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The hunt for extraterrestrial life just got a big leg up. Internet investor Yuri Milner and his Breakthrough Prize Foundation will spend $100 million supporting Breakthrough Listen, a project that will use radio telescopes, lasers and other equipment to search for alien signals. The cash will no...

July 20th 2015 at 8:58pm 0 Comments
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Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a robotic cockroach that can crawl through the tightest of gaps. The team began by studying actual cockroaches, observing how they moved through the densely packed rainforest floor. While some obstacles are pushed past or climbed over, the cockroaches freq...

June 23rd 2015 at 9:44am 0 Comments
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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...

May 25th 2015 at 6:05pm 0 Comments
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Sugar is basically ubiquitous and it looks like it could be used to make morphine, which is a refined form of heroin. Recent research shows that a genetically modified strain of yeast, when exposed to sugar, could be used to ferment the opioid. Yes, essentially, you could homebrew your own scag. I...

May 18th 2015 at 10:39pm 0 Comments
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City officials from Paradise Valley, Arizona have reportedly set up an array of license plate readers, hidden within fake cacti no less, throughout the wealthy Phoenix suburb. Problem is, officials can't seem to explain if the devices are currently in use or why they even need the privacy-invading...

May 9th 2015 at 11:12am 0 Comments
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Gravity can play a lot of tricks with light, and we're not just talking about black holes. Take this recent Hubble Space Telescope discovery from UC Berkeley's Patrick Kelly, for example: those four lights are actually a distant supernova magnified and split into four images by the gravitational...

March 9th 2015 at 7:52am 0 Comments
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Here's a project that could pave way to structures both unique and affordable. A team of researchers from the UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design has unveiled the Bloom Pavilion, which they call "the first and largest powder-based 3D-printed cement structure." It measures 9 feet high, 1...

March 8th 2015 at 11:59pm 0 Comments
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Just how small can life get? Almost unbelievably small, if you ask a team of Berkeley Lab researchers. They've taken the first detailed electron microscope pictures of the tiniest bacteria known to date -- at a typical 0.009 cubic microns in volume, you could fit 150 of them in an already miniscul...

March 2nd 2015 at 6:32pm 0 Comments
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Outbreaks of lethal viruses like Ebola are bad enough by themselves, but they're made worse by having to send in aid workers -- these people can quickly become victims, no matter how careful they are. To eliminate that risk, both the White House and a trio of educational institutions are holding w...

October 19th 2014 at 3:06am 0 Comments
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Big robots like Cheetah and Big Dog cost a lot to make, so it would be such a shame if they get put out of commission after slipping on, say, a patch of ice. To prevent that from happening, UC Berkeley and ETH Zurich researchers propose sending a team of small, expendable robots ahead of the big,...

June 11th 2014 at 6:44pm 0 Comments
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Cat whiskers are tremendously sensitive, so much so that cats can navigate around our glassware without sending anything crashing to the floor. It's that sort of sensitivity that a team from the University of California, Berkeley, is trying to replicate to help robots of the future. Ultra-sensitiv...

January 24th 2014 at 7:01am 0 Comments