environment

Smartphone apps that mimic birds are harmful, says Wildlife Trust

Smartphone apps that mimic birds are harmful, says Wildlife Trust

It is inevitable that technology and decidedly non-technological things will continue to merge as mobile devices and such become more powerful and less expensive. One such way this reality has manifested is birdsong apps, which are apps that play a specific type of bird's song, luring them in for bird watchers or photographers to enjoy. According to the Wildlife Trust of Dorset, this is harmful, and it has issued a warning against it.

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Gadget-eating crazy ants causing millions in damages

Gadget-eating crazy ants causing millions in damages

Depending on what state you live in, there could come a point when one of your electrical devices - maybe even a gadget - fail, only for the culprit to be pegged as "crazy ants". Such has been the case for many in the Southern United States, where a species of insect known as Raspberry crazy ants have made their way from South American, driving out native ant populations and destroying hosts of electronics equipment.

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NASA shows us what Antarctica would look like without ice

NASA shows us what Antarctica would look like without ice

Due to its location, the frigid continent of Antarctica is covered with nothing but ice, making it seem like the continent is nothing but boring flat land. However, thanks to a computer-generated simulation, we get to see that Antarctica is actually bumpy and pretty unique -- it's just that we don't get to see it with all that ice covering it up.

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Scientists alter mosquito genes with “people” blindness

Scientists alter mosquito genes with “people” blindness

Summer is upon many of us, and with it comes mosquitoes. Such tiny creatures are more than a nuisance, serving as disease transmitters of things like malaria. In light of this, researchers undertook a project that could, in part, mitigate such an issue using gene manipulation. Via altering a gene related to the mosquito's ability to smell, the scientists effectively made the insects "blind" to the scent of humans, leaving them to seek out other warm-blooded prey instead.

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Machine prints 33-feet of solar cells per minute

Machine prints 33-feet of solar cells per minute

There's are a variety of alternative sources of energy out there that break away from the traditional, environment-dampening methods used, some of them better tailored to certain locations than others. Solar power is one such source, and Australia is a prime location for such technology, offering many bright and sunny days. One of the biggest problems with solar power has been its cost, which may be changing in the near future thanks to a machine that prints a solar cell every 2 seconds.

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NASA grant to fund 3D-printed food system prototype

NASA grant to fund 3D-printed food system prototype

We've heard about 3D-printed guns and a 3D-printed implant, but a new project is taking the use of these printing machines to a whole new level: 3D-printed food. Such is the goal of Anjan Contractor, who received a $125,000 6-month NASA grant to build a prototype. If successful, the resulting system would not only provide food for space travel, but could also provide sustenance in the future when the population is higher and presumably natural food sources become scarce.

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Researchers track megacity carbon footprints using mounted sensors

Researchers track megacity carbon footprints using mounted sensors

Researchers with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory have undertaken a large project that will allow them to measure the carbon footprint of megacities - those with millions of residents, such as Los Angeles and Paris. Such an endevour is achieved using sensors mounted in high locations above the cities, such as a peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and a high-up level on the Eiffel Tower that is closed to tourist traffic.

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Biohacking Kickstarter project promises glowing plant seeds

Biohacking Kickstarter project promises glowing plant seeds

Many of us use small lights throughout our flats or homes, whether they're in the form of night lights, mood lights, or lighting accents. The number of lights used increases when you look out your front door, with street lamps lining the roads, for example. In the future, all those lights could be replaced by plants - glowing plants. Such is one of the goals of a synthetic biology project on Kickstarter that promises certain backers seeds to grow their own glowing plants.

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