News Archive: 2017

News archive: 2016


More ambitious climate targets could save coastal ecosystems

The difference between the Paris climate agreement’s two alternative temperature targets – 1.5°C (2.7°F) and 2.0°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels – may be the difference between life and death for some coastal ecosystems threatened by sea-level rise.

13 Dec 2017

Multimessenger astronomy observation of kilonova GW 170817 is Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year

                        The Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year  goes to the international team of astronomers and astrophysicists that ushered in a new era of astronomy by making the first ever multimessenger astronomy observation involving gravitational waves.

11 Dec 2017

Superconducting qubit 3d integration prospects bolstered by new research

Researchers from Google and the University of California Santa Barbara have taken an important step towards the goal of building a large-scale quantum computer.

30 Nov 2017

Model sheds new light on pathogen cooperation

New approaches are needed to control the spread of epidemic diseases, according to the developers of a new model of the way pathogens can ‘cooperate’.

15 Nov 2017

Air quality and health in US will improve from other nations’ actions to slow climate change

The USA will benefit from improved air quality in the future, through actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both domestically and globally.

14 Nov 2017
China's air quality improvement measures are working, but researchers say more still needs to be done.

Study: Air pollution battle is crucial to China’s public health

China’s measures to improve air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in place to safeguard public health, a new study has shown.

7 Nov 2017

Research Notes of the AAS are back and better than ever

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and its publications partner the Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing announce the return of Research Notes of the AAS (RNAAS) – short communications for the rapid publication and distribution of new and exciting results.

30 Oct 2017
A mission to the Red Planet could create its own oxygen supply. Picture credit: NASA JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen, thanks to plasma technology

Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found.

18 Oct 2017

Cutting food waste helps improve your ‘foodprint’

Around a third of the resources used to produce the US’s food are wasted through food loss and waste (FLW), a new study has revealed.

18 Oct 2017

Sustainable irrigation may harm other development goals, study shows

Pursuing sustainable irrigation, without significant irrigation efficiency gains, could negatively impact environmental and development goals in many areas of the world, a new study has found.

12 Oct 2017

US stands to save billions through renewable energy usage

Rolling out and extending existing US renewable energy standards nationwide could save hundreds of billions of dollars in health and environmental costs by 2050, a new study has found.

26 Sep 2017

Cost-effective quantum moves a step closer

Canadian and US researchers have taken an important step towards enabling quantum networks to be cost-effective and truly secure from attack.

19 Sep 2017
Saturn Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Celebrate the end of Saturn mission with a free ebook - The Ringed Planet

Today, Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft will point itself toward the surface of Saturn, and end with a crash its 13-year mission delving into the mysteries of the ringed planet’s system.

15 Sep 2017

US public backs carbon tax, and spending revenue on renewables

The majority of the US public is in favour of a tax on fossil fuels, provided the money goes into clean energy and infrastructure, according to a new study.

13 Sep 2017
water-plant-green-fine-layers-web cc0

Answer to bacterial antibiotic resistance may be found in plants

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an ever-growing problem for healthcare, agriculture and hygiene, thanks to their indiscriminate and often excessive use.

11 Sep 2017

We're celebrating Peer Review Week 2017

Embracing this year's Peer Review Week theme of transparency, we start with IOP Publishing staff revealing their roles in the peer review process: Find out more about how we're celebrating Peer Review Week 2017 at IOP Publishing here.

11 Sep 2017

ORCID scheme introduced across all IOP Publishing journals

As part of IOP Publishing’s commitment to ensuring researchers get full credit for their work, we are now requiring ORCID identifiers for all corresponding authors submitting their work to IOP Publishing-owned journals.

11 Sep 2017
The Windscale piles in 1985. Photo: Chris Eaton CC BY-SA 2.0

Journal marks 60th anniversary of the first serious nuclear accidents

This year sees the 60th anniversary of the world’s first serious nuclear accidents – the “Kyshtym Accident” in Russia and the “Windscale Fire” in England.

