research

New electronic implant softens, grips at body temp

New electronic implant softens, grips at body temp

Electronic implants could be used in a variety of ways in the future, most notably being within the field of medicine, where they could provide novel ways to address difficult problems. A consistent problem with the use of electronic implants has been their unforgiving solid nature, something addressed by a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

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Russia threatens to lock US out of ISS as space tensions soar

Russia threatens to lock US out of ISS as space tensions soar

Russia has threatened to cut off access to the International Space Station and force the project to a premature close in retaliation over US sanctions, with NASA's orbiting research paying the price for growing international tensions. US plans to extend the ISS' life beyond the planned 2020 cut-off for another four years will be rejected, Russia's deputy prime minister said today, while also blocking the use of Russian rockets for upcoming launches.

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It’s too late: No stopping melting glaciers says NASA

It’s too late: No stopping melting glaciers says NASA

Glacial melting in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is past the point of no return, NASA has revealed, with research spanning forty years indicating there's now nothing we can do to prevent their demise. The study, carried out in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine, makes ominous predictions about just how significantly the water currently frozen in the ice sheets will contribute to rising sea levels: enough in total, NASA says, to bring the global sea level up by four feet.

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Crushed 6.2 miles underwater: Robo-sub lost at crazy depths

Crushed 6.2 miles underwater: Robo-sub lost at crazy depths

A moment of silence for a fallen explorer: one of the few submarines capable of exploring depths greater than six miles has been destroyed in action, with the unmanned Nereus sub believed to have imploded under the vast pressures of the Kermadec Trench. Neureus, built by the Deep Submergence Lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), had already navigated the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, spending ten hours at depths as great as 35,768 feet.

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Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen's robotic prosthetic limb, the DEKA Arm System, has been granted FDA approval, with the DARPA-sponsored project controlled by electrical signals from sensors where it meets the wearer's limb. Dubbed "Luke" - a reference to Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars universe - the arm is a huge step forward from existing mechanical prosthetics, allowing for more detailed uses like turning keys and pulling zippers.

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Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

So far, the most frustrating thing about ATMs is when they eat your cash card; however, proposed ATMs that spit acid could end up more of an annoyance, at least if you've got illegal intentions toward their contents. The Swiss team was inspired by bombardier beetles - which can cook up a spray of caustic acid when cornered - to create a new anti-theft feature.

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Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

An incredibly rare megamouth shark has been caught in Japan, a deep water species with a distinctly disproportionately scaled body, of which fewer than 100 sightings have been recorded. The shark - so named because of its huge head, far larger than you'd expect in size given the rest of the body - measured around 13 feet in length, and was the subject of a public autopsy by the Marine Science Museum of Shiuoka, Japan.

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NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

The return of commercial supersonic flight at faster-than-Concorde speeds could be one step closer to reality, with NASA developing real-time sonic boom prediction that would be essential to minimizing the impact of shockwaves on land. NASA's goal is a smart pilot aid that could help plan faster-than-sound travel for a jet able to fly at Mach 1.6 - or 1,218 mph - at altitudes of around 50,000 feet.

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