research

Folding@Home turns Xperia phones into Alzheimer researchers

Folding@Home turns Xperia phones into Alzheimer researchers

Most smartphone users don't use their devices while they sleep, unless they've mastered the arcane art of sleeptexting. Those devices sit silently and idly, lying in wait for the next time its owner's touch wakes it up. Now, however, those "wasted" computing power can be put to good use even while we slumber, by lending their processing power to more altruistic causes, studying proteins and helping in the fight against diseases like Alzheimer's, thanks to a new Folding@Home app now available on Sony's Xperia smartphones.

Continue Reading

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft makes history as Ceres nears

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft makes history as Ceres nears

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has emerged safely from the opposite side of the sun and is just months away from reaching Ceres, the distant and mysterious dwarf planet next on the list for its multi-year space survey. Dawn - which checks off on several factors more commonly associated with science fiction tropes, like ion drives and distant space exploration - launched back in 2007, and Ceres is in fact its second stop since then. Previously, the probe spent more than a year orbiting a protoplanet named Vesta, but scientists manning the project are if anything even more eager to see what it makes of Ceres.

Continue Reading

Underwater cave sediment shows Mayans suffered massive droughts

Underwater cave sediment shows Mayans suffered massive droughts

Long ago, the Mayan civilization collapsed, unceremoniously leaving behind a lot of mysteries as to what happened. One of those mysteries has to do with the reason they suddenly “disappeared” from the Earth. We know they migrated north around A.D. 800, and one prevailing theory has been that their migration was due to drought. New findings bolster that theory, with scientists taking minerals from an underwater cave to better discover what really happened to the Mayans. The drought may have actually been worse than imagined.

Continue Reading

Yellowstone’s striking springs explained

Yellowstone’s striking springs explained

Yellowstone National Park may be notorious for its brightly colored geothermal springs, but it's human meddling not Mother Nature that's responsible for the tourist attraction. Researchers at Montana University's Optical Technology Center and the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences were able to turn back the clock - virtually, at least - to show what the natural pools would have been like decades ago, before trash, coins, and rocks tossed in by park visitors messed up the geothermal balance. Turns out, they really should be a whole lot more blue, something we can see today with a little juggling of digital cameras and temperature probing.

Continue Reading

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Researchers at Germany's Bielefeld University did something crazy, and a little funny too. They have built a giant robot insect with six independently moving legs in order to study movement over various terrain. But that's not the crazy/funny part. It's that in order to design the robot, they actually motion captured a real stick insect walking and climbing, using a bunch of those little balls you always see attached to actors when they make CG movies. Oh, and they named the robot Hector.

Continue Reading

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A vast cache of water or ice could be lurking just beneath the surface of Mars, scientists claims, using meteorite research to figure out where the "missing Martian water" might have actually ended up. While signs of the historic effects of subsurface and ground ice have been observed in previous orbital surveys, evidence for a lingering supply of water has proved troublesome to pin down, even though the red planet's history is believed to have seen it wet and warm. By looking at the make-up of Martian meteorites found on Earth, however, connections have been spotted between them and a possible surface reservoir.

Continue Reading

NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA's attempt to salvage the Kepler spacecraft and continue its planet-hunting search despite what could have been a show-stopping hardware failure has paid off, with the first potential exoplanet spotted by the K2 mission. The future of Kepler, which had been launched to identify possible Earth-like planets that might one day be found to support human life, had seemed bleak after half of its stabilization system failed, leaving the high-resolution camera unable to accurately track the tiny localized dimming as expolanets pass in front of stars.

Continue Reading

Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Double amputee fitted with two robotic arms

Robotic prostheses have reached a whole new level. We've seen different sorts of them over the years, many of them typically revolving around the hand rather than an entire arm. Les Baugh is different. He lost both arms at the shoulders a handful of decades ago in an accident, and thanks to the hard working scientists at John Hopkins University, he has received a robotic replacement. Baugh has been fitted with two robotic arms he is slowly learning to control.

Continue Reading

NASA reveals stunning image of galaxies colliding

NASA reveals stunning image of galaxies colliding

NASA has revealed its own "festive lights", and they come from two galaxies that were imaged colliding together. Both NGC 2207 and IC 2163, located approximately 130 million light years from our planet in constellation Canis Major, are spiral galaxies that were caught getting close with each other. The result was exceptionally bright X-rays captured by different hardware and assembled into a single stunning composite image.

Continue Reading

Mazda’s new bioplastic offers better finish than paint

Mazda’s new bioplastic offers better finish than paint

Mazda has developed a new bioplastic that can be used on exterior car parts, and according to the auto maker, this new material offers a higher-quality finish than is possible with traditionally painted plastics. This joins Mazda's previous bioplastics developed for interior car parts, building upon that to include resistance to weather, scratches, and impacts so that it can handle constant exposure to the outside world.

Continue Reading

Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next