When tobacco and cancer are used in the same sentence, the word "cause" usually goes in between. That's why a new research from La Trobe University in Australia could confuse some folks -- after all, the researchers discovered that tobacco could potentially be used for cancer treatment. Before you pick up that box of Marlboros, know that it's actually a flowering tobacco plant named Nicotiana alata, which isn't even the same species used to make cigarettes, that has magical, cancer-beating properties. After a series of tests, the scientists have determined that NaD1 (a protein found in its pink and white flowers) can not only fight off plant fungi, but also kill cancer cells.

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When we ask readers like you to help us rank the top gadgets, we usually focus on the best (and sometimes the worst). Recently, you selected our Readers' Choice winners for the 2013 Engadget Awards, but in the spirit of our 10th birthday, we wanted to try something a little different.

Do you have a gadget that's changed your life? Perhaps you made a leap from the LG enV VX9900 feature phone to the mystifying world of smartphones and scooped up an iPhone 3GS (like this author did in 2009). Or when you decided to move to the other side of the world and your Mom bought a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 to keep in touch and see your darling face over Skype.

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Blaming Russia's "ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," NASA has announced that it's suspending nearly all of its engagements with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Cooperation will, however, continue on the International Space Station "to maintain safe and continuous operation." The Space Agency says it's still committed to future human spaceflight launches on US soil, but without Russian assistance or extra funding, these will will have to wait until 2017. "The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It's that simple."

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US soldiers in MEDEVAC training

DARPA knows that soldiers need more than the latest gadgets to fight effectively -- they need to stay healthy, too. Accordingly, it just launched a Biological Technologies Office (BTO) to study how organics can help national defense. The division is working on projects that will keep troops in top shape, monitor large-scale biological patterns (such as viruses) and understand how natural processes can be put to work in both materials and machines. The agency doesn't yet know when the BTO will bear fruit, but it plans to minimize ethical concerns by speaking to academic experts on a regular basis.

[Image credit: Spc. Coltin Heller / DVIDS, Flickr]

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The modern workforce is a global one, but you still need to get in some face time with co-workers and associates far and wide. ClickMeeting want's to help one lucky Engadget reader keep that personal connection and spread their message by offering an iPad mini and six months of its ClickWebinar service. This will help you make presentations to your team or dole out advice to interested clientele, and with mobile apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry, the software lets you do it from any location. So whether it's slurping down civet lattes at the corner cafe or direct from your kitchen table, you can get your message to the masses -- and they don't have to know you're still wearing pajama bottoms. Simply head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this iPad mini and ClickWebinar combo.

Winner: congratulations to David R., Charlotte, NC

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Those who visited our Expand events in San Francisco and New York last year already know that Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robot allows for minimally invasive surgery while still giving doctors the kind of dexterity and control they need to do the job. However, the current iteration of the system, the da Vinci Si, is only optimal when targeting a small, focused area. If the surgeon wants to explore a different part of the body mid-operation, he or she would need to reposition the entire apparatus, which sometimes means driving the patient cart around to the other side or having to wedge the da Vinci base in between the patient's legs. Today, however, Intuitive Surgical has announced the da Vinci Xi, a brand new surgical robot that promises to make it a lot easier for surgeons to perform exactly those kinds of complex surgeries.

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For the last 24 hours (and likely the next 12), excitable company execs have been barraging our inbox, YouTube and your social media networks with their best shenanigans. Love it or loathe it (and you're probably starting to loathe it by now), the April Fools' tradition continues, even stronger, in 2014. Google went a little overboard, but hopefully, after today, selfies will die a death. Hopefully.

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While Pluto might have been stripped of its full planetary status, thanks to a shift in official definitions, a newly discovered planetoid could actually hint at the existence of a "super-Earth" in the far reaches of our solar system. The ball of rock and ice, known as 2012 VP113, is estimated to be 250 miles wide, and has the most distant known orbit of our sun -- currently around 7.7 billion miles, extending to around 42 billion at its farthest. 2012 VP113 was spotted using the Dark Energy Camera in Chile, after a series of time-lapse photos captured it moving across the night sky.

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An invitation to see a "future restaurant" covered in highfalutin tech concepts was shaping up to be a highlight of our week. According to Recruit Advanced Technology Lab's teaser, it was going to encompass smartglasses, augmented reality, gesture interfaces, customer face identification, avatars, seamless wireless payments and more, all hosted at Eggcellent, a Tokyo restaurant that... specializes in egg cuisine.

