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Comet 67P dust discovered to contain building blocks of life

Comet 67P dust discovered to contain building blocks of life

It turns out that comets have been responsible for spreading some of the key ingredients for life throughout the solar system. The European Space Agency has announced that its Rosetta probe has detected some of these building blocks of life within the dust and gas that surrounds Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Scientists suggest this is the process that could have led to such chemical building blocks being delivered to a newly-formed Earth long ago.

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Blue Origin’s next rocket launch will crash in order to study results

Blue Origin’s next rocket launch will crash in order to study results

The Blue Origin spaceflight agency has successfully launched and landed its reusable New Shepard rocket three times now, an impressive record on its own. But if the goal is consumer space flights, they need to know how to prepare for and deal with situations where things don't go perfectly. That's why their next flight will see the empty crew capsule intentionally crash-land, owner and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed.

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How to see Mars on Monday

How to see Mars on Monday

This Memorial Day, Mars will be closer to Earth than it's been at any point in the past 11 years. Back in 2005, Mars got up close and personal with our Earth - we didn't even really have smartphones back then. Now, here on Memorial Day, Mars will be appearing low in the east-southeast sky just after darkness. When you see it, Mars will be the color of sand - or just a bit more orange.

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ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

When Apple introduced Force Touch and 3D Touch, it expanded the vocabulary of gestures we can use on smartphones by 1. However, it is still touch-based, short of mind control, the number of ways we can interact with our smartphones are basically limited to touch, voice, and some rudimentary Jedi hand waves. Engineers from the University of Michigan are working on yet another gesture, one that is both interesting yet almost comical at the same time. They want you to be able to squeeze your smartphone, not to death, but to control it.

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Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

A team of scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have been pouring over data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and report that they have found evidence of an ice ago in the polar deposits of Mars. The team says that the same forces that drive ice ages here on Earth drive ice ages on Mars. Those forces are long-term cyclical changes in the orbit and tilt of the planet that directly affect how much solar radiation the planet receives at each latitude.

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Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

About 176,500 years ago, Neanderthals created a pair of stone rings far within a cave (located in France) from stalagmites cut to similar heights ranging up to 16-inches. Why? No one knows. However, the discovery — which was made back in 1990 — was recently the subject of a study that found the structures date back to a time when Neanderthals would have made them. This further underscores reshaped notions of how intelligent Neanderthals were, and reveals a big mystery surrounding a possible ritual site.

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Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

As if murky water you can't see through wasn't frightening enough, a newly published study suggests there could be massive squid -- the kind you read about in mythological texts and fantasy books -- swimming around present-day oceans. Search squid sizes on Google and you'll see notes about how squids top out around 13m/43ft in length -- according to this study, though, the correct size may be closer to 65ft.

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Google digs self-driving roots in heart of old-school automaker territory

Google digs self-driving roots in heart of old-school automaker territory

Google is setting down roots in traditional automaker territory, announcing plans to open a self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan. The news marks a scaling-up of Google's footprint in the region; the company already had some of its autonomous car team based in Greater Detroit, it said today, but this new move will see considerably more resources funneled into the project.

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NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will eventually make a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean with living astronauts inside — those astronauts will experience “some of the greatest forces on the human body,” according to the space agency. Before that time comes, though, NASA is fitting Orion with crash test dummies and sending them through this rapid deceleration first to see what happens.

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Ancient beer discovery hints China had ‘advanced brewing’ 5,000 years ago

Ancient beer discovery hints China had ‘advanced brewing’ 5,000 years ago

China was home to ‘advanced beer-brewing’ techniques 5,000 years ago, a new study suggests, and it may have been the reason barley was imported and established in the region. Researchers have reached their conclusion based on the analysis of pottery vessel remnants with ancient beer residue inside; this ancient beer recipe includes millet, Job’s tears, tubers, and barley in the ingredients.

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DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

The U.S. Navy has autonomous watercraft aspirations, and it needs a way for future unmanned (and manned) subs to navigate accurately. Here to help is DARPA, which has selected BAE Systems to create an underwater positioning system for deep ocean navigation (POSYDON). The program will produce a navigation system that eliminates the need to surface for updated GPS data.

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This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

Wearables can track can track all kinds of health a fitness data these days, but here's one that focuses on something different: how much alcohol you drink. Called BACTrack Skyn, the wristband acts like a wearable breathalyzer, even though you don't technically breathe into it. Instead, it measures blood alcohol levels through you skin using fuel cell technology similar to what law enforcement relies on.

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