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NASA STEREO spacecraft contact reestablished after 22 months

NASA STEREO spacecraft contact reestablished after 22 months

Nearly two years ago, NASA lost contact with the STEREO-B spacecraft operating as part of its STEREO Mission. The space agency has been trying to reestablish contact with that spacecraft since then, and now, about 22 months later, NASA has announced that it succeeded. NASA made contact with the spacecraft yesterday, and it will soon perform further tasks to determine STEREO-B's health, status, and other pertinent information.

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‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

Europe’s oldest living tree is located in northern Greece and is, according to a team of researchers, more than 1,075 years old. Dubbed ‘Adonis,’ the tree is of the Bosnian pine variety, and it has recently been dated using dendrochronology — the science of analyzing tree rings. Using this data and the data of similarly old trees could help scientists understand the climate and related history of the region, as well as the effect those changes have on the trees.

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Great Lakes’ second-oldest shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

Great Lakes’ second-oldest shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

When it comes to shipwrecks discovered in the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan usually gets all the attention. That’s not the case with the latest discovery, though, which has turned up the Great Lakes region's second-oldest shipwreck in Lake Ontario. The ship, which was built in America but owned by Canadians, sank in 1803. The team behind the discovery announced their find in a statement today, saying the shipwreck concerns the vessel “Washington," which has long been known to have sank during a storm.

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Bananas may go extinct soon, but DNA sequencing will (likely) prevent it

Bananas may go extinct soon, but DNA sequencing will (likely) prevent it

A fungus that has been threatening banana crops for many years could bring the fruit to the point of extinction within the next ten years. That is, if researchers don't find a way to combat the fungus in a way that it can't adapt to overcome, which is the subject of a newly published study in PLOS. Most commonly referred to by the disease it causes -- black leaf streak disease -- the fungus Pseudocercospora fijiensis is the most harrowing pathogen in the banana industry, but thanks to recent work decoding its genome, there may be a way to stop it.

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WatchMI adds more smartwatch controls without adding hardware

WatchMI adds more smartwatch controls without adding hardware

Most smartwatches these days, except for the likes of the Pebble, have touch screens that try to make using these wearable devices easier. But unlike the bigger touchscreens on our smartphones, the surface area of smartwatches make it harder to utilize multi-touch gestures. As such, most of the time users are limited to taps, tap and hold, and swipes. Researchers from the University of St. Andrews are proposing a new interaction method they have dubbed as WatchMI, which adds three more touch-based gestures to any smartwatch, without requiring additional hardware at all.

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DuoSkin uses temporary gold leaf tattoos to control devices

DuoSkin uses temporary gold leaf tattoos to control devices

Google's Project Jacquard may be investigating the intersection of technology and fashion, but they are more focused on the embedding electronics into textile. Designers and engineers from MIT and Microsoft Research, however, are taking fusion the idea to the extreme. Calling it DuoSkin, the research makes use of gold metal leaf not just as a conduit but also as a fashion statement, allowing wearers to control and communicated with devices, even display some information, using temporary tattoos that are both functional and beautiful as well.

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Hackers can steal data via the sounds of a hard drive

Hackers can steal data via the sounds of a hard drive

Just about anytime you think you and your computer are safe from hackers and security weaknesses, some bizarre, unexpected method or flaw gets discovered. Case in point: security researchers have come up with a way to steal data from a computer's hard drive just by listening to the sounds it makes. Not only can information be transmitted without a users' knowledge, but their computer doesn't even need to be connected to the internet.

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Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries has announced plans to send its Prospector-1 spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid in the next handful of years, doing so to evaluate the asteroid for potential mining missions. The company hopes to one day mine materials from such celestial objects, something that will one day be a major part of the so-called space economy. The Prospector-1 will be building upon the company’s upcoming Prospector-X mission, a low-Earth orbit project for testing technologies that may be used in future space missions.

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We still can’t pin down dark matter

We still can’t pin down dark matter

As fruitless hunts go, the search for dark matter takes some beating, forcing researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to branch out as they hunt for evidence of currently-theoretical particles. Though it's believed to make up the majority of the matter in the universe - around 80-percent, experts claim - dark matter is proving frustratingly elusive to actually identify, and now NASA's team is getting creative to try to pin it down.

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Walk Again Project uses machines to help people regain mobility

Walk Again Project uses machines to help people regain mobility

One of the most devastating types of injuries that a person can suffer is a spinal injury that makes them unable to walk again. An international collaboration of scientists is working with robotic equipment under the umbrella of a project dubbed "Walk Again Project" to use non-invasive brain-machine interfaces to allow people to walk again. The process involved having people with injuries perform brain training while interacting with robot-like machines.

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Researchers create stretchable touchpad that could be implanted

Researchers create stretchable touchpad that could be implanted

I readily admit going into this that the thought of implanting a touchpad inside the body is very disturbing to me. That is exactly what scientists at Seoul National University have come up with. This touchpad can be used to write words and play electronic games according to the inventors. It's made from the same sort of soft and stretch hydrogel that is used to make soft contact lenses.

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Volkswagen hack renders millions of car locks useless

Volkswagen hack renders millions of car locks useless

The keyless entry security system in nearly a hundred million Volkswagen group cars is vulnerable to a simple hack that could grant entry in under a minute, researchers have warned. Security experts at the University of Birmingham in the UK have identified a tiny handful of common codes which the automaker apparently used across cars with VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda badges from 1995 onward, with only the very latest models switching to a more secure system.

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