The demonstrations might not have reached the polished levels of the dreamy intro video, but the concept restaurant at least attempted to keep all of its demos grounded in reality. iBeacons through Bluetooth for food orders and payments, iPads that interacted with a conveyor-belt order projection, Wii Remotes that transform normal TVs into interactive ones and a Kinect sensor to upgrade Japan's maid café waitresses into goddesses -- well, at least that's one idea.

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Who wants a 3D printer for just candy when you can have one that prints a five-course dinner instead? That's the idea behind Foodini, a new 3D printer that takes fresh ingredients and turns them into a culinary masterpiece. The device can do things like make custom ravioli, your own unique crackers or cookies, or even an intricate dark chocolate vase (if you just have to print candy). Its creations are made by filling the printer's "food capsules" with fresh ingredients and then inputting a recipe for the device to create. Foods can be printed in just a few minutes and eaten right away (if they're made from pre-cooked materials) or cooked after printing. Foodini is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter to manufacture its first run of the printers. $1,000 gets you in line to get one in January 2015, and a $2,000 investment can have you throwing your first printed dinner party by October of this year.

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NASA captures over half the galaxy's stars in new infrared panorama

Keeping a steady hand when snapping panoramic pictures is a valuable skill, but NASA's upstaged your photographic prowess with something a tad more impressive. Using over 2 million infrared pictures shot with the Spitzer Space Telescope over the course of a decade, the agency's created what's being called the clearest infrared panorama of our galaxy ever made. This is the first time all photographs from a project dubbed the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (or GLIMPSE360) have been combined into a single image. Although the final product only shows three percent of the sky, it contains over half of all stars in the Milky Way.

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Looks like NASA wants to add more zing to its futuristic Z-series spacesuits, because the agency just revealed three far-out outer shell designs for the newest prototype. The new model (called the Z-2) is a follow-up to NASA's Buzz Lightyear-esque Z-1 spacesuit prototype, which was named one of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2012. There are several differences between the two, including the quality of their upper torsos: while the Z-1's is soft, the Z-2's is hard and impact resistant. Another interesting tidbit about the new suit is that its creators used 3D-printed hardware during the development and sizing phase.

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Nov. 14, 2011 - Irvine, California, U.S. - Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, 20, right, is the inventor of a virtual reality gami

Oculus VR co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe had a vision for their company: to bring virtual reality to as many people as possible, in the best way possible, at the lowest possible price. And, according to the duo, selling the company to Facebook is the best way to reach those goals. "This is the best thing for us to do," Luckey told us in a post-announcement interview. "It leaves us in the same position we've always been in, doing the same things we wanted to do."

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Engadget giveaway: win a Samsung Galaxy S 4 and blinged-out Galaxy Gear courtesy of Brilliance!

You've tricked out your ride, splurged on some curves for your home theater and even recreated that floating Burnquist ramp for extreme weekend fun, but there's still something missing. The gem and jewelry purveyors at Brilliance have just the thing; they've provided an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 and bundled it with a gemstone-studded Galaxy Gear, so that one lucky Engadget reader (or someone near and dear) can rock a bit of bling like the stars. Brilliance offers gemstone customization for a variety of gadgets and has recently worked with Samsung to create shiny custom wearables for celebrities like Jennifer Hudson. You get to choose the color of the Galaxy Gear and take your pick of real-life gems, so you can rock your rocks while wearing your tech -- Xzibit would be proud. To get a chance at winning this sparkly wrist machine and life companion smartphone, you'll need to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Go ahead, it might just be your chance to shine.

Winner: congratulations to Shanaan C., Fort McMurray, AB

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As MIT proved recently with its squishy artificial fish, robots don't need to be rigid to propel themselves along (or freak us out). A company called Super-Releaser has applied the same logic for Glaucus, its new open-source soft robot. Unlike its swimming counterpart, this bot "walks" across land using air pressure to pump up different parts of its limbs in sequence. Admittedly, that results in a locomotion speed similar to the sea slug it's named after (see the video after the break) and it requires a tether. Still, the company is developing much more practical applications that use the same tech, like orthotic cuffs for rehabilitation and prosthetic sleeves for amputees. You can even 3D print a bot yourself using Thingiverse files and (slowly) terrify your friends.

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