Single atoms used to store information

Scientists have manage to use a single atom to store two bits of data, whereas today’s  technologies need at least 10,000 atoms to store one bit of information. Atoms of holmium (a metal in the lanthanide series) were used, and by flipping the atom’s magnetic orientation so that it aligned with or against the Earth’s magnetic field, it was able to switch a bit from 0 to 1.

 

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Don’t Kill Spiders!

Biologists have estimated that all the spiders in the world eat between them 400 million to 800 million tonnes of insects every year. These include mosquitoes, flies and insects which eat plants.

Nothing is for ever!

Sad that the famous  limestone arch on Gozo, an island of the Maltese archipelago, has collapsed into the sea after heavy storms. The arch, known as The Azure Window, was featured in several films and in the Game of Thrones.

 

Sentinel-2B launched

Sentinel-2B, Europe’s new satellite, has just been launched to join an identical spacecraft, Sentinel-2A, which is already in orbit. Between them they will photograph all land surfaces and coastal waters in visible and infrared light to provide a complete map of the Earth every 5 days.

The images will be used  for, amongst other things, urban planning, air-quality monitoring, tracking deforestation and glacier retreat.

Vitamin D could reduce colds and flu

It has been found that vitamin D supplements can help protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu, as well as asthma attacks. This could also help to explain why colds and flu are less common in the summer, when levels of vitamin D are at their highest.

Tim Peake’s spacecraft on display

The Soyuz spacecraft, TMA-19M, which carried Tim Peake to the International Space Station has gone on display at the Science Museum. On March 24th you can take a virtual reality trip from space to Earth in a Suyuz space capsule and you can book your tickets now!

 

Trump and Global Warming

One hundred researchers, including many of the most prominent climate scientists in Britain, have written to Theresa May to warn her of the potential threats posed by Donald Trump, who has made it clear he does not accept that human activities contribute to global warming.

The letter warns that Trump’s administration may severely weaken climate change research. If the world class climate science now performed in the US is wound down under Trump, the UK must be ready to respond decisively, the letter states. One response would be to rapidly expand British climate science by offering jobs to disaffected US researchers.