research

Newly discovered dinosaur footprints reveal they once roamed Scottish lagoon

Newly discovered dinosaur footprints reveal they once roamed Scottish lagoon

Researchers recently uncovered Scotland's largest dinosaur site when they came across hundreds of dinosaur footprints dating as far back as 170 million years. The site was found near the Isle of Skye, along the nation's shore, with data indicating the footprints were left in the Middle Jurassic period, when the area was a sandy, saltwater lagoon. Not only do scientists know what kind of dinosaur left the footprints, but that they were likely walking in shallow water when the prints were made.

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Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft gets second chance at Venus

Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft gets second chance at Venus

The Japanese space organization JAXA launched a probe aimed at Venus half a decade ago called Akatsuki. The spacecraft traveled through space for a bit over five months and when it went to insert itself into orbit around Venus, a thruster failed and it sailed past its target. At the time, scientists at JAXA thought that the next chance for Akatsuki to reach Venus would be seven years away.

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NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

The days of astronauts having to drink to liquids from a vacuum-sealed pouch with a straw may soon be over. NASA and engineering firm IRPI have teamed up for a new study involving experimental "Space Cups" that allow astronauts in microgravity to drink from a glass as they would on Earth. The Space Cups are currently aboard the International Space Station for the Capillary Beverage Experiment, and while they may not be as fancy as the concept space glass from whiskey distillery Ballantine, they do function similarly.

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Researchers use Microsoft Kinect to take better X-rays

Researchers use Microsoft Kinect to take better X-rays

Next time your parents claim that nothing good would come from gaming, this little anecdote might tide things in your favor. Of course, it's gaming technology that's in focus here, but we're not going to split hairs. Microsoft's Kinect controller has become one of the most hacked and repurposed gaming peripherals in the market and that kind of modification might soon benefit medicine as well. Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine have developed a way to reduce radiation exposure when taking X-rays by reusing the technology found in the Kinect.

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Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

A recent post on Reddit drew attention to the happy conclusion of what has ended up being a long and somewhat exciting story. It started back in 2008 when a clay ball containing seeds was discovered in the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Upon review, it turned out the seeds were about 850 years old, and efforts were taken to see if they'd grow. As it turns out, they did, and the world now has a formally extinct giant squash as the result.

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Researchers create diamond at room temperature

Researchers create diamond at room temperature

Scientists have discovered a new solid carbon phase dubbed Q-carbon, which can be used to create diamond structures at both regular atmospheric pressure and room temperatures. Q-carbon itself is harder than diamond, but also too new for use in common applications. As such, researchers have developed a specific method to create diamond structures within the Q-carbon, the uses for which are both extensive and varied.

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New material mimics photosynthesis, produces hydrogen

New material mimics photosynthesis, produces hydrogen

With the UN Climate Change conference happening this week at Paris, the spotlight is being focused the search for renewable sources of energy, especially ones that will fuel, no pun intended, our every growing number of gadgets and gizmos. As if by happy coincidence, researchers from Florida State University, headed by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Jose L. Mendoza-Cortes almost serendipitously came across a new thin material that could imitate the way a plant uses sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter of which can be used for fuel.

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This robot guides travelers around a busy airport

This robot guides travelers around a busy airport

Seeing as how the busiest travel season of the year is now in full swing, it would be the perfect time to debut a robotic airport guide to help direct tired and stressed out travelers. That's exactly what Örebro University is doing as part of their research with Spencer the robot at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. The international hub is known to have a terminal layout that is confusing to navigate, so the robot, outfitted with detailed maps, aims to help passengers get to the right place in time for their flight.

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Nanopores material could be the future of desalination

Nanopores material could be the future of desalination

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new material with ‘nanopores’ that efficiently strips salt out of seawater, leaving behind drinkable water. This desalination process involves passing high volumes of water through the new material, molybdenum disulfide, which is only a single nanometer thick. The salt is trapped by the nanopores, as well as other contaminants.

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Scientists discover star-swallowing black hole

Scientists discover star-swallowing black hole

A Johns Hopkins University-led group of international astrophysicists have just published a new report in the journal Science about the first ever witnessing of a star being swallowed by a black hole. The scientists monitored the event, describing a star that was about the size of our sun, getting pulled from its course by the massive black hole's gravitational pull, and then being swallowed whole.

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