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Not happy with the color of your clothes and devices? Eventually, you might get to change those hues on a whim. UC Santa Barbara researchers have discovered that the color-changing California market squid (aka opalescent inshore squid) manages its optical magic thanks to the presences of protein s...

July 5th 2015 at 1:58am 0 Comments
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Don't look now, but the plants in your backyard might just shape the next generation of cars. University of Freiburg researchers have found a way to study the junctions between living plants' branches and stems using MRI scans, giving insight into how they cope under strain. The 3D images should s...

July 1st 2015 at 1:26am 0 Comments
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You may not think of insects as a problem for aircraft (Bambi Meets Godzilla comes to mind), but they really are -- the residue from those splattered bugs slows aircraft down and hikes fuel consumption. NASA may soon have a way to keep those critters from causing so much trouble, however. It rec...

June 1st 2015 at 9:28pm 0 Comments
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Butterflies have proven to be a surprising source of inspiration for technology, and that trend isn't about to slow down any time soon. German researchers have discovered that irregular, nanoscopic structures on the glasswing butterfly's namesake transparent wings eliminate most reflections at any...

April 22nd 2015 at 9:49pm 0 Comments
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Robots typically rely on batteries to get power, but they may soon have to do little more than nibble on another material to start moving. Chinese researchers have developed simple liquid metal machines (not shown here) that zip around if they "eat" aluminum and other substances that produce elect...

March 30th 2015 at 12:22am 0 Comments
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As a rule, bionic hands are clunky contraptions made of motors, pneumatics and other machinery that just can't be as elegant as the real thing. Germany's Saarland University might just change that, however. Its researchers have developed an artificial hand that uses smart nitinol (nickel titanium)...

March 24th 2015 at 11:59pm 0 Comments
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If you want to see how animal embryos grow in eggs, you typically have to poke a hole in the egg and patch it up later. That's not always safe, and it may give you an incomplete picture of what's going on. Scientists at Beijing's Tsinghua University think they have a better solution, though. Th...

February 9th 2015 at 4:09am 0 Comments
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There's now at least a few robots that swim like fish, but they have their limits: they still take time to turn around, and they're not exactly precision instruments. Researchers at ETH Zurich are well on their way to solving those problems with their Sepios robot, though. As you'll see in the v...

January 14th 2015 at 8:21am 0 Comments
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They grow up so fast, don't they? It was just a few years ago that HECTOR the stick bug robot was little more than a twinkle in Bielefeld University's eye, and it's already taking its first steps. Okay, so this isn't quite a tear-jerking moment, but it's still an important achievement in robotics...

December 21st 2014 at 4:23pm 0 Comments
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It's hard to covertly gather intelligence on the open seas; conventional drones and submarines make it rather obvious that something's up. The US Navy might just have a stealthier option with its experimental GhostSwimmer drone, which recently finished tests. The five-foot-long robot looks and swi...

December 17th 2014 at 2:49pm 0 Comments
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Spiders might creep you out, but don't dismiss them too quickly -- they may well be the ticket to a new wave of wearable sensors. South Korean researchers have built a device that picks up miniscule vibrations by using the principle behind a spider's lyriform organs, which shake (and send nervous...

December 14th 2014 at 12:45am 0 Comments
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Soft robotics can go a long way toward recreating the graceful movements of fish and other animals, and it now looks like they're helpful for replicating some of the stranger creatures on our planet, too. A team of Greek researchers has developed an octopus robot that uses silicone tentacles and...

September 23rd 2014 at 3:54pm 0 Comments