Scientists have improved "the most important biological process on the planet" - photosynthesis. The breakthrough, published in the journal Science, used genetic modification to increase the amount of sunlight energy crop plants can channel into food production. That increased yield in an experimental crop by 15%. Researchers say this is a critical step towards increasing crop production to feed a growing global population. Lead researcher Prof Stephen Long, based at the the University of Illinois and the University of Lancaster, said decades of research into the 140-step process by which plants convert sunlight energy into food had revealed specific "inefficiencies in crops".
Scientists believe they may have made a major breakthrough in efforts to solve a decades-long mystery of a burned body found in Norway 1970. New forensic analysis on the teeth of the unidentified "Isdal woman" found chemical traces which may tell investigators where she grew up. The results narrow the search to an area along the French-German border. The case received fresh impetus after journalists from Norway's national broadcaster NRK began an inquiry. The NRK team, which has been researching the case for over a year, hailed the new information as a "major breakthrough".
Quantum computing is now within closer reach thanks to a major breakthrough in which scientists have demonstrated that a key building block can be assembled. Quantum computers are based on atomic-scale quantum bits, or qubits, that can represent both 0 and 1 simultaneously, and they are expected to deliver huge performance gains over traditional computers. Realizing that potential, however, depends on the ability to build working quantum circuits. That's where the Fredkin gate, also known as a controlled-SWAP gate, comes in. It could be a key component of quantum circuitry, but because of the complexity involved, no one has ever managed to build one in the real world -- until now.
Researchers at Stanford University have made a breakthrough discovery on the behaviour of prime numbers, and it's shaking up the world of mathematics. The mathematicians found that prime numbers aren't completely random as has been thought. Instead, neighbouring prime numbers were found to avoid repeating their last digits. Prime numbers can only end in one of four digits (apart from 2 and 5), and researchers have thought that these should each have an equal chance of appearing next in a given set. Researchers at Stanford University have made a breakthrough discovery on the behaviour of prime numbers, and it's shaking up the world of mathematics.