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Researchers have unveiled a new way to use sunlight to produce steam and other vapors without heating an entire container of fluid to the boiling point. The research could lead to inexpensive, compact devices for purification of drinking water, sterilization of medical instruments and sanitizing sewage. 

Metallic nanoparticles - so small that 1,000 would fit across the width of a human hair - absorb large amounts of light, resulting in a dramatic rise in their temperature. That ability to generate heat has fostered interest among scientists in using nanoparticles in a range of applications. These include photothermal treatment of certain forms of cancer, laser-induced drug release and nanoparticle-enhanced bioimaging.
A new approach to invisibility cloaking goes beyond transformation optics and those tiresome Harry Potter analogies. It is instead for us at sea to shield floating objects, like oil rigs and ships, from rough waves and is based on the influence of the ocean floor's topography on the various "layers" of ocean water.

Reza Alam, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, will describe at the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting how the variation of density in ocean water can be used to cloak floating objects against incident surface waves
Work-hour caps for surgical residents designed to lessen complication rates have not accomplished that. Instead, the period after work-hour limits were introduced saw an uptick in complication rates , according to findings which raise concerns that limiting residents' work hours isn't really a benefit.

The analysis was designed to evaluate the patient safety impact of rules limiting the hours worked by residents, a measure introduced in 2003. The goal of the limits, a maximum of 88 hours per week, was to reduce the risk of errors and injury related to resident fatigue.

An international team of researchers has resolved the evolutionary relationships of Necrolestes patagonensis, the so-called “grave robber” because of its burrowing and underground lifestyle. This much-debated fossil mammal from South America has been a paleontological riddle for 121 years but a recent fossil discovery and comparative anatomical analysis helped researchers to correctly place the strange 16-million-year-old Necrolestes, with its upturned snout and large limbs for digging, in the mammal evolutionary tree.

A new annual analysis has again attempted to determine whether society can achieve something similar to the a Rousseaunian social contract. In order to do this, the economists carried out an experiment that reproduced in a laboratory setting some of the important characteristics of the welfare state. 
We know brain activity changes many times over the course of a day. When listening, this oscillation synchronizes to the sounds we are hearing. Not only that, say researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, this oscillation influences the way we listen.

Hearing abilities also oscillate and depend on the exact timing of one’s brain rhythms. This discovery that sound, brain, and behavior are so intimately coupled will help us to learn more about listening abilities in hearing loss and perhaps people who stutter.