4 Sep 2017
The ALPHA team at the ALPHA facility, CERN. Image credit: CERN

Paper reveals the theory behind ALPHA antihydrogen breakthrough

New research by a team from Aarhus, Swansea, and Purdue Universities has enabled recent experiments to make the first measurement of the 1S – 2S atomic state transition in antihydrogen.

1 Sep 2017

Cell culture system could offer cancer breakthrough

A new cell culture system that provides a tool for preclinical cancer drug development and screening has been developed by researchers in the USA.

30 Aug 2017

Solar cell breakthrough paves the way for new applications

An international scientific collaboration has successfully integrated a sub-micron thin, nanophotonic silicon film into a crystalline solar cell for the first time.

30 Aug 2017

Meet Journal of Physics G's Reviewer of the Year 2016: Dr Christian Beck

The Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics is one of the highest-ranking nuclear physics journals, and includes both experimental and theoretical articles.

17 Aug 2017

Nanomaterials help spiders spin the toughest stuff

Spiders’ silk is already tough stuff – just ask your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman.

15 Aug 2017
Watts Bar Nuclear power station, Tennessee. Photo: Tennessee Valley Authority

Analysis highlights failings in US’s advanced nuclear program

Despite repeated promises over the past 18 years, the US Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is unlikely to deliver on its mission to develop and demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor by the mid-21st century.

10 Aug 2017

Cognitive hearing aid filters out the noise

US engineers have made a major advance in helping hearing-impaired people follow a conversation in a noisy environment, with a new method that brings cognitive hearing aids a step closer to reality.

4 Aug 2017
Professor Aurelien Dantan

Meet Journal of Physics B's Reviewer of the Year 2016: Professor Aurelien Dantan

There are two primary reasons why Professor Aurelien Dantan, from Aarhus University, Denmark, referees for the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

3 Aug 2017

Colour-shifting electronic skin could have wearable tech and prosthetic uses

The ability of some animals, including chameleons, octopus, and squid, to change their skin colour for camouflage, temperature control, or communication is well known.

25 Jul 2017

Introducing Multifunctional Materials – a new multidisciplinary journal from IOP Publishing

The design and manufacture of materials capable of multiple functions – so called “multifunctional” materials – has emerged as a rapidly growing direction within materials science.

24 Jul 2017
Professor Tie Jun Cun

Meet the Journal of Optics' Reviewer of the Year 2016: Professor Tie Jun Cui

Dedicated to metamaterials and plasmonics research, Professor Tie Jun Cui, from Southeast University, People's Republic of China, enjoys reviewing manuscripts for the Journal of Optics, a high-standard and high-impact international journal that covers all areas of pure and applied optics.

20 Jul 2017

IOP Publishing and APS commit to ORCID scheme

IOP Publishing and the American Physical Society (APS) have signed up to the ORCID Open Letter, committing to collecting ORCID iDs for authors submitting to their journals following stated best practices.

18 Jul 2017

Partnership celebrates launch of first ebook collaboration

IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) marked a new milestone in their 40-year relationship this week, with the publication of their first ebook together.

17 Jul 2017

Mathematical modelling could help with personalised cancer care

A new study from the University of Southern California could pave the way for improving personalised lung cancer care and treatment.

14 Jul 2017
Researchers used recordings from the ‘small target motion detector’ neurons in the brain of a dragonfly to develop a closed-loop target detection and tracking algorithm.

Robots take inspiration from insects to track targets

The way insects visualise and hunt their prey could help improve autonomous robotic technology, according to a pioneering new study conducted by a team of engineers and neuroscientists from The University of Adelaide and Lund University.

13 Jul 2017

Meet the European Journal of Physics Reviewer of 2016: Professor Carl Mungan

Despite winning the Reviewer of the Year Award, Professor Carl Mungan, of the US Naval Academy, USA, considers himself to be an ordinary faculty member doing his job.

13 Jul 2017
Taking fewer transatlantic flights is an effective way of reducing individual carbon footprints. Photo: Maarten-Visser/Wikipedia

The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren’t being discussed

Governments and schools are not communicating the most effective ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprints, according to new research.

12 Jul 2017

Microbe study highlights Greenland ice sheet toxicity

The Greenland ice sheet is often seen as a pristine environment, but new research has revealed that may not be the case.

