Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC laboratory have taken a "molecular movie" of a chemical reaction for the first time. The results of their research could give new insights into to how chemical bonds form, helping researchers better understand biological processes. To give you an idea of the difficulty of the feat, the critical part of the reaction -- the breaking apart of a ring-shaped gas molecule -- takes a mere 200 femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second). To record such a rapid process, the researchers used the two mile long Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to fire X-ray laser pulses a mere 25 quadrillionths of a second in duration.

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NHS Blood Donation Van

To better treat specialist patients, scientists have experimented with lab-grown organs and cells for some time. For the NHS, maintaining UK blood supplies is also high on the agenda, so it's been working to offset the fall in donations by growing its own. In fact, the health service says we may only be two years away from seeing the world's first artificial transfusions, which could potentially revolutionize treatment for seriously ill people with complex blood types.

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All artworks by Bisco Smith

Hang something like a painting on your wall, and it fades away into the background after a while; you'd notice if it were missing, but otherwise you wouldn't necessarily fixate on it. Rather than let art suffer this indignity, Soundwall would like to change your relationship with the work on your wall. Paintings have been transformed into objects that add an extra dimension to invite you to engage further: sound.

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Aerial Views Of Hamburg And Northern Germany As Greek Crisis Effects Investor Confidence

In the future, there's a good chance you'll see fewer wind farms being erected in the British countryside. That's because the UK government is killing a subsidy scheme that gives onshore wind farms a helping hand when they sell their electricity to energy suppliers. Under the Renewables Obligation (RO) order, Ofgem currently awards wind farms special certificates based on the amount of electricity they generate. They then sell these to the UK's energy providers, earning a premium on top of their normal wholesale prices.

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BMW i8

If you own an electric car, your two main charging options are plugging in at home or connecting to a public charging station like one of Tesla's Superchargers. Home charging is simple enough, but there aren't a huge amount of public terminals available. BMW has been experimenting with ways to power its growing number of electric cars in public spaces, and came up with the idea of turning LED street lamps into charging locations. The lamps, known as Light & Charge, have a modular design that BMW says "can be installed anywhere" and utilize up to four LED modules for night lighting on main roads or two in quieter areas.

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Juul E-Cigarette

While the debate over the risks of e-cigarettes continues to rage on, some governments aren't taking any chances and have enforced new rules to limit their use. Belgium and Spain have already introduced public bans, and now Wales is planning to do the same. The Welsh Government today announced that it will seek to prohibit vaping in "enclosed public spaces" as part of a new Public Health Bill designed to "protect the health and wellbeing" of people living in the country.

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Fredrik Neij

For years, authorities had played a game of cat and mouse with the co-founders of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. The long game eventually paid off, with Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Warg and Fredrik Neij all being sent to prison within a six month period. Sunde and Warg have since walked free, leaving Neij as the final site founder still serving a custodial sentence. At least until now. TorrentFreak reports that the 37-year-old has been released after serving two-thirds of what should have been a ten-month stretch.

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Deep in the heart of London, buried beneath 70 feet of soil and concrete, lies a hidden underground railway. For almost 80 years, the UK's "Mail Rail" transported letters and parcels between the capital's main post offices and a few overground train stations, where they could then be delivered across the country. It was a unique way to avoid street congestion, but by 2003 the line had become uneconomical to run. The decision was made to shut it down and it's laid dormant ever since, invisible to the public.

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diabetic lancet device in hand  ...

Researchers are one step closer to reducing the effects of type-1 diabetes after developing a way to implant insulin-generating cells into the pancreas. According to publisher IOP, this method was previously unsuccessful, but has begun to work now that scientists can "3D-print" a structure to protect the cells. Previous attempts to implant these cells, called islets of Langerhans, have been unsuccessful because the body's immune system would attack them as soon as they were injected.

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Ford Logo

One of the biggest issues in the automotive industry is that when car makers come up with an innovative new technology, it can take years for others to catch up. Tesla made a positive change when it opened its patents to further the adoption of electric cars, and now Ford is getting in on the act too. The company announced today that it will make at least 650 patents "dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies" available to other car makers, but unlike Tesla, is asking for an undisclosed fee. Ford already has six hybrid or all-electric models available to buy, but seems intent on increasing that number with a little help from its new facility located near Henry Ford's original labs in Dearborn. It intends to hire another 200 electrified vehicle engineers at Ford Engineering Laboratories this year, allowing it to "solve bigger challenges and help improve the industry." Now all we need is for Toyota and co. to follow suit.

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Pardon me while I say something that might not be entirely popular: Software updates are pretty awesome. Maybe not so much for game consoles, but, I digress because the Curiosity rover recently received a patch that improved the autofocus of its "ChemCam" telescope. Over the air. On Mars. Before the update, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory would take nine pictures of a subject (each at a different focus) to get one usable close-up image of any of the Red Planet's rocks and soils, and send them back home. Same goes for any sample analyses the laser was doing. The problem is that for those analyses to be anywhere remotely useful, the telescope projecting said laser needs to be in focus and the workaround in place wasn't very efficient.

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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 and VR will help 'em "find new ways to manipulate and interrogate" the massive amounts of info generated by science studies. As of now, projects include putting together a digital edition of one of medical history's largest collections of patient consultations (some 80,000 participants) from the 16th and 17th century and a cohort study of kids born between 1991 and 1992.

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Tom Cruise NASA Website

In the early 2000s, Tom Cruise was working on movies like Mission Impossible II, Minority Report and The Last Samurai. However, when he wasn't busy playing a lead role, he also had a penchant for telling the world's biggest space agency how it could make its website better. That's according to former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who was told to update the agency's 2002 site because it took visitors "three clicks to oblivion."

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UK Space Agency's Rocket Science

If we're ever to inhabit other planets in our solar system, we must first make sure that we can grow our own food in order to survive. While space scientists have been experimenting with this for decades, the UK Space Agency, with help from the Royal Horticultural Society, is calling on Britain's kids to help it understand more about growing food on different worlds. Rocket Science, as it's known, will involve sending two kilograms of rocket seeds to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of British astronaut Tim Peake's six-month Principa mission.

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Afghanistan Poppy Harvest

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 know what you're thinking: "This sounds like madness." But there's some proof behind it. Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and Concordia University in Canada presented an almost complete means to turn glucose to morphine, while scientists from the University of Calgary supplied the missing piece that completes the process. The idea wasn't to flood the streets with home-made heroin. No, the plan is much more noble than that: to produce "cheaper, less addictive, safer and more-effective" painkillers, according to Nature.

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