research

NASA study shows extra heat from greenhouse gases trapped in ocean

NASA study shows extra heat from greenhouse gases trapped in ocean

NASA researchers have been studying the temperature of the oceans around the world in recent years and have found that extra heat from greenhouse gasses has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. According to the researchers on the project, this trapping of heat in the ocean water accounts for the slowdown in global surface temperatures observed over the last decade.

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Niobium nanowires may give wearable electronics a power boost

Niobium nanowires may give wearable electronics a power boost

One of the major limiting factors for wearable electronics today is the size of the battery that can be placed inside. Since wearable devices have to be small and light enough to be worn comfortably there isn't much room inside for a battery. Researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to powering wearable electronics that promises to deliver short but intense bursts of power that wearable devices need to operate.

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NASA names commercial crew for SpaceX and Boeing

NASA names commercial crew for SpaceX and Boeing

NASA has picked four veteran astronauts to be the first crew of a commercial spaceflight, as America turns to SpaceX and Boeing to cut its dependence on Russia. Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley, and Sunita Williams will now begin trining with the two companies developing private spacecraft, ahead of missions first to the International Space Station but, eventually, manned trips to Mars which are expected to take place sometime in the 2030s.

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The big deal about IBM’s tiny chips

The big deal about IBM’s tiny chips

IBM is making a big deal of celebrating a tiny achievement, successfully producing a 7nm chip that could mean huge efficiency improvements in phones, laptops and more. Squeezing more than 20 billion transistors into a chip the size of a fingernail took figuring out new manufacturing processes and chewed through part of a $3bn investment IBM earmarked back in 2014, but it's shaping up to be worth every cent. Big Blue predicts a power/performance increase of more than 50-percent from the smaller processors.

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New Horizon’s weirdest cargo will warm your heart

New Horizon’s weirdest cargo will warm your heart

Aboard the New Horizons craft as it edges closer to Pluto than we've ever been before is carried the ashes of its discoverer. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was the man that discovered our celestial neighbor Pluto. Now - thanks to some thoughtful NASA engineers - Tombaugh's mortal remains will be the closest that have ever traveled to our most distant Solar System cousin. This week NASA spoke with Tombaugh's children. "My Dad always said if he ever had the chance," said Tombaugh's son "he’d love to visit the planets in the solar system and around other stars." Now he will.

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3D printed robot built like a squid, hops like a rocket

3D printed robot built like a squid, hops like a rocket

A squishy, explosively-bouncing robot might herald the next age of 'bot design and could almost be a robo-squid, if only it had a beak. 3D printed robots aren't new, but this is the first time graduated layers of hardness have been used, allowing the explosion-powered blob created by engineers led by Nicholas Bartlett at Harvard University to not only adjust the direction it bounces off in, but to deform in a controlled way on landing that balances preserving the electronics while landing elegantly.

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Study: global warming is limiting bumblebee travel

Study: global warming is limiting bumblebee travel

The number of bumblebees in North America and Europe is declining and the biggest cause is thought to be climate change. That’s according to a new study that was recently published in Science showing a trend since the 1970s where bumblebees are no longer traveling as far as they used to. Over this period of time, the travels of bumblebees have shrunk by as much as 190 miles from their previous southern limits, likely due to warming temperatures.

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Digital Reasoning smashes Google’s neural network record

Digital Reasoning smashes Google’s neural network record

Digital Reasoning is a company that works in cognitive computing and it has announced that it has smashed a record set by Google for neural networks. Digital Reasoning has trained a neural network with 160 billion parameters. Google's record was for training a neural network with 11.2 billion parameters. The network with 160 billion parameters also surpasses Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's record of 15 billion parameters.

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Philips is developing LED ‘light growth recipes’ for indoor farms

Philips is developing LED ‘light growth recipes’ for indoor farms

Growing crops indoors has caught the public's attention in recent years, and organizations across the globe have worked at perfecting the farming method. So far indoor gardens have had many benefits: pest reduction, higher yields, better utilization of space, and more. Lighting is the biggest problem, though -- if you don't get it right your plants won't grow correctly and your yield will suffer as a result. Philips wants to end the problem, and it has launched a new research center as part of its efforts.

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Ancient monkey skull reveals tiny but complex brain

Ancient monkey skull reveals tiny but complex brain

In 1997 a 15 million year monkey skull was discovered, and for the first time researchers have peered inside to see what secrets it holds. What they found was surprising -- the brain was small but very complex. The skull comes from an ancient monkey known as the Victoriapithecus, and it was examined using X-rays and a 3D computer model based on the X-rays. The brain is said to have been “tiny” in relation to the monkey’s body size, coming in at more than 50-percent smaller than comparable modern monkeys. The level of complexity, however, was surprisingly high.

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