11 Jul 2017
Dr Samuel Pichardo

Meet Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express' Reviewer of 2016: Dr Samuel Pichardo

Sitting on the frontiers of biology, physics and engineering, BPEX provides a home for scientifically sound, but conceptually marginal, studies.

7 Jul 2017

Owls’ wings could hold the key to beating wind turbine noise

A new study has revealed how inspiration from owls’ wings could allow aircraft and wind turbines to become quieter.

4 Jul 2017

Meet Biofabrication's Reviewer of the Year: Dr Daniela Duarte Campos

Dr Daniela Duarte Campos, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Germany Having formerly published work in Biofabrication as part of her PhD, Dr Daniela Duarte Campos felt motivated to act as a reviewer for the journal.

29 Jun 2017
The breach in the South Devon Railway sea wall at Dawlish, Devon, England, February 2014. The damage was caused by gales and high seas on the night of 4 February and the railway track was left hanging over the breach. Photo: Smalljim/Wikipedia CC BY-SA3.0

Record UK rainfall in winter 2013-14 caused by the tropics, stratosphere and climate warming

New research has revealed the causes of the UK’s record rainfall and subsequent flooding during the 2013-14 winter.

22 Jun 2017

Injury measurement technique helps players get back in the game

A new method of measuring sports-related muscle injury could help provide accurate return-to-play time for athletes.

22 Jun 2017

Implant infections could be banished thanks to scaffold breakthrough

Researchers in Ireland have taken a major step forward in the battle against medical implant infections.

20 Jun 2017

Journal Impact Factor growth for IOP Publishing journals

Journals published by IOP publishing have made significant gains in the 2016 Journal Impact Factors, published by Clarivate Analytics.

19 Jun 2017

Global diet and farming methods ‘must change for environment’s sake’

Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says.

16 Jun 2017

Temperature changes starting to make it easier for malaria to climb the Ethiopian highlands

The highlands of Ethiopia are home to the majority of the country’s population, the cooler climate serving as a natural buffer against malaria transmission.

15 Jun 2017

Could renewable ‘power-by-wire’ help fix China’s air pollution problems?

Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found.

13 Jun 2017

3D printing breakthrough heralds ‘new era’ for advanced skin models

Scientists in South Korea have come up with a new method for 3D printing human skin, which both shortens the process and reduces the cost.

7 Jun 2017
Locations like
New York City can expect disproportionate increases in
higher frequency floods.

Rising sea levels leave US coastal areas facing increased flood risk by 2050

US coastal areas should prepare for more frequent and more severe flooding in the next 35 years and beyond, a new study has warned.

7 Jun 2017
Flight paths for the 7km arc and line, followed from left to right. The star
indicates the location of the ground station at Smith Falls{Montague Airport. The
inner portions represent where the quantum link was active. Photo produced using, map data 
c 2016 Google, imagery 
c 2016 Cnes/Spot Image,
DigitalGlobe, Landsat, New York GIS, USDA Farm Service Agency.

Study proves viability of quantum satellite communications

Researchers in Canada have taken a significant step towards enabling secure quantum communication via moving satellites, as announced by the Canadian Government in April 2017.

6 Jun 2017
Remarq, the newly launched editorial engagement and researcher collaboration tool from RedLink, is now live on several IOP Publishing journals

IOP Publishing launches Remarq pilot on a number of journals

RedLink is pleased to announce a pilot of Remarq™ on several IOP Publishing journals, including the Journal of Optics, the New Journal of Physics, Nanotechnology, and Biofabrication.

1 Jun 2017

Physicists add amplifier to quantum communication toolbox

High-security data encryption could be applied over greater distances thanks to latest demonstration, result also benefits scalable memory systems.

31 May 2017
Natural Gas storage tanks

Study uncovers widespread leak risk for US underground natural gas storage wells

With the average well built in 1963, more than 1 in 5 active US underground natural gas storage (UGS) wells could be vulnerable to leaks due to obsolete well designs, according to a new study from the Harvard T.H.

