research

Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen’s incredible robot arm is good to go

Dean Kamen's robotic prosthetic limb, the DEKA Arm System, has been granted FDA approval, with the DARPA-sponsored project controlled by electrical signals from sensors where it meets the wearer's limb. Dubbed "Luke" - a reference to Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars universe - the arm is a huge step forward from existing mechanical prosthetics, allowing for more detailed uses like turning keys and pulling zippers.

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Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

So far, the most frustrating thing about ATMs is when they eat your cash card; however, proposed ATMs that spit acid could end up more of an annoyance, at least if you've got illegal intentions toward their contents. The Swiss team was inspired by bombardier beetles - which can cook up a spray of caustic acid when cornered - to create a new anti-theft feature.

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Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

An incredibly rare megamouth shark has been caught in Japan, a deep water species with a distinctly disproportionately scaled body, of which fewer than 100 sightings have been recorded. The shark - so named because of its huge head, far larger than you'd expect in size given the rest of the body - measured around 13 feet in length, and was the subject of a public autopsy by the Marine Science Museum of Shiuoka, Japan.

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NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

The return of commercial supersonic flight at faster-than-Concorde speeds could be one step closer to reality, with NASA developing real-time sonic boom prediction that would be essential to minimizing the impact of shockwaves on land. NASA's goal is a smart pilot aid that could help plan faster-than-sound travel for a jet able to fly at Mach 1.6 - or 1,218 mph - at altitudes of around 50,000 feet.

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Three months and 13bn years: Birth of the Universe simulated

Three months and 13bn years: Birth of the Universe simulated

The way the universe evolved in the moments right after the Big Bang has been modeled in the most accurate simulation so far, with supercomputers working for a solid three months to crunch the calculations. The model, developed by a research team led by MIT, not only looks at how 41,416 different galaxies formed from dark matter, but goes on to make new predictions about how the raw ingredients are distributed through space.

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Tablet glee dips: Apple and Samsung battle budget slates

Tablet glee dips: Apple and Samsung battle budget slates

Tablet satisfaction has dropped overall, with low-cost - and underwhelming - slates souring the market despite more predictable performance from the better known brands like Apple and Samsung, new research suggests. J.D. Power's latest tablet ownership study found that, overall, satisfaction has dropped to 835 out of 1,000 in 2014, down 18 points from a year ago. That may well be a side-effect of price playing a greater role than before.

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Ambitious Oculus: Billion-player Facebook MMOs and R&D explosion

Ambitious Oculus: Billion-player Facebook MMOs and R&D explosion

Facebook has ambitious plans to use Oculus Rift to create a billion-player game, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has teased, immersing social network users in a quite literally massive multiplayer environment, though in the meantime it will focus on a speedier release of the next headset. Oculus VR may be a $2bn addition to Facebook's roster of acquired companies, but the team is still looking at how it can motivate young coders and students to develop new virtual reality applications.

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Science adding new element 117 to Periodic Table

Science adding new element 117 to Periodic Table

Element Z=117 has been acknowledged this week by a team of scientists, these scientists having successfully created several atoms of said element in a lab. This lovely piece of creation will - once it’s finalized - be element 117, for now it’s code-named Ununseptium. Final confirmation will need to be independently carried out - you can’t just jump in after 3 years of research and declare a new element, after all.

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