research

Researchers double fiber optic capacity limit

Researchers double fiber optic capacity limit

Fiber optics offer incredibly fast data transfer speeds, but the logistics of setting up the actual fibers has stymied companies from rolling out the service. The further that data from fiber optic cables has to go, the less likely it is to be accurately interpreted by a receiver. This means that distance is a limiting factor in designing fiber optic transmission networks. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in photonics, have uncovered a way to increase a the maximum power of optical signals travelling through optical fibers. By increasing the power, the distance is effectively increased, too. The researchers sent information over a record-breaking distance of 12,000 km without using any repeaters (electronic regenerators.)

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Samsung develops new tech that could double Li-on battery life

Samsung develops new tech that could double Li-on battery life

As our smart-devices become capable of doing more, it usually means that battery life takes a back seat, especially as smart-devices keep shrinking. Samsung researchers have developed a new method of constructing lithium-ion batteries that tackles the issue of extending battery life on a nanoscale. The use of silicon in lithium-ion batteries is a widely researched development, but a caveat to using silicon as an active material in Li-On batteries is that its volume drastically changes through charge-discharge cycles. This can lead to weakening the battery's life cycle energy density.

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SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX's latest resupply mission to the International Space Station ended in failure today, as the CRS-7 mission rocket exploded shortly after take-off. An investigation is underway, with SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggesting that an issue in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank led to over-pressure. Two minutes and thirty-nine seconds after the Falcon rocket and its Dragon capsule blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, observers were shocked to see it explode just before second-stage separation was due to take place.

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Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

According to data from NASA's Swift satellite, a huge black hole located about 7,800 light-years from Earth has re-awakened after 26 years of being dormant. The European Space Agency (ESA) describes the black hole as part of V404 Cygni, a binary system made of up the hole and a star. The last time activity was detected from V404 was in 1989, but as of June 15th, the Swift satellite is detecting new bursts of gamma rays.

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Researchers turn small swarm of robots into Gauss gun able to penetrate tissues

Researchers turn small swarm of robots into Gauss gun able to penetrate tissues

Science is to the point today where we can build tiny nano machines that are capable of being injected into a human body. The challenge now is to make those tiny machines usable for treating different conditions inside the body. One way that researchers are controlling tiny robots inside the body is by using an MRI machine that allows the delivery of control signal to the machines and allows researchers to see what the robots are doing and where they are going.

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Self-driving demolition derby: Delphi says it was cut off by Google

Self-driving demolition derby: Delphi says it was cut off by Google

Consider this the first call to battle between Silicon Valley's self-driving vehicle titans! Delphi Automotive, best known for their Audi Q5 that became the first automated car to drive coast-to-coast, has that it nearly had a collision with one of Google's self-driving prototypes earlier this week. And it was totally Google's fault! But that's surely not the road rage talking, right? Thankfully there was no accident — it was merely a close call — but it is believed to be the first time two automated vehicles have been in such a situation.

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NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

In preparation for future deep space missions, NASA is planning to send an international crew into the watery depths of the Atlantic Ocean. This will be done as part of the space agency’s two week NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 20 expedition, more commonly referred to as “NEEMO”. The expedition is currently scheduled to start on July 20, and will be tasked with testing techniques and tools that may be used for spacewalks in the future in places with differing surfaces and levels of gravity.

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Google’s self-driving pod cars now on California public roads

Google’s self-driving pod cars now on California public roads

Google has dispatched its fleet of autonomous cars onto the public roads of California, though the pod-like prototypes won't be racing human drivers. While the longer-running fleet of converted Toyota and Lexus cars have been keeping up with traffic in the 1m+ miles of test driving they've done already, Google has opted to cap the top-speed of its more home-designed cars at just 25mph, which the search giant's Google X research division says is intended to be "neighborhood-friendly".

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How to stop the carnivorous New Guinea flatworm from invading the USA

How to stop the carnivorous New Guinea flatworm from invading the USA

Yesterday we spoke about the New Guinea flatworm, an invasive species spotted for the first time ever inside the United States this year. Today we've got some additional words on how to find the creature in your garden from Pr. Jean-Lou Justine, head author of the report that turned up these worms in the first place. We asked Justine how to spot the Platydemus manokwari (New Guinea flatworm) and what to do if one is spotted. One thing Justine made very clear about finding this worm is the following: DO NOT TOUCH THE WORM with your bare hands. Things could go very badly for you if you do.

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