research

Stingray robot is part rat heart and part breast implant sprinkled with gold

Stingray robot is part rat heart and part breast implant sprinkled with gold

Scientists and researchers around the world are working on tiny robots that use organic cells in their construction. The latest such robot device to use organic sells is the soft robotic stingray you see in the image here. This contraption is able to move under its own power by flapping its stingray-like wings and it's made using rat cardiac cells.

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Microsoft’s CAP takes on IFTTT with more natural language

Microsoft’s CAP takes on IFTTT with more natural language

IFTTT, short for IF-This-Then-That, is one of those "Web 2.0" things that power users love but regular Joes and Janes can't fully grasp. At the same time, it has created a new culture of automation, be it desktops or smartphones, and could even help the fledgling IoT industry to truly take off and expand beyond its limited borders. Microsoft, who already launched its own take on automation with Flow, is taking another stab at it via its Microsoft Research arm. Curiously and tragically named "CAP", short for Conditional Action Programmer", the still experimental platform puts a different twist to the idea by letting users type in their tasks in a more natural English language form.

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Neanderthal cannibalism evidence found in Belgium

Neanderthal cannibalism evidence found in Belgium

A cave in Belgium has produced remains with signs of cannibalism among Neanderthals in the region, according to a new study. The bones were found in the Troisieme cavern in Goyet; it is the largest cache of Neanderthal bones found in Northern Europe, and it comprises four adults and one child. Of these remains, about 30-percent of the bones are broken in a way that would have been used to extract marrow and they show cut marks from tools that only human could wield.

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Smartwatches could make it easier for hackers to obtain PINs, passwords

Smartwatches could make it easier for hackers to obtain PINs, passwords

You would think wearables like smartwatches would be just as secure at protecting sensitive data like passwords and PINs as the smartphones they're paired with, especially when they run on the same software platform. It turns out, however, that smartwatches have a very distinct way of making it easier for hackers to obtain that data: the motion sensors used to detect movement and gestures.

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Exoplanet has three suns and takes 550 years for a single orbit

Exoplanet has three suns and takes 550 years for a single orbit

Scientists have discovered an exoplanet far, far from the Earth that has a unique solar system. The planet is called HD 131399Ab and it is dubbed the widest ranging exoplanet in a mutli star system. That is a fancy way of saying that this planet lives in a solar system where there are three suns and it has a massive orbit. How massive is that orbit you ask- about 500 times larger than the Earth's.

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Researchers store 200MB of data on molecular strands

Researchers store 200MB of data on molecular strands

Microsoft and researchers from the University of Washington have set a new record and reached a milestone in DNA storage. The team has been able to store 200MB of data on the molecular strands of DNA. Just as interesting as setting a new record for data capacity is the fact that the stored data took up a tiny amount of space described as "much smaller than the tip of a pencil."

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Microsoft opens up Minecraft AI research tool to the public

Microsoft opens up Minecraft AI research tool to the public

What started out as a rather simple, open-ended sandbox and survival game has turned into something more than what creater Markus "Notch" Persson probably imagined. Although Minecraft remains a virtual world where people can let their creativity run wild, it has also become a tool that can be used for the common good. In addition to using Minecraft for educational purposes, Microsoft has also turned it into a research tool. Project Malmo, formerly called Project AIX, uses Minecraft's open world for artificial intelligence research and is now available as open source for everyone to use.

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U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

The human sense of smell isn't that great, and so humans have largely relegated the task of sniffing out items -- non-pungent drugs, hidden bombs, missing people -- to dogs. Dogs are great at what they do, but they pose some issues, as well. For one thing, training bomb-sniffing dogs is expensive. In addition, a dog can alert to something but it can't break down what it smells or give us any details. Bugs though? They may be the solution.

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Data from lost Hitomi satellite suggests black holes may be galactic regulators

Data from lost Hitomi satellite suggests black holes may be galactic regulators

Earlier this year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched its Hitomi satellite into space. The x-ray satellite was intended to study, among other things, the Perseus cluster, a massive cluster of galaxies more than 200 million light years from Earth. Hitomi was the most advanced x-ray satellite to launch successfully into space and had the potential to lead to a number of excellent discoveries, but unfortunately, it was only a month before the satellite started to spin out of control and break apart, with JAXA announcing it had failed in its attempts to reconnect with the satellite not long after.

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‘Superbug’ bacteria found in Rio’s water raises Olympics concerns

‘Superbug’ bacteria found in Rio’s water raises Olympics concerns

As if there aren’t already enough concerns about the Rio Olympics, a team of scientists from Brazil have announced that a drug-resistant ‘superbug’ bacteria has been found at popular beach destinations in the region. The news is troublesome for many reasons, not the least of which is the 2016 Olympic Games planned for the city this summer which will bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors, potentially exposing them to the drug-resistant bacteria.

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As self-driving car safety debate rages, Google teaches cyclist manners

As self-driving car safety debate rages, Google teaches cyclist manners

Self-driving car tech safety - or otherwise - may be making headlines, but Google's autonomous fleet has been focusing on smaller potential incidents, the company has explained in its latest monthly report. Every month, as part of its obligations in return for being allowed to test out its fleet of autonomous prototypes on public roads, Google details any crashes or damage sustained, and sure enough this month there've been a couple of scrapes.

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World’s largest radio telescope completed in China

World’s largest radio telescope completed in China

For the last half decade, researchers in China have been at work on a gigantic radio telescope hailed as the world's largest single dish radio telescope. That monster telescope completed construction on July 3, 2016 with the installation of the last of its 4,450 reflecting panels. The telescope is equivalent in size to 30 soccer fields and is called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope or FAST.

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