What’s new in science this week?

  • Mathematicians grind out the perfect CuppaResearchers from the University of Limerick and the University of Portsmouth have developed complex calculations to help optimise the perfect cup of coffee. The research quantifies how the exact grain size of ground coffee can dictate whether the brew will be bitter or too watery. Hopefully these findings will soon percolate down for all coffee drinkers to enjoy. To read more, click here.
  • Sparkling prehistoric birds on the pullThe fossil of an extinct bird has been found in China and it’s just fabulous darling. Analysis of the fossilised enantiornithine bird, which roamed the earth 120 million years ago, has shown that its feathers contained a chemical which made them sparkle. It is thought that the bird would have puffed up its sparkly feathers like a peacock – most likely to ‘hook-up’ with a mate. Boy, this bird had game. To read more, click here.
  • Purifying water – a bright ideaFoil based LEDs for portable UV lights have been developed by engineers at the Ohio State University. These lightweight LEDs can be used to sterilize medical equipment and purify drinking water, making them ideal for use in remote areas. This foil-based nanotechnology could prove to be a lighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly source of deep UV light – which is at the high-energy end of the UV spectrum. Water great invention… To read more, click here.
  • KEEP CALM AND DRINK TEAContinuing the hot beverage based research, food scientists at the University of Arkansas have been looking at the stress reducing properties of sweetened tea. Their study considered the calming effects of tea sweetened with sugar or calorie-free sweeteners. They have concluded that it is the calorific content of sugar that calms us down instead of the sweet taste. To read more, click here.
  • A bird, a plane? No, it’s a PizzaAnd now for some light-hearted techie news. Wednesday 16th November 2016 marks a momentous period of history; it shall forever be remembered as the day the first drone-delivered pizza was completed. The Domino’s delivery was undertaken in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, by an unmanned aerial vehicle. The toppings have yet to be confirmed. To read more, click here.


Dougie Phillips

Science Editor


(Image courtesy of CNNtech)

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