research

Watch a chimp drink alcohol for science

Watch a chimp drink alcohol for science

Due to a local human village tapping in to raffia palm trees for their alcohol-rich sap, chimpanzees have found their own way to drink the drink in Bossou. This Guinea, West Africa environment sets the stage for a research paper which suggests that not only are African apes and humans both able to effectively metabolize ethanol, we're both voluntarily doing so now, too. This drinking of the contents of the raffia palm (Raphia hookeri, Arecaceae) by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou in Guinea, West Africa, was observed from 1995 to 2012.

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Snapshot Serengeti snaps millions of wild photos without photographers

Snapshot Serengeti snaps millions of wild photos without photographers

Project Snapshot Serengeti captures 1.2 million sets of photos, all automated, all capturing wild animals in their natural habitats. That's SETS of photos, not just individual photos - there are millions in the full collection. Over a period of about 3 years, from 2010 to 2013, this camera project lived inside the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Whether or not you've been privileged to see the website, SnapshotSerengeti.org has had citizen-scientists classifying images in this project for several years. Now here in June of 2015, the full collection has been published for the public.

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Scientists break dinosaur bones, find red blood cells

Scientists break dinosaur bones, find red blood cells

Dinosaur bones in London contain traces of what appear to be red blood cells and collagen. These scientists have pulled up results from dinosaur bones they'd only otherwise called "crap" - bones so fragmented and shotty they'd been put into storage. Because of this, material scientist Sergio Bertazzo asked paleontologist Susannah Maidment (both of them from Imperial College in London) whether the bones might be OK to break open and study. One morning Bertazzo "turned on the microscope... and thought 'wait - that looks like blood!'"

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Life on Mars may be preserved in meteorite-made glass

Life on Mars may be preserved in meteorite-made glass

A paper released this week by K. Cannon and J. Mustard shows how ancient life on Mars could be preserved by meteorite glass. Impact glass, or glass-rich impactites, have the ability to both encapsulate and preserve biosignatures on Earth. Because of this, these scientists show how Mars may have bio-rich preserves that rovers on Mars may not have even begun to explore. While we've been looking for signs of life - or ancient life - on Mars for many years, we might just have not been looking in the right place!

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Stanford computer processor uses moving water drops

Stanford computer processor uses moving water drops

Two things that don’t mix well are computers and water. Spill a glass of water on your notebook and odds are you will be in the market for a new notebook. Normal computers rely on electricity to power all the magic inside the processor to make the computer do what you want it to from playing games to crunching numbers for your budget.

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GE’s ecoROTR wind turbine has a dome for increased efficiency

GE’s ecoROTR wind turbine has a dome for increased efficiency

There are a huge number of wind turbines in use around the world. Here in the US a large number of wind turbines stand tall in and around a small city called Tehachapi located on the edge of the Mojave Desert in California. The majority of the wind turbines standing in the city all look the same. GE has a new experimental wind turbine being tested that has a very different look.

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Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Japanese researchers have discovered a new galaxy so far away, it is in the outskirts of the charted Universe. To precisely map this galaxy the scientists turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and used the gravitational lensing of a foreground galaxy, which created a "natural telescope," bending and magnifying light from the hidden, background galaxy, SDP.81. As the natural telescope magnifies SDP.81, the image loses focus and becomes smeared. The team of scientists was able to create a mathematical model to account for lens distortion and bring obscured details to light. In a way, the model is like correcting galactic astigmatism.

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NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

Every mark on a planet's surface details its history. Mars is long suspected of being home to signs of life, so its history is of particular interest to researchers. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found glass deposits sitting at the nadir of some impact craters on Mars. Previous scientific inquiries into impact glass on earth have been led by Peter Schultz from Brown University. While working on an expedition in Argentina he discovered ancient plant matter and organic material embedded in glass that was formed by an impact from millions of years ago. He proposed that the similar impacts could preserve signs of life on other planets. If they could isolate glass deposits on Mars, there is a chance they could detect and analyze the biosignatures.

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Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

A South Korean team has won DARPA's Robotic Challenge Finals, besting US rivals and taking home $2m after demonstrating its disaster-response 'bot. The robot, DRC-HUBO, beat out 22 other teams, each rising to the US government agency's challenge to create a machine able to enter hazardous areas - such as the radioactive zone left by the Fukushima nuclear explosion in 2011 - and carry out tasks that would normally demand human dexterity.

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Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google will release monthly reports on the progress of its self-driving cars, including detailing any incidents or crashes the vehicles are involved in. The move for greater transparency follows Google co-founder Sergey Brin's earnest plea to shareholders to continue to support "moonshot" projects earlier this week, which was closely followed by the revelation that its autonomous cars had been involved in their twelfth incident. In addition to listing accidents, however, Google will also use the monthly summaries as an opportunity to flag its cars' intelligence on the road.

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