Chorus around Jupiter's moon
• Listening to electro-magnetic waves around the earth - converted to sound - is almost like listening to the chirping of birds. Such waves, known as chorus waves, cause polar lights and can also damage spacecraft. Now a team of researchers from the University of Potsdam in Germany has found that such waves are intensified a million-fold around Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This study will help in the quest for new energy around planets in the solar system and in the distant corners of the universe.
• The largest King Penguin colony has lost 90 per cent of its population, according to a study in Antarctic Science. The colony on Pig Island, a French territory in the southern Indian Ocean, has just 60,000 breeding pairs left. The researchers suspect that climate change could have a role to play in this, as it has had with other penguin colonies in Antarctica. Competition for resources, diseases and relocation may also have contributed to population loss.
• Scientists are developing new plastics that, when prompted, self-destruct for reuse. Decades ago, synthetic polymers became popular as they were cheap and durable. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, US, have created a plastic that doesn't just melt on heating, but disintegrates into simple molecular units, ready for recycling.