An experiment with time-reversing a complex quantum process finds that information in the present is resistant to alterations in the ‘past,’ and reality in quantum mechanics is self-healing

Chaos theory says that a tiny, insignificant event or circumstance can have outsized influence in shaping the way a large, complex system evolves into the future. Many people are familiar with this so-called butterfly effect, an idea often traced to science fiction author Ray Bradbury’s 1952 story “A Sound of Thunder.” In that tale, a man who has time-traveled into the deep past to hunt a Tyrannosaurus rex inadvertently crushes a butterfly under his foot. When he returns to the present, he discovers that this seemingly trivial act altered the course of history — and not in a good way.


This series of photos show the death of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Figure A shows healthy bacteria just before CAGE is introduced. Figure B shows how CAGE causes degradation after five minutes and Fig. C shows death after 60 minutes.

Ask any young athlete about MRSA (short for the ominous-sounding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and they might have a story to tell about their terrible experience with the disease. Easily spread in contact sports such as football and wrestling, MRSA is a skin infection that starts off as a painful, swollen bump that looks like a bloated spider bite or a pimple gone wrong. If not aggressively treated, this bacterial infection can invade the bloodstream or attack internal organs such as the heart and lungs, sometimes becoming life-threatening.

But athletes aren’t the only group that should worry about MRSA. Many MRSA…


Space junk is making low Earth orbit crowded.CREDIT: Shutterstock

Since the dawn of the space age in 1957, 80 countries and intergovernmental organizations have launched more than 9,000 objects into space — with nearly 800 in just the past year. While the benefits of this explosive rise in space-based ventures are many (better communications, scientific advancements and stronger national security, to name a few), there are drawbacks as well. The more congested space is, the more contested it becomes, creating challenges for both national and global security.

Here’s a look at three of the biggest threats to satellites and what’s being done to counter them.

1. Space weather

Space…


Understanding how water moves through the permafrost landscape is vital to understanding permafrost-carbon-climate feedbacks.

Almost a quarter of the ground in the Northern Hemisphere is permafrost. This frozen ground supports critical energy infrastructure and unique ecosystems, and it also serves as one of the largest land-based stores of organic carbon matter on Earth. Across the world, permafrost traps 1,300 billion tons of carbon, or twice as much carbon as what’s in our atmosphere.

Permafrost is thawing as global temperatures rise, driving rapid change and unanticipated dangers in and beyond the Arctic. Immediate impacts include the recent collapse of the Norilsk oil storage facility, which caused a massive oil spill into the Ambarnaya River near…


Because of the dry climate and steep terrain in northern New Mexico, the amount of water available to its communities is largely driven by seasonal precipitation. (Courtesy of Katrina Bennett)

When people think about water in this area, acequias might immediately come to mind. They are an important part of New Mexico history and have been providing water to crops dating back to Native peoples in the 1400s. Year in and year out, the complex irrigation systems literally brought life to people in northern New Mexico.

El agua es vida. Water is life. This concept is universal, but it is particularly applicable in the dry, arid climate of northern New Mexico.

When people think about water in this area, acequias might immediately come to mind. They are an important part…


Niju Narayanan

In Michael Crichton’s 1990 science fiction novel Jurassic Park, scientists working for billionaire entrepreneur John Hammond successfully cloned dinosaur DNA strands with the help of frog DNA. And just like that, these scientists created living dinosaurs.

Although Hammond got many things wrong in the novel, he did get one thing right: Hammond thought like a scientist and acted like an entrepreneur. He homed in on science capable of creating dinosaurs, and he used this science to populate an amusement park like no other. …


An artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Mars rover exploring the red planet. It is set for launch this summer

Mars has always been a source of mystery, exciting the imaginations of sci-fi writers, filmmakers and the public. Recent scientific discoveries have simultaneously satisfied and stoked the flames of our curiosity about our nearest planetary neighbor.

A decade of research enabled by NASA’s aptly named Curiosity rover has revealed that lakes, rivers, streams and likely oceans appearing over eons are part of the geologic history of Mars. While its epoch of active bodies of water ended over 3 billion years ago, we know that Mars used to be habitable. So far, no clear evidence of life has been found there…


Large-area quantum dot luminescent sunlight collector made by depositing a quantum dot/polymer composite onto commercial window glass.

Solar cells are normally installed in the form of rooftop modules. Rooftop solar panels, however, suffer from a major roadblock on the path to a renewable energy future for one simple reason: rooftop space is severely limited in large, densely populated cities, such as New York or London. On the other hand, modern skyscrapers feature enormous amounts of window space. Newly developed luminescent solar concentrators can help turn these large glass facades into power generation units. Window-based collectors have the potential to far exceed the output of rooftop panels in major cities as a result of the larger surface area.


A CICE Consortium graphic of sea-ice physics illustrates the complexity and breadth of variables at play.

The Polar Regions on Earth — the areas around the North and South Poles — have about 9 million square miles of sea ice floating in their oceans. Once inhabited by very few people, the Polar Regions are now home to more people than ever before; there are more than 4 million people living in the Arctic. These regions are important to industries such as commercial shipping and fishing, mining, energy, recreation and tourism, scientific research, and even military bases and defense operations. Given this, the need to understand how changing sea ice can impact these activities is critical.

Particularly…


By Kent Coombs

Given the need to improve and streamline drug development, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on a technology that could do just that; they are creating an artificial heart that has the same biological content and structure as a human heart

A lot of time, money and research go into the medicines that people take every day — much more than one might think. Whether it is a simple pain reliever or a drug targeted at treating a specific disease, an incredible amount of work goes into that medicine before it gets to market.

Take…

Los Alamos National Lab

Breaking stories from Los Alamos National Lab, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security.

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