Strong planetary magnetic fields like Earth’s may protect oceans from stellar storms

A study by scientists at ANU on the magnetic fields of planets has found that most planets discovered in other solar systems are unlikely to be as hospitable to life as Earth. Plants and animals would not survive without water on Earth. The sheer strength of Earth’s magnetic field helps to maintain liquid water on our blue […]

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Engineering living ‘scaffolds’ for building materials

When the inside of a mollusk shell shimmers in sunlight, the iridescence isn’t produced by colored pigments but by tiny physical structures self-assembled from living cells and inorganic components. Now, a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a platform to mimic this self-assembly ability by […]

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Are we at the limits of measuring water-repellent surfaces?

How liquids are repelled by a surface, a property called “wettability,” is important for engineers to develop aircraft that resist ice formation, for fashion designers developing outdoor gear that repels rain and dirt, and many other fields. Researchers developing whole new surface materials in the lab also need accurate measurement of wetting properties so they […]

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