Discovery & Innovation

Solar image courtesy of NASA

Astronomers discover first Thorne-Żytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star

June 04, 2014

In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a “theoretical” class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Żytkow.

CU-Boulder payload selected for launch on Virgin Galactic spaceship

June 03, 2014

A University of Colorado Boulder payload carrying a novel device designed to reduce the weight and cost of spacecraft fuel pumping systems has been manifested for launch on a suborbital space plane called SpaceShipTwo developed by the aerospace company Virgin Galactic.

Technology developed at CU-Boulder could allow for more powerful atomic collisions

In 2012, people across the globe were dazzled to learn that the Large Hadron Collider—a 17-mile ring buried underground on the border of Switzerland and France—had for the first time provided evidence of the elusive Higgs Boson.

The discovery was made after scientists accelerated two beams of protons in the underground tube to nearly the speed of light and then crashed them into each other. The violent collision produced an array of exotic subatomic particles, including the Higgs Boson, that live only briefly before decaying away.

New meteor shower could light up night sky May 23 - 24

When it comes to meteor showers, most people have probably heard of the Perseid, which lights up Earth’s atmosphere every August. But come late Friday night and early Saturday morning Colorado residents may get to witness the birth of a new meteor shower when the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet named LINEAR.

CU-Boulder and JPL sign memorandum of understanding

On May 22, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Director Charles Elachi and his senior management team met with University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano and several other campus administrators to sign a memorandum of understanding to continue and broaden a rich tradition of collaboration on space and Earth-science efforts going back nearly 50 years. Located in Pasadena, Calif., JPL is a federally funded research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology for NASA.

Student-designed rover, built for NASA lab, can go to extremes

Just before midnight Saturday, one day before the final presentation, the project came to a dead stop.

The following Monday, the student aerospace engineering team was scheduled to perform a live test of their prototype land exploration rover to a high-profile client. But the microcontroller—the circuit board that commands the rover—was fried.

Stick figures of happy couple drawn in the sand

People more likely to choose a spouse with similar DNA, finds CU-Boulder study

May 19, 2014

Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Leslie Leinwand elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Colorado Boulder biologist Leslie Leinwand has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which honors the leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including scientists, scholars, writers and artists.

Leinwand—chief scientific officer for CU-Boulder’s BioFrontiers Institute and a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology—is an expert in cardiovascular disease.

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it’s time to think again.

The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence, according to a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sample of a frog’s slimy skin predicts susceptibility to disease

A simple sample of the protective mucus layer that coats a frog’s skin can now be analyzed to determine how susceptible the frog is to disease, thanks to a technique developed by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The same method can be used to determine what kind of probiotic skin wash might be most effective at bolstering the frog’s defenses without actually exposing the frog to disease, according to a journal article published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

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