research

Espresso finally arrives on the ISS

Espresso finally arrives on the ISS

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoferetti has made it to the International Space Station along with the rest of Expedition 42, but it may be the Italian's luggage that prompts the most excitement on the orbiting research platform. Among the equipment being brought up to the ISS is a special espresso machine, the first designed to work in zero-gravity, dubbed ISSpresso: handiwork of coffee stalwarts Lavazza and aerospace engineering firm Argotec, it needed to work around some significant environmental issues, like the fact that hot espresso couldn't be relied upon to drip down neatly into a cup.

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Face to face with the Devil: Rare anglerfish caught on tape

Face to face with the Devil: Rare anglerfish caught on tape

Coming face to tooth-filled face with a deep-sea anglerfish that's more mouth than anything else might not seem like something to celebrate, but it's different when it's one of the first times the fish has been caught on camera. Usually the small predators - which use a bioluminescent lure suspended over their heads to attract prey - are only found at depths of around 2,000m, but researchers stumbled unexpectedly on a Black Sea Devil at around 580m in Monterey Bay, California after discovering it with their remote-controlled sub, dubbed Doc Ricketts.

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Railgun being proposed for future Army vehicles

Railgun being proposed for future Army vehicles

What will the fighting vehicles of the future look like? Lasers — lots of lasers. Well, if BAE Systems has anything to say about it, we’ll have lasers everywhere. We’ve already heard of Navy trials for testing railguns, and now BAE wants to implement them onto future Army vehicles as well. At a conference last week, BAE proposed a host of options to Army brass regarding weaponizing the combat vehicles of the future. A railgun may suit their needs, and let’s face it — it’s the coolest option around.

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Nestle details “exercise in a bottle” research

Nestle details “exercise in a bottle” research

Nestle is working on the Holy Grail of weight loss, a fat-burning additive that could be dropped into foods and replicate the effects of exercise but without the sweaty reality of doing it. The team, based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, is exploring how a new compound dubbed C13 could be used in food to stimulate the enzymes which control how the body burns fats and sugars. If tweaked in just the right way, Nestle says, that could mean a new age of foods which would allow the body to get the same fitness benefits from a brisk walk as would normally take much more strenuous exertion.

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Researchers use artificial intelligence to create magic tricks

Researchers use artificial intelligence to create magic tricks

A group of researchers at Queen Mary University in London have taken to creating magic tricks using artificial intelligence -- something they've made available for anyone who is interested over on the QMagic site. There are four tricks so far, including one that involves having a smartphone guess what a playing card is, and another that turns one's smartphone into a "crystal ball" that can read minds. Even better, the app-based tricks have been released in the Google Play Store for others to enjoy.

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Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

The Philae comet lander has gone into a sleep mode after being unable to get enough sunlight to recharge its batteries, the European Space Agency has reported. This follows a hiccup with landing that caused Philae to bounce off the comet's surface and eventually land elsewhere, with its final resting place being a position where it isn't able to get adequate sunlight. A ray of hope remains, however, as the mission controllers were able to rotate Philae enough before going idle that it may get more sunlight than previously available.

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Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

In a picture of the dystopian future many paint for us, the world is scorched, and full of powerful storms. A new report suggests that might not be too far from the truth, should climate change continue unfettered. In a study published today in the Journal of Science, we find that the new thinking around climate change will bring increased lightning storms. According to the study, every two degrees fahrenheit we see in global warming will result in 12% more lightning in the US.

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Scientists descend mysterious Siberian sinkhole, reveal pics

Scientists descend mysterious Siberian sinkhole, reveal pics

Remember that massive Siberian sinkhole? There's still no answer about how these mysterious holes came about, but some brave scientists have donned their winter gear and descended into the depths of one, snapping pictures on the way down and from the bottom. Now those images are available, and they show the sheer size of the craters, as well as the glass-like icy walls. Oddly enough, some scientists think the cause could be the same responsible for the Bermuda Triangle.

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Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

We knew the West Antarctic ice was melting, but it's taken a school of robotic dolphins to figure out why, with researchers at Caltech using ocean gliders to explore the ocean eddies responsible. The six foot long robots take advantage of changes in buoyancy to soar through the water, rather than propellers, and swam the Southern Ocean off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula for two months, diving to depths of around 1.2 miles before surfacing again to report their findings around temperature and salinity via radio links to the Caltech team.

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Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

As unusual views of space go, the surface of a comet rushing more than 80,000 mph through the universe from a tiny lander perched on its surface ranks pretty high on the list. That's just what the European Space Agency's Philae lander has beamed back to Earth - via the Rosetta spaceship it hitched a ride to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas on - after successfully landing on the rocky surface yesterday. It's the incredible culmination of a decade-long journey and a seven hour descent; problem is, while the view might be dramatic, it's also threatening Philae's long-term survival.

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