Science and Technology

polymer film being punctured with pointed item / Bao Research Group

Stanford researchers create super stretchy, self-healing material that could lead to artificial muscle

Researchers show how jolting this material with an electrical field causes it to twitch or pulse in a muscle-like fashion. This polymer can also stretch to 100 times its original length, and even repair itself if punctured.

Illustration of a city with half showing scorched earth, half green / Photo: kwest, Shutterstock

Society needs to better understand the economics of climate change, Stanford researchers say

Gaps in social science knowledge of climate change constrain the policy impact of natural science research, a Stanford team argues.

Lowland tapir standing along the bank of a river / Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Amazon rainforest may be home to more animals than previously thought, Stanford scientists show

By tapping the expertise of indigenous hunters, researchers found that conventional surveying techniques underestimate animal populations and miss species in the remote Amazon. Producing an accurate count is important for planning conservation efforts.

Wikipedia logo

Stanford and Wikimedia researchers create a tool to boost article creation in local language Wikipedias

Wikipedia exists in nearly 300 languages but many versions are small and incomplete. In one experiment, computer scientists tripled article creation by recommending missing entries to editors.

Composite image of the gravitational lens SDP.81 showing distorted image of the more distant galaxy and the nearby lensing galaxy / Y. Hezaveh; ALMA

Stanford astrophysicists help discover hidden dwarf dark galaxy

The study develops a powerful tool for discovering galaxies that are otherwise too distant to observe, and could lead to advances that improve our understanding of dark matter.

Planet Earth in person's hand

Scientists suggest appealing to human psychology to create solutions to climate change

Targeting aspects of human psychology that can create barriers to effective climate change action may be the key to promoting environmentally friendly choices in both individual practices and national policies, Stanford scientists say.

SLAC buildings at dusk / Brad Plummer

Partners in discovery: SLAC + Stanford collaborations

Working together, researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford expand our knowledge of materials, molecules and the universe.

Perovskite illustration

Stanford scientists improve perovskite solar-cell absorbers by giving them a squeeze

Adding pressure could improve the performance of solar cells made of perovskites, a promising photovoltaic material.

Terraced farm fields in South America

Populations of early human settlers grew like an 'invasive species,' Stanford researchers find

When humans colonized South America, an initial explosive population growth rapidly reached the environment's carrying capacity.

nearly snowless Tioga Pass in Sierra Nevada / Bartshé Miller

Rise of the 'Ridiculously Resilient Ridge': California drought patterns becoming more common, Stanford scientists say

Researchers expect more occurances of the 'ridiculously resilient ridge' that appeared in the latter half of California's multi-year drought.

Illustration of underwater canyons in Monterey Bay

Stanford scientists shed light on powerful currents that create massive underwater canyons

Through the use of mathematical models, Stanford researchers have better defined the powerful processes that carved some of the largest canyons on Earth, deep under the oceans.

EPA staff monitoring well for fracking contaminants / Dominic DiGiulio

Stanford researchers show fracking's impact to drinking water sources

A case study of a small Wyoming town reveals that practices common in the fracking industry may have widespread impacts on drinking water resources.

image of virus with a target on it / Lightspring/Shutterstock

Stanford scientists resurrect an abandoned drug and find it effective against two human viruses in a lab dish, with potential to fight many more

Stanford scientists have resurrected a discarded drug that helps human cells in a lab dish fight off two different viruses. Based on what they learned about how the drug works, it might also help fight the viruses that cause Ebola, dengue and Zika, among others.

Closeup of woman putting contact lens in her eye. Photo: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

New insights into human tears could lead to more comfortable contact lenses, Stanford researchers say

Chemical engineers at Stanford have discovered mechanical properties of the tear film on the eye's surface that can be used to manufacture contact lenses that more closely mimic the eye.

African cichlid fish / L.A. Cicero

Stanford scientists identify genetic switch for female sexual behavior

By studying the mating of cichlid fish, the scientists identified a single brain receptor in female fish that determines whether they successfully reproduce. The finding might influence the understanding of humans' social behavior.