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As NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, researchers aren't sure what's causing the "bright spots" on its surface. The imaging orbiter snapped the above picture from 29,000 miles (46,000 km) away just last week, but until it gets closer for a more detailed picture,...

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February 26, 2015 at 7:59PM
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The Arctic Circle is a lot busier than it used to be, a state of affairs that's keeping DARPA awake at night. America's mad science division doesn't like not knowing what's going on up there, and so is asking the public for help. The agency has asked for the science and business community to dream...

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It's no secret that scientists want the Curiosity rover to drill into Mars more often. However, it first has to learn how to drill properly -- until now, it was so aggressive that it sometimes broke the rocks it was trying to sample. Thankfully, NASA has a fix. It recently started testing a new dr...

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Ask the police and they'll tell you that serial numbers seldom help catch thieves -- dedicated crooks are usually smart enough to file off those digits so that stolen items can't be linked to a crime. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology might have just found a way to ...

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It's increasingly common to find supercars, laptops and other gadgets clad in strong-yet-light carbon fiber, but scientists may have a better (if decidedly stranger) solution: sea snail teeth. The University of Portsmouth has determined that a fibrous mineral structure found in limpet teeth is so ...

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You may have heard that the representation of a black hole in Interstellar was not only based on real science, but might tackle researchers' problems depicting these gravitational points. Well, that just happened -- physicist Kip Thorne and visual effects outfit Double Negative have published pape...

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Thought the Rosetta probe's earlier comet snapshots were special? They don't have a patch on its latest photo session. The ESA spacecraft went on its first dedicated close flyby of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko this weekend, and the images it captured have revealed a whole new level of detail. T...

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It goes without saying that Super Mario World is unrealistic, but have you wondered just how outlandish it is? PBS has. The broadcaster's Space Time show recently went out of its way to calculate the gravity of the game's planet based on Mario's jumps, and it turns out to be nearly eight times tha...

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There's no doubt that doctors would prefer to treat cancer as soon as they spot it, and it looks like nanotechnology might give them that chance. Researchers at the University of Leeds have successfully tested gold nanotubes that are useful for both imaging and destroying cancer cells. Since the t...

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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. They'...

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NASA's defunct space shuttles have found homes around the US and the 747s that brought them there have also been put to pasture. With no more shuttle carrier aircraft (SCAs), the agency has no more use for the Kennedy Space Center mate-demate facility used to pull the spacecraft off them. The 150-...

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The UK's House of Commons overwhelmingly voted in favor of a law that would allow scientists to genetically engineer babies from the DNA of three people. Before your mind wanders to some of the more... salacious possibilities, the technique -- a spin on traditional in vitro fertilization -- is mea...

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Unless you count incidents in Star Trek episodes, Möbius strips don't really occur in nature -- you have to create that freaky one-sided shape yourself. However, a worldwide team of scientists may have produced the next best thing. They've created a Möbius strip of light by manipulating ...

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Photon entanglement is one of the odder properties of quantum physics, but it promises a lot for computing -- if one photon can instantly affect another no matter how far away it is, you could make super-speedy computers and communications that aren't easily limited by physical distances. It hasn'...

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It's tempting to think of gas planets as permanently hostile to life as we know it. A pair of University of Washington researchers beg to differ, however. They've used computer modelling to determine that these worlds can become habitable when their stars get particularly grabby. If a relatively s...

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. A Look Back at the Doomed Virtual Reality Boom of the 90s Kyle Fowle, Kill...

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