research

Wild kangaroos discovered to be lefties

Wild kangaroos discovered to be lefties

Humans and monkeys take note. We might no longer be special when it comes to "true" handedness. Once thought to be a peculiar trait found only in primates, researchers who painstakingly followed kangaroos in the wild and discovered, to their surprise, that they, too, prefer to use a certain hand. Their left hand, to be precise. This discovery, which, of course, still has to be independently confirmed, could open the doors to closer scrutiny of the brains of these marsupials, who are known to bring down drones when annoyed.

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This 3D-printed flute can play new microtones

This 3D-printed flute can play new microtones

3D printing has the opportunity to revolutionize yet another industry, music. We've seen some amazing 3D-printed instruments like this violin from Monad Studios. Now, a research group from the Australian University of Wollongong has created a new type of flute that can play notes that are unreachable on a traditional flute. Nitpicking, but this flute does resemble a traditional recorder more than an orchestral flute. The 3D-printed flute operates on a microtonal scale, which utilizes tuning rations that vary from the traditional Western scale. The microtonal creation allows more opportunities for varied harmonies and pitch.

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Researchers pinpoint major hotspots to curb poaching

Researchers pinpoint major hotspots to curb poaching

Elephant poaching continues to be a big problem despite efforts to battle it, but some recent research might help change that. Ivory that has been seized was genetically analyzed to find out where it originated from. That information was amassed, and the result are a pair of newly published papers showing the biggest hotspots where elephants are poached. The data takes it a step further, though, and also shows how to tackle the problem in a (hopefully) more effective manner than in the past.

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Black Hole measured by ALMA: visualizing 140 million suns

Black Hole measured by ALMA: visualizing 140 million suns

Researchers at SOKENDAI measure the supermassive black hole inside the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097 with ALMA. Inside they've found a mass equivalent to 140 million times our own Sun. Two bits of information are stunning about this particular bit of research. First, that they were able to measure a black hole with the tools they've got onhand. Second, that they were able to calculate the results of this study in just under two hours, leading the way to greater studies inside the capacities of ALMA.

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NASA high-temp materials for spacecraft may help save firefighters

NASA high-temp materials for spacecraft may help save firefighters

NASA research and technology often spills over into the civilian world as time goes by. Over the years, we have seen a number of products become very popular in the civilian world that originated with NASA such as hook and loop closure material and other stuff. NASA is working on new technology to protect spacecraft during the fiery reentry to Earth by layering different heat resistant materials.

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BBC experimenting with mind control to change TV channels

BBC experimenting with mind control to change TV channels

Here's an experiment you'd expect to hear about from scientists or a large tech company, not the UK's national broadcaster. The BBC is toying around with the idea of replacing a TV's remote control with a headset that reads users' brainwaves. The project is dubbed Mind Control TV, and uses hardware developed by This Place, allowing users to choose a show to watch simply by focusing their thoughts on it. The BBC already has it working in a limited capacity with iPlayer, the broadcaster's video app.

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UrtheCast reveals UHD full color videos of cities as seen from space

UrtheCast reveals UHD full color videos of cities as seen from space

UrtheCast, which has been working steadily on getting video of our planet as seen from the International Space Station, has introduced the first videos in full color of Earth as seen from space -- that, at least, the average person and businesses have access to. The videos come from a pair of cameras that have been set up on the ISS, and there are three cities that have been recorded in full color at high definition with them: Boston, USA, London, UK, and Barcelona, Spain.

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LightSail spacecraft burns up on reentry after successful mission

LightSail spacecraft burns up on reentry after successful mission

Early on in the LightSail mission, things weren't going well for the team behind the test mission for a revolutionary spacecraft called LightSail. The test mission was hit with a software glitch early on that kept the LightSail from being deployed. Eventually the reason that the spacecraft was in safe mode was found to be power levels lower than expected in the Earth's shadow and higher than expected in direct sunlight.

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Self-awareness (probably) isn’t unique to humans

Self-awareness (probably) isn’t unique to humans

You've likely heard it said that humans are distinguished by their self-awareness, but researchers are saying that such statements might be bull. According to recent research, humans likely aren't the only creatures on this planet to possess self-awareness, with some animals possessing at least a primitive level of awareness of self. The key is mental simulation of an environment and the need for at least a low level of self awareness to do that, and signs that some animals are capable of such environmental simulation.

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Researchers create engine powered by water evaporation

Researchers create engine powered by water evaporation

A Columbia University team of researchers have created what is said to be the first ever engine that is driven by evaporation. The engine, in this case, is small and made of plastic and able to power LED lights and similar mild tasks when exposed to a plain puddle of water. The engine is being hailed as a scientific breakthrough, and it could in the future prove to be an inexpensive and effective way to generate useable amounts of energy from commonly found bodies of water.

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