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US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

The U.S. Navy has a 132ft unarmed “self-driving” warship, and it has named it Sea Hunter. Much like Google’s car, Sea Hunter is able to operate on its own, cruising the oceans in hunt of unwelcome submarines. Unlike manned warships, though, Sea Hunter won’t require any human operators on board, and as such will cost only a sliver of current manned ships. DARPA recently showed off the then-unnamed warship on video.

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Brightest X-ray laser gets stronger with an upgrade

Brightest X-ray laser gets stronger with an upgrade

One of the most powerful x-ray lasers in all the world is getting a serious upgrade that will boost its power even further. Construction on the laser upgrade began a few days ago at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The construction project will see the addition of a second X-ray laser beam that is an average of 10,000 times brighter than the first laser and 8,000 times faster.

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Autonomous trucks drive 2,000km across Europe in platooning challenge

Autonomous trucks drive 2,000km across Europe in platooning challenge

We all know that autonomous cars will make our roads safer and reduce traffic we have to deal with. The autonomous future also includes autonomous big rigs and trucks that will haul cargo across the country. Trucks from 12 different makers recently completed a week's trek across Europe and most of the time the trucks were driving autonomously.

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Supermassive black hole found sitting in the middle of cosmic nowhere

Supermassive black hole found sitting in the middle of cosmic nowhere

Scientists have discovered one of the largest black holes that has ever been found. Interestingly, the supermassive black hole sits in what scientists consider a cosmic backwater. Finding such a massive black hole in such an out of the way place is akin to finding a gigantic skyscraper in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. The gigantic black hole contains 17 billion times the mass of our sun.

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Study finds robotic Paro seal is therapeutic for dementia patients

Study finds robotic Paro seal is therapeutic for dementia patients

A study conducted by Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing has found that therapeutic robots — in this case, Paro the robotic seal — can help calm and comfort elderly individuals afflicted with dementia. The study observed 920 instances where Paro provided some type of therapeutic effect for dementia patients, “improving the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and reducing the usage of psychotropic medications,” said Paro designer Dr. Takanori Shibata.

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Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Researchers have created the world's smallest diode and they did it using a single molecule of DNA. The creation was devised by researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The creation has shown for the first time that nanoscale electronic components can be made using a single DNA molecule. The breakthrough is seen as an advance that could aid in the search for replacement in silicon chips.

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Reverse photosynthesis breaks down plants for clean biofuels

Reverse photosynthesis breaks down plants for clean biofuels

Researchers have discovered what is being called a major milestone in the world of biofuels: reverse photosynthesis, a process that uses the sun’s rays to break down plants rather than build them up. Such a discovery has two major benefits over current methods used to break down plant biomass — the process itself is faster, and because the sun is being used, the process produces far less pollution, potentially providing a solution to one of the petrochemical industry’s biggest problems.

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Blue Origin reusable rocket completes third launch and landing

Blue Origin reusable rocket completes third launch and landing

Jeff Bezos and his private spaceflight agency Blue Origin are now three-for-three in successfully launching and landing their reusable rocket into space. Their New Shepard rocket — the same one that was launched and landed in November and again in January — repeated the feat once again on Saturday morning, lifting off at 11:18 AM Eastern. Bezos tweeted updates as the event took place, noting that the landing was "perfect."

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NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

A team of researchers from NASA and the University of Southern California will be the first in the world send fungi into space with the goal of developing medical drugs. The fungi, which are known to produce molecules called secondary metabolites, will hitch a ride to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX rocket scheduled to launch on April 8th. Secondary metabolites can be used to create beneficial medicine for humans, such as the antibiotic penicillin.

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Blue Origin to launch its reusable rocket a third time

Blue Origin to launch its reusable rocket a third time

Blue Origin, the private space agency owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has revealed that for a third time it will be launching its reusable rocket later today, followed of course by another successful landing attempt. "Working to fly again tomorrow. Same vehicle. Third time. #LaunchLandRepeat," Bezos tweeted on Friday, indicating that they will be using the same New Shepard rocket that has already been launched and made a soft landing on two separate occasions.

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Possible North America Viking settlement spotted from space

Possible North America Viking settlement spotted from space

A second Viking settlement may have been found in North America, and it’ll be detailed in an upcoming NOVA documentary called “Vikings Unearthed.” The discovery was made from space, in that archaeologists spotted evidence of the settlement in photos taken by a satellite. The discovery was made some time last summer, and though the precise location of the settlement hasn’t been revealed to the public, it is somewhere in the southern region of Newfoundland.

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Sun-like star has a planet developing around it right now

Sun-like star has a planet developing around it right now

Scientists the world over are always out for new insights to exactly how planets form around stars early in their existence. Recently scientists snapped images of a very young planet that is currently forming around its parent star. That parent star is called TW Hydrae and it has a planet forming disc orbiting around it. One curious planet is forming around the star at roughly the same distance that Earth is from the sun.

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