24 May 2017

Physics modelling explains how hunters team up to catch faster prey

Seeing a chase play out between predator and prey on a wildlife documentary is a familiar sight for many.

22 May 2017
The rainforest in the Sierra de Agalta mountains, Honduras. Photo: Dennis Garcia/Wikipedia

Research reveals strong link between drug trafficking and Central American forest loss

Cocaine trafficking may be behind up to 30 per cent of annual deforestation in the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

16 May 2017

Views on 50 years of IOP’s Journal of Physics series

The Journal of Physics (JPhys) series encompasses five core physics journals, a conference series and a new open access journal covering all of physics.

11 May 2017
A mother of pearl shell

Super strength nanocomposites owe a debt to mighty molluscs

Mother-of-pearl and mussel threads could hold the key to developing graphene-based nanocomposite materials with enhanced properties.

10 May 2017

Nuanced picture emerges of IS land seizure effect on agriculture in Iraq and Syria

Land seizures by Islamic State (IS) in areas of Iraq and Syria have had mixed effects on agriculture, according to a new study.

28 Apr 2017

Nano-notch sends self-assembling polymers into a spiral

Template modification could speed up the fabrication of sensing substrates and other novel structures A simple circular or hexagonal pit written into silicon can be used to generate self-assembling polymer spirals thanks to the addition of a tiny notch in the template, report scientists in the launch issue of Nano Futures.

25 Apr 2017

Global temperature hiatus claims ‘based on statistical errors’

Claims of a ‘slowdown’ or ‘hiatus’ in rising global temperatures are not supported by an in-depth analysis of statistical evidence, a new study has shown.

25 Apr 2017
Cocoa was the fastest expanding export-oriented crop in sub-Saharan Africa.

African forests threatened by global demand for commodity crops

International demand for commodity crops like cocoa is putting increasing pressure on tropical forests in sub-Saharan Africa, according to new research.

4 Apr 2017
In a two kilometre rowing race the sideways movement caused by the earth's rotation can be up to 40 metres.

Earth’s rotation affects the wide world of sports

The inertial forces generated by the Earth as it rotates can have an impact on sports as varied as cricket, bowls, rowing, swimming and horse racing, Australian researchers have shown.

31 Mar 2017

Can you create 2D nanosheets from cat litter?

What do talcum powder, beach sand and cat litter have in common?

24 Mar 2017

Bee grooming behaviour could help with microelectromechanical cleaning

A new study on the grooming habits of bees has given new physical insight into the process of pollination, and could have implications for future microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

23 Mar 2017

IOP Publishing launches Journal of Physics Communications

IOP Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of Journal of Physics Communications, a new multidisciplinary open access journal, offering researchers an accelerated and innovative way to publish their work.

23 Mar 2017

Environmental impact overlooked as ethanol production drives grassland loss

More than three million acres of grassland around ethanol refineries in the USA was lost to crop production between 2008 and 2012, as the USA sought to increase biofuel production, according to a new study.

21 Mar 2017
Liquid ventilation has potential for use in deep diving, among other applications.

Liquid breathing moves a step closer thanks to measurement study

Liquid ventilation –breathing a liquid instead of air – has long been the stuff of science fiction, and despite experimental clinical use, its potential for treating severe pulmonary or cardiac trauma, and use in deep diving and space travel, it is still not widely used or understood.

17 Mar 2017

IOP Publishing recognises star reviewers

As part of our commitment to recognise and reward peer review, IOP Publishing is delighted to announce our Reviewer Awards winners for 2016.

17 Mar 2017

Big can be best when it comes to wind farms

Danish researchers have identified a method to assess the efficiency of different sized onshore and offshore wind farms.

17 Mar 2017

Personalised radiotherapy approach may help beat bone tumours

Researchers in the UK have developed a new, personalised and more effective approach to treating cancer patients with bone metastases.

15 Mar 2017

Study: Volkswagen’s excess emissions 'could lead to 1,200 premature deaths in Europe'

Countries hit hardest by automaker’s emissions scandal include Germany, Poland, France, and Czech Republic.

