Midnight In The Desert — magnetism

Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed

Posted by K R on

Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed

It’s an attractive idea. Magnets could be used to pull oil from spills out of the water, with the help of iron oxide nanoparticles. The stickiness of oil makes it difficult to remove from marine plants and animals once it is leaked by tankers and offshore rigs, so finding a way to quickly remove spills is essential for protecting ocean environments. Now Yi Du at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and his team have found a way to do this, using tiny particles of iron oxide that bind tightly to droplets of oil. When added to small water tanks polluted...

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The Future Of Transportation Depends On Magnetic Levitation

Posted by K R on

The Future Of Transportation Depends On Magnetic Levitation

Maglev means that the train doesn't actually touch the tracks but rather floats above them. The electrically charged magnets repel the train from the tracks to keep the train levitated, and the lack of friction between the train and the track enables the high speeds. By the year 2045, maglev trains are expected to make travel time between Tokyo and Osaka just one hour, about half the time it takes today. Read More: Curiosity

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Earth’s magnetic heartbeat

Posted by K R on

Earth’s magnetic heartbeat

With more than two years of measurements by ESA’s Swarm satellite trio, changes in the strength of Earth's magnetic field are being mapped in detail. Launched at the end of 2013, Swarm is measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere – an undertaking that will take several years to complete. Although invisible, the magnetic field and electric currents in and around Earth generate complex forces that have immeasurable effects on our everyday lives. The field can be thought of as a huge bubble, protecting us from cosmic radiation and electrically charged...

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Scientists figure out how to control mouse minds with magnets

Posted by K R on

Scientists figure out how to control mouse minds with magnets

Scientists at the University of Virginia were able to control the brains of living mice using magnetic fields, essentially harnessing the power of mind control, according to a study published this week in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers created a synthetic gene—dubbed Magneto, obviously—that is sensitive to magnetic fields and put it into a handful of mice, a university press release explains. Ars Technica reports scientists then created a magnetic field to simulate a dopamine-like response in the genetically altered mice—basically the mice felt as happy as if they had just been given a treat. “This is, to our knowledge, the first...

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Magnetic Mind Manipulation is Here

Posted by K R on

Magnetic Mind Manipulation is Here

Another superpower once found only in graphic novels and movies has been demonstrated in real life. Named for the X-Men character Magneto, a genetically-altered iron-containing protein has been injected into the brains of mice, putting them under the control of magnetic manipulators who made them magnetically happy. Biomedical researchers led by Ali Güler at the University of Virginia looked at magnets as a way to control brain circuits without requiring light signals or drugs. According to their study published in Nature Neuroscience, they started with ion channels, which are proteins that play a role in sending electrical signals around the...

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