research

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

As part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, a new unmanned spacecraft will be departing for Mars on Monday thanks to collaboration between the space agencies of Europe and Russia. The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the probe is heading to the red planet to study its atmosphere and dust storms, and to get there it will be riding atop a Russian Proton rocket.

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New reptile species discovered with 250 million year old fossil

New reptile species discovered with 250 million year old fossil

A team of scientists have discovered a fossilized reptile skull dating back 250 million years, revealing not only evidence of a new species, but connections to the origins of dinosaurs as well. The skull, found by paleontologists from universities in Brazil and the UK, is well-preserved and features a number of serrated teeth, and is said to have survived a mass extinction event that occurred roughly 252 million years ago, eradicating 90% of life on Earth.

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Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Plastic waste floats around the ocean as massive islands of garbage, it kills wildlife and destroys environments. Scientists have been scrambling for a solution to the growing problem, and now a team of Japanese researchers may have found a solution: plastic-eating bacteria. The researchers discovered a type of bacteria that feeds on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, one of the most commonly used varieties around the globe.

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Ford creates dedicated Smart Mobility subsidiary for auto future

Ford creates dedicated Smart Mobility subsidiary for auto future

Ford hasn't been shy in exploring self-driving cars and new transportation options, and now the company is setting up a whole new business, Ford Smart Mobility, to focus on that. The new subsidiary will look at the possibilities beyond Ford's current car, SUV, and truck manufacturing, with a startup attitude that the automaker suggests will make it quicker to react to market opportunities and in embracing technologies.

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Polaris from MIT could substantially speed up web pages

Polaris from MIT could substantially speed up web pages

The Web is in a sort of a rat race. While Internet connections get faster, web sites are getting more and more complicated, balancing, even negating, those speed improvements. A few tech companies, particularly Google, strive to introduce technologies as well as best practices to help speed up the Web, but those solutions are usually limited to specific browsers or specific circumstances. A new project from MIT called "Polaris", however, is aiming for a browser-agnostic method that could make web pages load as much as 34% faster.

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New Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak lets you fly under the radar

New Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak lets you fly under the radar

The ability to turn invisible is something that has shown up in various works of fiction for a very long time. Bilbo Baggins had his magic ring that could hide him from prying eyes, and Harry Potter had his dad's invisibility cloak. One group of scientists have been working hard on a material that can hide objects from being detected, and today they've announced a breakthrough in their work.

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Scientists study ancient lizards encased in 99 million year old amber

Scientists study ancient lizards encased in 99 million year old amber

Scientists are studying chunks of amber that have been discovered that have ancient lizard specimens encased inside. The lizards have been inside the amber for about 99 million years and the 12 specimens were discovered in the forests of a region now known as Myanmar. The specimens show a diverse population of lizards living in the region at the time.

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New quantum computer could mean trouble for encryption

New quantum computer could mean trouble for encryption

The FBI and the Justice Department might still be at an impasse with Apple, but technology could give it the break it needs in a distant future. In a paper published in the Journal Science, researchers from MIT and Austria's University of Innsbruck have revealed that they were able to not only design but also build a quantum computer that only needs five atoms to factor the number 15. But equally important is the claim that the design is completely scalable, allowing for the addition of more atoms to factor numbers of much larger magnitudes.

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Stanford’s autonomous Audi hits the track to improve its AI safety

Stanford’s autonomous Audi hits the track to improve its AI safety

While Audi already has its own, err, self-driving Audi, researchers at Stanford University have been working with an autonomous TTS for several years now, developing their own artificial intelligence. Now the school has shared that they're even hitting the race track, letting their car navigate the course at speeds up to 120mph. The purpose is not to have the Audi TTS, dubbed "Shelley," compete in a circuit with real humans, but rather to use the data from high speed driving to improve safety.

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This is the new blackest black material on Earth

This is the new blackest black material on Earth

Back in 2014, researchers in the UK at Surrey NanoSystems created the darkest material on the planet with Vantablack, made from low-temperature carbon nanotubes. As the blackest of blacks ever, the material could absorb 99.96% of light that comes into contact with it, basically creating the appearance of empty void when looked at in broad daylight. Well, now Surrey NanoSystems is back with Vantablack 2, an even blacker black than the previous blackest black.

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Scientists discover ‘ghostlike’ octopod playing on sea floor

Scientists discover ‘ghostlike’ octopod playing on sea floor

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered a ‘ghostlike octopod’ that had, until now, remained unknown to scientists. The octopod was discovered during the year’s first operational dive for Okeanos Explorer, particularly the Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle, which had set out to gather some geological samples from a ridge near Necker Island.

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Researchers create robotic octopus skin that’s soft, stretchy, and changes colors

Researchers create robotic octopus skin that’s soft, stretchy, and changes colors

A team of scientists at Cornell University have developed a skin-like material that is not only soft, flexible, and capable of stretching to six times its original size, but features robotics such as color-changing displays and pressure sensitivity. If you've had a fear of robot octopuses before now, your nightmares are coming true. With cephalopods as their inspiration, the engineers imagine the technology could not only lead to soft, adaptable robots, but to stretching and folding display screens.

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