research

Google and Levi’s team on Jacquard touch-sensitive clothes

Google and Levi’s team on Jacquard touch-sensitive clothes

Google's ATAP team promised to blow our socks off at I/O 2015, and Project Jacquard is how it plans to do that, a new conductive fabric that can track touch. Intended to bring new types of sensing and control to clothes, furnishings, and other areas which might not normally be electronically connected. And, while we've seen conductive threads woven through materials before, Project Jacquard goes further than most, including a partnership with one of the biggest names in fashion.

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LightSail test mission plagued by software glitch

LightSail test mission plagued by software glitch

Earlier this month, we talked a bit about the LightSail spacecraft that was going to be launched into space for its first official test. The actual launch of the spacecraft fitted with the SolarSail went off without a hitch and the test craft is now in orbit. That is where things began to go wrong for the team of scientists behind the project. Right now, the LightSail test mission is on hold after a software glitch has left the craft frozen and unresponsive.

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MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT's Biomimetics Robotics Lab has created a new version of its robotic cheetah. The Cheetah 2 is capable of even more animal-like actions than DARPA's faster and simpler predecessor. The Cheetah 2 can reliably identify and jump over objects up to 40 cm (about 15 inches) high. When it jumps, it mimics the movements of an actual cheetah, creating a double arc as its fore and high legs clear the hurdle.

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Hubble captures time lapse of shock collision from black hole

Hubble captures time lapse of shock collision from black hole

In a galaxy far away — about 260 million light years from our planet, to be exact — there was a plasma jet blasted from within a giant black hole. We know this thanks to the Hubble telescope, which captured images of the event that were later assembled into a time-lapse video (which we have after the jump). This is said to show a “rear-end collision” of a couple of high-speed knots of matter being blasted out of a supermassive black hole. It’s also the first discovery of such a phenomenon.

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Prehistoric murder indicated by newly discovered skull

Prehistoric murder indicated by newly discovered skull

There’s a prehistoric murder mystery in the news, and it’s not the plot of a movie. Rather, researchers have discovered a 430,000 year old skull that is thought to be the oldest (discovered) murder victim remains. The skull is said to belong to a primitive person of Neanderthal lineage, and it was found nestled deeply within a Spanish cave. There are a couple fractures visible, both of which point toward a single weapon that was likely used to murder the victim.

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Microsoft auto-photo-captioning research has eye on AI

Microsoft auto-photo-captioning research has eye on AI

Microsoft's "How Old" age estimator didn't exactly impress everyone with its mixed abilities to figure out ages, but the company is already looking at more impressive object recognition tech. A new system, handiwork of the Microsoft Research team, is capable of analyzing a photo and automatically captioning what it sees in it, whether that be people, objects, or groups. The hope is that it can be used to make more responsive, independent artificial intelligences.

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Implantable biosensor chip can monitor glucose and drugs in real-time

Implantable biosensor chip can monitor glucose and drugs in real-time

A team from the EPFL integrated Systems Laboratory have unveiled a new implantable sensor that is about a centimeter long that is designed to be implanted under a person's skin and gets power from a patch on the surface of the skin. The sensor is able to communicate with a mobile phone and is designed to measure the concentration of certain molecules in the body at the same time.

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Bioengineered bacteria change color in urine to indicate diseases

Bioengineered bacteria change color in urine to indicate diseases

Science is going to great lengths to harness the ability to detect disease before it can wreak havoc on the human body. From a cancer detecting bra, to a smartphone accessory that can detect HIV, new medical gadgets are making it easier to identify what ails us. Recently, researchers have decided to do away with the gadgetry altogether, letting bacteria do the work. These new, mutant bacteria are bioengineered to detect specific diseases, and change the color of the patient's urine for a fast diagnosis.

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This One Photo: The birth of a star-forming nebula, RCW 34

This One Photo: The birth of a star-forming nebula, RCW 34

Witness the birth of a nebula by the name of RCW 34, complete with the cosmic process called "champagne flow" as young stars cook themselves inside-out. The image you're seeing here was captured by the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. This is the birth of a brightly, gloriously light cloud of gas, found in the southern constellation of Vela. Otherwise known as the south of The Sails, this image is the result of the workings of the Very Large Telescope's FORS instrument - that's the Focal reducer and low dispersion spectrograph in effect.

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Eldest human ancestor has Lucy beat at 3.4 million years old

Eldest human ancestor has Lucy beat at 3.4 million years old

The fossilized remains of a jaw and teeth are discovered near the origin of the previous eldest human ancestor, Lucy. This jaw belonged to a species by the name of Australopithecus deyiremeda. This species would have existed between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago, putting it at an age when Lucy's species Australopithecus afarensis could have walked the Earth. This oldest species is now one of three species that existed in eastern Africa more than 3 million years ago more closely related to humans than to chimps. The third was Kenyanthropus platyops, having lived in Kenya at roughly the same time.

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