research

Drug-sniffing car can find your drugs…even if you’re hundreds of feet away

Drug-sniffing car can find your drugs…even if you’re hundreds of feet away

Drug-sniffing dogs are notoriously unreliable, but what about drug-sniffing cars? University of North Texas chemistry professor Dr. Guido Verbeck has created what is said to be the first-ever ‘drug-sniffing’ car, and it’s able to locate illicit drugs with surprising accuracy…even if they’re located hundreds of feet away, depending on the quantity and substance. In one case, the car sniffed out a fake meth lab down to a 15-foot accuracy from a quarter of a mile away.

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Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

This morning the planet Mercury passed between our planet and our Sun, allowing us to see its silhouette with clarity. This is one of about 13 times the planet passes between ours and the sun per century - the last time this happened, you probably didn't have a smartphone - back in 2006. The image you see above comes from NASA and was captured by Bill Ingalls. NASA has also provided a time-lapse video showing the passing of the planet across the face of our sun.

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Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Researchers have developed a polymer they call a ‘second skin,’ and it could one day be used to apply medication directly to a person's skin or to protect against UV exposure, among other things. The polymer comes from Olivo Labs, a company that focuses on creating proprietary biomaterials for use in the dermatological field. Researchers call their new polymer ‘XPL,’ and say it offers the same mechanical properties as “youthful [real] skin."

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Toyota reveals battery that could solve smartphone woes

Toyota reveals battery that could solve smartphone woes

Batteries have become the biggest source of anxiety for today's smartphone users. While processing power, displays, and storage have more or less reached their highest potential, as far as current technologies are capable of, batteries haven't been able to compensate quickly. The search for longer battery lives, as well as safer batteries, continues. The smartphone industry's prayers might have just been answered by, almost amusingly, a car manufacturer. Toyota' scientists may have come up with a potent magnesium-based combination that could drastically improve battery output, life, and safety.

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Mount St. Helens’ recent earthquakes are nothing to fear

Mount St. Helens’ recent earthquakes are nothing to fear

Small earthquakes that have recently taken place near Mouth St. Helens, a volcano that erupted in 1980 and caused a few dozen deaths, have stirred up concern among those who worry another eruption may happen in the near future. Put those fears to rest, folks -- there's nothing to worry about. Researchers say there is no sign the volcano will blow anytime soon, and that so-called 'earthquake swarms' have happened in the recent past.

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USGS releases first ever global topographical map of Mercury

USGS releases first ever global topographical map of Mercury

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the first-ever global topographical map of Mercury, something that was made in conjunction with Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, NASA, and the Applied Physics Laboratory. The topographical map, as one would expect, includes details on things like tectonic landforms, craters, and volcanoes, and is high-res enough for those future road trips across the galaxy.

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Ancient ‘hammerhead’ reptile found in southern China

Ancient ‘hammerhead’ reptile found in southern China

In Southern China, researchers discovered fossils of a reptile that features a ‘hammerhead’ snout — a very wide, somewhat comical jaw that extends beyond the diameter of its own head. The fossils are 242 million years old, and they belong to a creature dubbed Atopodentatus unicus, a reptile that would feed on algae and lived in the sea. The fossils were first discovered in 2014, but the discovery was only made public today.

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Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

The bug you're seeing here is no doubt creepy as hell, but it also happens to be a new species of stick insect, and one that is now believed to be the world's longest insect in general. Discovered in China in 2014 in the Guangxi Zhuang region, scientists say it belongs to the Phryganistria genus, and measures an incredible 62.4 centimeters long.

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Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Someone called Derva Davis made waves across Australia earlier this year with an alarmist campaign to convince people that cities where cell phone use was high had greater incidences of disease such as brain cancer. Now a researcher who was at the time working on a research paper specifically looking at the link between mobile phone use in Australia and brain cancer has published his paper and is able to talk about the results.

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HoloFlex makes dreams of bendable, holographic phones come true

HoloFlex makes dreams of bendable, holographic phones come true

A few years ago, Samsung and LG were almost at east other's throats, trying to beat the other to the flexible smartphone race. Both, however, have stopped short of that goal, settling for curved smartphones like the G Flex, or curved edge screens like the Galaxy S7 edge. Some, however, have never given up that dream. Researchers from Australia's Queen's University Human Media Lab have cooked up a smartphone that does flex just a bit. That, however, is only in service to the HoloFlex's real raison d'être: projecting holograms.

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Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

The legal and ethical implications of human embryo research are set to make waves once more, with breakthrough research drastically extending how long petri dish embryos can survive. Two experiments have shown that lab-grown embryos - in both cases using donated human cells - could be kept for significantly longer than with any previous technique.

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SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

Today a group within Carnegie Mellon University have broadened our "smart touch" horizons. Touchpads and touchscreens - a thing of the past. Smartphones, smart watches, and smart devices of all sorts will be changed forever. This group has made a technology that uses your skin as a controller. Instead of swiping back and forth on the screen of your phone, you'll swipe back and forth on your wrist. Instead of scrolling on the screen of your watch, you'll scroll by brushing your hand. How simple. How perfect.

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