Male orb-weaving spiders fight less in female-dominated colonies

Orb-weaving spiders cooperate for more peaceful colonies, a surprising revelation given that most spiders live solitarily. In the colonies that researchers observed, male spiders fought less with one another when there were more female spiders in a col…

Orb-weaving spiders cooperate for more peaceful colonies, a surprising revelation given that most spiders live solitarily. In the colonies that researchers observed, male spiders fought less with one another when there were more female spiders in a colony. But colonies with large numbers of larger and medium-sized female spiders tended to have more aggressive environments.

How giant-faced owls snag voles hidden in snow

Several of great gray owls’ physical features, especially parts of their wings and face, help them correct for sonic distortions caused by snow, enabling them to find hidden, moving food with astonishing accuracy, according to a new study.

Several of great gray owls' physical features, especially parts of their wings and face, help them correct for sonic distortions caused by snow, enabling them to find hidden, moving food with astonishing accuracy, according to a new study.

Nanodiamonds can be activated as photocatalysts with sunlight

Nanodiamond materials have potential as low-cost photocatalysts. But until now, such carbon nanoparticles required high-energy UV light to become active. The DIACAT consortium has therefore produced and analysed variations of nanodiamond materials. The…

Nanodiamond materials have potential as low-cost photocatalysts. But until now, such carbon nanoparticles required high-energy UV light to become active. The DIACAT consortium has therefore produced and analysed variations of nanodiamond materials. The work shows: If the surface of the nanoparticles is occupied by sufficient hydrogen atoms, even the weaker energy of blue sunlight is sufficient for excitation. Future photocatalysts based on nanodiamonds might be able to convert CO2 or N2 into hydrocarbons or ammonia with sunlight.

New monochromator optics for tender X-rays

Until now, it has been extremely tedious to perform measurements with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution using X-ray light in the tender energy range of 1.5 — 5.0 keV. Yet this X-ray light is ideal for investigating energy materials such as …

Until now, it has been extremely tedious to perform measurements with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution using X-ray light in the tender energy range of 1.5 -- 5.0 keV. Yet this X-ray light is ideal for investigating energy materials such as batteries or catalysts, but also biological systems. A team has now solved this problem: The newly developed monochromator optics increase the photon flux in the tender energy range by a factor of 100 and thus enable highly precise measurements of nanostructured systems. The method was successfully tested for the first time on catalytically active nanoparticles and microchips.