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NASA is convinced that Jupiter's moon Europa is worth visiting, and for good reason: its icy surface could be hiding a giant ocean friendly to life. The agency is going to need the right equipment if it's going to verify its theories, however, which is why it just chose nine instruments that will ...

1 day ago 0 Comments
May 26, 2015 at 4:18PM
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As a rule, robots have to learn through explicit instruction, whether it's through new programming, watching videos or holding their hands. UC Berkeley's BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks) isn't nearly that dependent, however. The machine uses neural network-based deep lea...

2 days ago 0 Comments
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Scientists have long talked about black silicon (that is, silicon with nano-sized structures) having the potential to trump conventional solar power, and there's now some proof that this is happening. Aalto University researchers have developed black silicon solar cells that achieve a record 22.1 ...

2 days ago 0 Comments
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Gene sequencing, once a rare feat, is pretty common these days... but how do you know that your DNA data is up to snuff? As of now, there's an easy way to find out. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released reference genetic material that serves as a "measuring stick" ...

3 days ago 0 Comments
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We've seen a handful of neat ways to visualize big data and make it useful, and the folks behind Unreal Engine, Epic Games, think virtual reality is the next step for that. Currently a half-dozen international teams are taking part in the Big Data VR Challenge, and hope their expertise with games ...

7 days ago 0 Comments
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E-cigarettes may be a popular alternative to the traditional smoke sticks, despite contrasting opinions on how safe they are. Adding to the list of harmful effects, the American Thoracic Society published research at its annual conference that certain flavors used in vaping liquid may alter cells ...

9 days ago 0 Comments
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The internet has more than one capacity problem to worry about, apparently. Researchers met in London this week to tackle growing concerns that fiber optic cables, which represent the internet's backbone, are hitting their physical limits. An Alcatel-Lucent representative warned that we could hit ...

10 days ago 0 Comments
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Think the abundance of technology in your life is making it harder to concentrate for long periods? Microsoft might just have some evidence to support your theory. It recently published a study (conducted using both surveys and EEG scans) suggesting that the average attention span has fallen prec...

10 days ago 0 Comments
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Look, we know this sea turtle's prosthetic beak has a tragic backstory, but it sure makes the reptile look like it has a future as a badass pizza-loving mutant. According to 3D Printing Industry, Turkish animal rescuers found it almost lifeless at sea, after a boat propeller shaved off a huge part...

10 days ago 0 Comments
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If NASA is going to put humans on Mars and other distant worlds, it's going to need a place for explorers to stay -- and it wants your help building those extraterrestrial homes. The agency has launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, a competition to develop the best artificial housing for spac...

10 days ago 0 Comments
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The Standard Model of physics, as good as it is, has gaps: it can't really explain dark matter, gravity or the imbalance between matter and antimatter. Thankfully, German researchers have a new tool that could plug some of those holes. They've developed a magnetic shield whose several layers of n...

13 days ago 0 Comments
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How do scientists study the evolutionary transformation from snouts to beaks as those winged dinosaurs became birds? By putting dinosaur snouts on chickens, of course. A team of researchers at Yale were able to modify the chickens' genetic make up in a way that would make then grow a snout like th...

14 days ago 0 Comments
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You might think of gravity as an invisible force here on Earth, but that's not entirely true... if you have the right computer simulation, that is. Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have developed a climate model that shows the gravity waves in the upper atmosphere, where...

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There are already computer chips with brain-like functions, but having them perform brain-like tasks? That's another challenge altogether. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara aren't daunted, however -- they've used a basic, 100-synapse neural circuit to perform the typical human task of image classifi...

15 days ago 0 Comments
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Now that Apple has launched a platform for medical research, it's apparently ready to expand what that platform can do. MIT's sources understand that the Cupertino crew is working with academics on ResearchKit apps that let iPhone users get DNA tests. Apple wouldn't directly scoop up DNA, as you m...

21 days ago 0 Comments
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Plants are delicate things, which makes them a pain to study under an electron microscope -- you'll probably damage the very cells you're trying to look at. You'll get a much better look if the University of Florida's new imaging technique catches on, though. Their approach leans on both a compoun...

24 days ago 0 Comments
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There's been a lot of space stories this week, including rockets going up, satellites coming down and supply craft doing both, but not in the right order. Not to be deterred, NASA is talking up its next big experiment which will send a probe to examine the contents of the Cygnus Loop, a remnant of...

26 days ago 0 Comments