3 Mar 2017
An artist's rendering of the EXPLORER full-body PET scanner. Photo: EXPLORER Project.

Researchers move a step closer to first full-body PET scanner

Researchers from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have revealed the first results from the EXPLORER project – which aims to build world’s first full total-body positron emission tomography (PET) scanner.

28 Feb 2017

Changing transatlantic flight routes ‘could reduce climate impact’

Airlines could reduce their climate impact by up to 10 per cent in the future by optimising some flight routes, according to new research.

27 Feb 2017
An industrial complex in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Photo: Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters.

Study shows dramatic increases in China’s economic exposure to earthquakes

China’s economic exposure to earthquakes has dramatically increased since 1990, researchers from Beijing Normal University have found.

24 Feb 2017
The gyroscope could offer navigation in an environment lacking GPS access - making maps a thing of the past.

Matter wave gyroscope could offer precise direction in absence of GPS signal

Protocol for rotation sensing with trapped ions provides blueprint for big sensitivity boost in a small package Researchers in the USA have presented a protocol for a highly sensitive and compact gyroscope, capable of measuring very small changes in rotation.

23 Feb 2017
perspective-web CC0 Public Domain

Simple climate change contribution measure ‘remains elusive’

The search for a single and simple measure for each country’s contribution to global warming is unlikely to succeed, new research has warned.

21 Feb 2017
A supercomputer-simulation of a pulverizing airplane crash over a ravine, produced by Texas A&M mathematician Goong Chen and his team. Credit: Cong Gu, Texas A&M University.

Researchers use mathematical modeling to explain complete destruction of Germanwings Flight 9525

An international team of researchers, led by Texas A&M mathematician Professor Goong Chen, has used the latest in visualization technology and their collective scientific expertise to chart the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525, deliberately crashed in the French Alps on March 24, 2015.

20 Feb 2017
Radiation treatment in the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center HIT. Photo: Heidelburg University Hospital

New research makes cutting edge cancer treatment more precise

Researchers in Germany have taken an important step towards improving the accuracy of a highly effective radiotherapy technique used to treat cancer.

18 Feb 2017
Glacial moraine on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada. Photo: John Sonntag, NASA

Study shows dramatic increase in meltwater from Canadian glaciers

The ice loss from Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research has found.

15 Feb 2017

IOP and CAUL agree new and innovative consortium model

IOP Publishing and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) have announced a new agreement, covering 31 universities in Australia and New Zealand.

13 Feb 2017

The Biophysical Society and IOP Publishing form new partnership to create ebooks program for the biophysics community

The Biophysical Society and IOP Publishing have forged a new publishing partnership to support the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics, through the creation of a comprehensive collection of ebooks.

10 Feb 2017

Insights and opinions on the hottest topics in physics

Presenting Physics World Discovery IOP Publishing is excited to announce the launch of a new resource for the physics community.

9 Feb 2017

Physics explains why rock musicians prefer valve amps

For many guitarists, the rich, warm sound of an overdriven valve amp – think AC/DC’s crunchy Marshall rhythm tones or Carlos Santana’s singing Mesa Boogie-fuelled leads – can’t be beaten.

9 Feb 2017
Ice Floe, Pixabay, CCO

Ice decline means Northern Sea route may become viable shipping option

Further declines in Arctic Sea ice levels could see the Northern Sea route (NSR) open to intercontinental shipping for up to six months each year, new research has found.

7 Feb 2017
A 3-layer microfluidic assembly

LEGO-like blocks build new possibilities for microfluidics

LEGO already has millions of applications, building everything from castles to spaceships.

24 Jan 2017

IOP Publishing launches double-blind peer-review trial

IOP Publishing has announced it will start offering authors the choice of single or double-blind peer review on two of its materials and biophysics/engineering journals.

16 Jan 2017

Modelling sheds new light on bacteria behaviour

A new study into how bacteria move, behave, and form colonies could allow a better understanding of infections, and pave the way to new antimicrobial treatments.

10 Jan 2017
IOPscience logo

Unauthorised access to IOPscience server

It has come to our attention that unauthorised access was gained by an unknown party to an server on 24 December 2016.

5 Jan 2017

News archive: 2016