervous system colour
A "sniffer tube" could replace dogs in the arsenal of tools to locate hidden graves...


 sniffing dog chemistry grave smell sensitivity
Twinkling in the sky is a diamond star of 10 billion trillion trillion carats, astronomers have discovered. The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallised carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It's the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk...


 carbon crystal star astronomy chemistry
The idea that life boils down to chemistry is being usurped by a much more ambitious idea, says two of the world's leading biophysicists...


 physics chemistry life biology philosophy evolution symmetry genetics
Scientists have developed a way to convert urine in to a renewable energy source.


 urine recycling energy pig pub beer chemistry
A US-British team of astronomers has discovered the first planet with ultra-high concentrations of carbon. The researchers say their discovery supports the idea there may be carbon-rich, rocky planets whose terrains are made up of diamonds or graphite.


 extrasolar planet carbon diamond astronomy chemistry
There is now even more evidence that life on Earth may have been seeded by material from asteroids or comets. Prior research has shown how amino acids - the building blocks of life - could form elsewhere in the cosmos. These molecules can form in two versions, but life on Earth exclusively uses just one of them. Now an Astrophysical Journal Letters paper shows how conditions around a far-flung star could favour the formation of one type...


 amino acid life evolution star chemistry organic extraterrestrial life asteroid seed meteorite
Foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide may have been an important precursor in the chemistry that eventually led to life on Earth, a new study suggests.


 evolution chemistry life lightning primordial soup hydrogen sulphide
One of astronomy's longest-running "missing persons" investigations has concluded: astronomers have found molecular oxygen in space. While single atoms of oxygen have been found alone or incorporated into other molecules, the oxygen molecule - the one we breathe - had never been seen...


 astronomy extraterrestrial life oxygen chemistry space
Fuel cells need a catalyst to speed up the chemical reactions that change hydrogen into water and electricity. Platinum is very good at this but it is famously expensive and rare. Some microbes, though, have known for a billion years how to make enzymes that can do the job using cheap and abundant nickel and iron. These natural enzymes are unfortunately difficult to obtain and do not do so well outside the microbe. Now researchers have...


 platinum nickel catalyst chemistry hydrogen fuel sustainability energy enzyme microbe
A technology to extract fingerprints from a crime scene could show if a criminal suspect has taken drugs or been in contact with explosives.


 fingerprint finger evidence police drug explosives chemistry spectrometry secretion crime
Researchers have created the smallest electric motor ever devised. The motor, made from a single molecule just a billionth of a metre across, is reported in Nature Nanotechnology.


 motor electricity engine nanotechnology molecule chemistry