research

Nearly every seabird has plastic in its gut today

Nearly every seabird has plastic in its gut today

A new piece of research CSIRO and Imperial College London suggests that seabirds around the world are eating trash. They found that not only do nearly 90 percent of all seabirds today have plastic in their gut, but by 2050, this percentage will rise to nearly 99%. This could have devastating effects on the world's seabird population, which could then have a rippling effect on wildlife throughout the rest of the world, both in the sea and on the land.

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NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA's latest test in preparing for a manned mission to Mars began on Friday last week, with six people entering a small dome in Hawaii where they will remain for one full year. The voluntary isolation experiment has a crew of four Americans; a pilot, architect, doctor/journalist, and soil scientist; along with a French astrobiologist and German physicist. The group will live together in a dome that measures 36 feet wide and 20 feet tall, and can only outside if wearing a full spacesuit.

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Sir Elton John immortalized as a crustacean

Sir Elton John immortalized as a crustacean

In the coral reefs of Raja Ampat in Indonesia a new species of crustacean has been discovered, complete with the name L. Eltoni, named after Sir Elton John. This name comes from the discoverer of the creature, Dr. James Thomas from the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Florida. He suggests that there are two distinct reasons why this tiny crabby animal deserves the name, the first being that it looks like a pair of shoes Elton John wore one time.

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Google’s self-driving car gets confused by cyclist’s track stand

Google’s self-driving car gets confused by cyclist’s track stand

We've been hearing about Google's self-driving cars getting into fender-benders before, mostly at the fault of other vehicles with a human behind the wheel, but recently one of the autonomous vehicles got a bit confused by a cyclist at an intersection. Did the car not recognize the cyclist and almost collide with him? Nope. Turns out the rider was simply doing a track stand — where they keep the bike upright at a stop without taking their feel off the pedals — and the car couldn't tell if they were moving or not.

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NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

This week one of NASA's scientists working on the Mars rover project was asked to comment on multiple sightings of odd objects on the planet's surface. Everything from Martian crabs to Martian rats and back to the newest: a lizard! Today we'll go through a number of photos of supposed alien life on Mars along with Ashwin Vasavada's responses to each of them. We'll begin with the especially terrifying prospect of the miniature ghostly striding woman found several weeks ago.

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NASA-funded research enacts Wolverine-style healing

NASA-funded research enacts Wolverine-style healing

Researchers have created a material compound that, when ripped, punctured, or damaged in any way, is able to heal itself in a very short span of time. While we're not quite sure on if this technology has any applicability to human or mutant skin, like that of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, it certainly appears to work in the field. What we're looking at here is what researchers suggest is a "terminator"-style material. We're thinking it's a bit more like our favorite quick-healing Canadian.

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Pew report: Americans frown upon phone use in social settings

Pew report: Americans frown upon phone use in social settings

The widespread presence of mobile devices, namely smartphones, have brought about new issues in regards to etiquette, and though over the years a general shape about proper usage has formed, many still bicker about what is appropriate and what isn’t. Pew Research recently surveyed a bunch of Americans to find out their opinions on smartphone usage in public, and found that while most people are fine with phones being used when a person is in public, only a small percentage think it is okay to use the phone during a social gathering, whether you’re at the restaurant or just talking to someone.

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Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Upon the event horizon of a black hole, suggested leading physicist Stephen Hawking this week, information may not be lost. While all matter is sucked into the hole, prevailing theories that all will be lost - are not quite as solid as they were before Hawking spoke. It was at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm this month that Hawking presented a new idea on how information may be able to escape a black hole - a flat, useless form, but released nonetheless.

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Hydrogen fuel cell powered iPhone 6 can last a week

Hydrogen fuel cell powered iPhone 6 can last a week

Now that we have smartphones with 2K displays, 4 GB of RAM, and eight 64-bit cores, batteries have become the next obsession for many smartphone makers and researchers. From quick charging batteries to safer batteries and now to eco-friendly batteries, the smartphone's power source is both a source of interest and potential profit to those can put down a stake first. British company Intelligent Energy might just be one of those, with its hydrogen-powered battery that can power an iPhone for a whole week before needing a recharge.

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Microsoft DisplayCover gives Surface an epaper touchscreen

Microsoft DisplayCover gives Surface an epaper touchscreen

Microsoft's detachable Surface keyboard may already bring easy text entry to the tablet, but the company is cooking up a new DisplayCover prototype with its own e-paper touchscreen. The work-in-progress peripheral is the handiwork of Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group, combining not only a physical keyboard but a full-width touchscreen which can be used to show menu items, toolbar controls, or even offer an alternative input area.

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Microsoft MobileFusion turns any smartphone into 3D scanner

Microsoft MobileFusion turns any smartphone into 3D scanner

In early October, researchers will show off Microsoft’s new MobileFusion technology, a project that enables an ordinary smartphone to serve as a 3D scanner. MobileFusion is notable for a number of reasons: it doesn’t require any special attachments, nor does it require an Internet connection, and it is something any smartphone user could utilize. Most present day smartphones are powerful enough to use the 3D scanning system, with the phone’s camera being the starting point of that system and an algorithm doing the rest of the work.

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Android lock patterns analyzed, deemed predictable

Android lock patterns analyzed, deemed predictable

The other day I picked up a co-workers phone lying on the desk and noticed that you could clearly see the greasy smudges on the screen of the phone highlighting the lock pattern of the device. I probably could have been into that phone in a few minutes. As it turns out Android lock patters are somewhat predictable according to a graduate student who has been studying them.

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