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Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

After threatening to lock US astronauts out of the International Space Station, all Russia needed was a solid rocket launch to declare itself the current cowboys of space. Unfortunately, that's exactly what didn't happen, with an attempt to put Russia's most technologically-advanced satellite into orbit last night ending in disaster as the $206m Express-AM4P burned up over China after a fault with the Proton rocket.

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Researcher makes new plastics in lab faux paus

Researcher makes new plastics in lab faux paus

We all have the occasional oopsie, but rarely does that result in an unexpected creation. IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose hit a pocket of luck, however, accidentally creating the first recyclable durable thermoset plastic in a moment of absent-mindedness. The discovery could result in improved plastics in automobiles and more.

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Octopus tentacles could teach more flexible robots

Octopus tentacles could teach more flexible robots

Octopus arms are laced with a special chemical that stops their hundreds of suckers sticking to themselves, researchers have found, allowing their flexible limbs to act semi-autonomously in ways that could have implications for tomorrow's robotics. The average octopus has nearly 2,000 suckers across its eight arms, but despite the potential for tying itself up in sticky knots, it never actually does. Now, we know why that's the case.

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Alien teeth and mystery bones: Fish leaves science floundering

Alien teeth and mystery bones: Fish leaves science floundering

It's the sort of fish that HR Giger might have had in his aquarium, a mysterious catfish with more teeth than you'd expect, that has left scientists scratching their heads and comparing it to Alien Xenomorphs. At only a few inches long it shouldn't cause as many nightmares as the monster that stalked Ellen Ripley, but the odd skeleton of Kryptoglanis shajii is nonetheless causing sleepless nights among researchers at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

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BMW UR:BAN smart car tech predicts pedestrians and jams

BMW UR:BAN smart car tech predicts pedestrians and jams

Google isn't the only company talking up its autonomous car tech this week, with BMW presenting its own self-driving enhancements that it says will help navigate urban sprawl while still leaving you in charge of "the ultimate driving machine." The car firm has been showing off its UR:BAN research - the acronym only makes sense in German, but roughly translates to "Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management" - which could help avoid running over pedestrians, and drive more efficiently by predicting how stop lights will change.

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Elon Musk pledges to Tesla Museum after Oatmeal Model S review

Elon Musk pledges to Tesla Museum after Oatmeal Model S review

Tesla's Elon Musk has pledged his further support to the Tesla Museum Project, telling The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman "I would be happy to help" when the cartoonist ended his illustrated review of the Model S with a cheeky request for $8m. Inman, who owns a Model S and describes it as his "magical space car", declared the EV to be the future of transportation, but also took the opportunity to namecheck his pet project to build a museum dedicated to the works of Nikola Tesla, after whom Musk's car company was named.

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Automatic pipes driver data into Jawbone UP app

Automatic pipes driver data into Jawbone UP app

Smart driving assistant Automatic has hooked up with Jawbone, mashing car-use and health data to give drivers insights into how their habits behind the wheel vary according to their overall lifestyle. The partnership pulls information from the Automatic dongle - which plugs into the car dashboard, and shares details on things like speed, travel time, and fuel consumption - into the Jawbone UP app.

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New electronic implant softens, grips at body temp

New electronic implant softens, grips at body temp

Electronic implants could be used in a variety of ways in the future, most notably being within the field of medicine, where they could provide novel ways to address difficult problems. A consistent problem with the use of electronic implants has been their unforgiving solid nature, something addressed by a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

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