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Mars plumes: why the low resolution?

Mars plumes: why the low resolution?

Why are these "clouds" being viewed from Earth by telescope, instead of from mars, by the MGO? This was one of the more pointed questions we received when our first exploration of the "Mars plume" was released earlier this week. We decided to take a closer look at this seemingly obvious situation - why look at the planet from afar when we could be so much closer? Aren't there pieces of equipment on and around the planet that could have taken better photographs of this planetary phenomenon?

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MIT researchers design a chair that can assemble itself

MIT researchers design a chair that can assemble itself

If you have ever purchased cheap furniture that you have to assemble at home, you know what an arduous processes building a table or cabinet can be. Researchers at MIT have designed some high tech furniture, albeit on a small scale, that can assemble itself. The prototype is a chair that can put itself together under controlled circumstances.

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Life on Earth may be much older than we thought

Life on Earth may be much older than we thought

Before this week, scientists believed that life as we know it began to appear around 2 billion years ago. In a study done over the past year, a group of scientists have discovered evidence that may extend that time period by a whole extra 1.2 billion years. Based on the oldest samples available - rocks 3.2 billion years old - lead author Eva Stüeken and her team have found what they believe to be enough evidence to suggest that life on Earth spans back to 3/4 the age of the planet itself.

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Rosetta comet photos: up close and personal with 67P

Rosetta comet photos: up close and personal with 67P

Less than 9 kilometers from the surface of a comet, Rosetta is taking photos for us humans to see. While we've yet to hear from Philae since shortly after it landed, Rosetta's still in full operation. Taking photos from just about as close to the surface as the craft is going to get, our first glimpses from above the surface of this comet are coming in now. These aren't the first views we've gotten of the rock - we got some photos from Philae, after all - but they are the largest and most impressive.

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Penguins can’t taste ice cream, so says science

Penguins can’t taste ice cream, so says science

All penguins - of all types - have been discovered to have no taste for sweet, bitter, and umami flavors of edible matter. Of course they can't taste anything sweet, even if it happens to be a sweet-tasting rock - but this finding is linked inextricably to eating. As it turns out, its likely penguins lost their taste for several types of food over the course of their migration to cold climates and evolution to the creatures they are today - friendly, tasteless waddlers though they are.

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Google and Apple car plans face Benz boss skepticism

Google and Apple car plans face Benz boss skepticism

Apple's car ambitions may have burst into the headlines over the weekend, as chatter surfaced of a hundreds-strong team working on EV and autonomous vehicle tech, but some of the old guard in automotive aren't so convinced we'll see an iCar any time soon. In fact, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche predicts, despite public and private projects underway by Google and other tech luminaries, he sees their collective goal as more about disrupting traditional vehicle technology without going so far as to create four-wheeled alternatives of their own. However, while Zetsche is all for figuring out ways to co-exist and collaborate with tech firms, he's also cautious about giving them too much access to drivers.

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Apple Titan self-driving electric car rumors gain traction

Apple Titan self-driving electric car rumors gain traction

Apple's auto ambitions are shaping up to be far more broad than simply dominating the dashboard with maps and multimedia, with multiple sources tipping an autonomous, electric car project underway dubbed "Titan". The Tesla-challenging car would be a cocked-snook not only to the traditional auto industry, it's suggested, but key rivals like Google which are themselves working on self-driving technologies. Reports that Apple had raided top automakers for engineers and R&D specialists broke late last week, for what at the time was speculated as a more advanced version of CarPlay. Now, however, the scope of the rumor-worthy skunkworks seems to be far greater.

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Interstellar’s black hole code leads to real science

Interstellar’s black hole code leads to real science

To achieve the effect of a black hole in the film Interstellar, Christopher Nolan worked with real physicist Kip Thorne to depict scientifically-sound images. Thorne and a team at Double Negative Visual Effects worked to create a new code to solve the equation for visualizing light beams as seen from a viewer as they approach a black hole. This has never been done before. While previous studies have been performed at great distances and with light rays, this system bundled light beams together to create an image that was realistic, beautiful, and scientifically sound.

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Zooming contact lenses enlarge at a wink

Zooming contact lenses enlarge at a wink

A contact lens with a built in zoom that the wearer can switch at will between regular and telescopic vision could mean the end to dwindling independence for those with deteriorating eyesight, researchers suggested today. The rigid lens covers the majority of the front surface of the eye, including both the whites and the pupil, and contains an array of tiny aluminum mirrors that together can enlarge the world by 2.8x. Winking flips the view between regular and magnified.

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