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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Building With Cross-Laminated Timber

Among the many apartment buildings in the London borough of Hackney, the nine-story structure on the corner of Provost Street and Murray Grove stands out, its exterior a mix of white and gray tiles rather than the usual brick. But it's what's underneath the tiles that makes the 29-unit building truly different. From the second floor up, it is constructed entirely of wood, making it one of the tallest wooden residential buildings in the world.

In other technology news, this is the era of Big Data, in which more and more information about our lives--where we shop and what we buy, indeed where we are right now--is stored on computers. Big Data probably knows more about us than we ourselves do, but is there stuff that Big Data itself doesn't know it knows? Big Data is watching us, but who or what is watching Big Data?

A solar-powered plane landed in Morocco last week after flying from Spain, completing the second leg of its pioneering journey. Solar Impulse landed in Rabat--19 hours after taking off from Madrid. The plane is the size of a jumbo jet and is powered by 12,000 solar cells turning four electrical motors. Made of carbon fiber, the plane is the size of an Airbus A340 but only weighs as much as an average family car.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a telescope at the South Pole that detects the subatomic particles known as neutrinos, has measured the highest-energy neutrino oscillations yet. IceCube was designed primarily to study neutrinos streaming from astrophysical objects such as supernovae and x-ray bursts. But the detection of neutrino oscillations--the transformation of one type of neutrino into another--represents new scientific territory for the experiment.


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PODCAST & VIDEO: Engineering Around Extreme Events

Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.

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